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Major Nevada and California Tourist Attractions

 Top Tourist Attractions in
Northern California and Nevada

Please note that  this page lists some of the top tourist attractions in California and Nevada.  For a complete list of tourist attractions found in a particular area, please select a specific city location by clicking on the "City Search" menu button above.


Featured Napa Valley Hotels
Featured Napa Valley Hotels

Major Tourist Attractions by Destination


Carmel Overview – The quaint and charming village of Carmel-by-the-Sea is a world-class destination for shopping, eating, and romance.  The storybook setting is bordered with white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters on one side, and groves of native Cypress trees on the other. Along with its natural beauty, you can find five star restaurants and ultra high-end retailers.  Top it off with luxurious lodging and highly ranked golf courses, and you have the beginning of an incredible visit. 

Carmel Mission BasilicaThe most often heard comments from visitor’s center around the natural and spiritual beauty, of the Mission. They also show an appreciation of the historical legacy it represents. Through its five museums, the Carmel Mission addresses the history of one of California’s most important heritage sites. We trust the time you spend with us, will increase your understand and recognition of this heritage.  More >>

Carmel Beach and Carmel RiverOn Carmel Bay, the mile-long beach features a bird sanctuary in a lagoon (just before the Carmel River empties into the sea) featuring a wide variety of waterfowl and song birds. Monastery Beach, also known as San Jose Creek Beach, is part of the park and is popular with scuba divers. Ocean and swimming and wading are extremely dangerous.  More >>

Pebble Beach Golf Links  Pebble Beach Resorts, host of the 2010 U.S. Open, is comprised of three hotels: The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, and Casa Palmero; four golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Del Monte Golf Course; and the recently opened Spa at Pebble Beach. Pebble Beach Golf Links has played host to 10 USGA championships since opening in 1919 and hosts the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournament. U.S. Open Champions at Pebble Beach are among the biggest names in golf, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite and Tiger Woods. Pebble Beach Resorts is proud to announce Pebble Beach Golf Links, site of Tiger Woods' historic win at the 2000 U.S. Open Championship, will once again host the championship in 2010.  More >>

17 Mile Drive Considered by many to be one of the World's most beautiful drives, along its route you'll discover  the beauty of Del Monte Forest , The Lone Cypress, Seal and Bird Rocks, Fanshell Beach, Point Joe, the rugged coastline and emerald fairways of   Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach.  More >>

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Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

Tahoe Basin Overview – Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe's beautiful, sapphire-blue waters are straddled by the California-Nevada state line. The Lake's elevation averages 6,225 feet, and is surrounded peaks reaching heights of up to 10,880 feet.

The area's #1 attraction is the Lake.  With a maximum depth of 1,645 feet, it is the second deepest lake in the United States -- trailing only Crater Lake in Oregon.  It is approximately 22 miles long and 12 mile wide -- creating 72 miles of shoreline that vary from beautiful golden and white sandy beaches on the South, West and North side of the lake  to rugged rock outcrops.

Vikingsholm CastleVikingsholm is located at the head of Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California. This magnificent "castle" is a unique blend of Nature's spectacular beauty and man's architectural ingenuity.  For information call (530) 525-7277 More >>

Desolation WildernessThe Desolation Wilderness is made up of 63,960 acres of subalpine and alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes. Located west of Lake Tahoe and north of Highway 50 in El Dorado County, the  Desolation Wilderness is jointly administered by both the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. More >>

BeachesLake Tahoe has 72 miles of shoreline.  The various beaches vary in greatly depending on the overall environment and how it has been preserved or develop.  Check out the link to find the right beach for you! More >>

Casinos Great entertainment and great food punctuate these monuments to Lady Luck!  More >>

Sugar Pine Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point State Park contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly two miles of lake frontage, the park has dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper. Another attraction is the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion (also known as Pine Lodge), a summer home built in 1903 in a grove of pine and cedar. From the turn of the century until 1965, the lands of what is now Ed Z'berg - Sugar Pine Point State Park were owned by financier Isaias W. Hellman, and later by his daughter Florence Hellman Ehrman. The mansion provides an interesting view into the lifestyles of the wealthy on Lake Tahoe. More >>

Virginia City, NevadaVirginia City is a famous Ghost Town known for gold and silver mining from 1857-1877. Colorful shops, museums and saloons, including the world famous Delta, Silver Queen, and Bucket of Blood Saloons, the Chollar Mine, Mark Twain Museum, Piper Opera House and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad.  (775) 847-0311 More >>

For more detailed area information, go to our Lake Tahoe Explorer.  Back to top >>

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Cannery RowSet on the Monterey Bay, this historic waterfront district made famous by Steinbeck offers attractions and recreation, authentic restaurants, affordable waterfront hotels, convenient shopping and exciting nightlife. More >>

Laguna Seca RacesMore >>

Monterey Bay AquariumThe aquarium features habitats of Monterey Bay in its permanent galleries, and global marine life and marine conservation issues in its special exhibitions More >>

Monterey State Historic Park Monterey State Historic Park is a collection of significant historic houses and buildings interspersed throughout Old Monterey. More >>

Point Lobos State ReservePoint Lobos State Reserve has outstanding passive recreation values, such as sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging. In addition to the spectacular beauty, nearly every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. There are rare plant communities, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora an fauna of both land and sea. More >>

Monterey County Wineries More >>

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Napa Valley

Calistoga BalloonsNapa Valley ballooning is one of the most popular sporting activities.  The prime time to balloon is just after sunrise when the atmospheric conditions are best conditions are best and the breaking sunlight adds a gloden glow to the picturesque Napa Valley.   More >>

Safari West Home to some of the world’s most exotic creatures, you can come close with giraffes, gazelles, zebras and many of the other 600 animals that inhabit the preserve. Take a three hour safari drive in an authentic safari vehicle and explore the wildlife preserve.  More >>

Old Faithful Geyser if CaliforniaThe Geyser is a spectacular, nature-directed performance as it streams steaming water up to 100 feet into the air.  It usually erupts every 30 minutes.  More >>

Petrified Forest Step back in Time, over 3 million years, and follow the trail of majestic petrified redwood giants arrayed before you in a fascinating grove in beautiful California wine country.  More >>

Napa Valley WineriesWorld class wine, food, and lodging can be found in the beautiful Napa Valley.  More >>

Restaurants Looking for world-class cuisine to go with your favorite wine?  Napa Valley has some of the best restaurants on the planet.  More >>

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San Francisco

Golden Gate ParkThis magnificent park is home to many outdoor activities and top draws such as California Academy of Science, Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens More >>

China townThis is one of the oldest and largest Chinese communities outside of Asia. And it's home to many fine restaurants shops, and Chinese New Year Parade More >>

Fisherman's Wharf (and Pier 39) – Steeped in history and tradition, this San Francisco waterfront community is home to many attractions, restaurants, and shops. More >>

Alcatraz Island Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and US fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public, and the 18 month occupation by Indians of All Tribes which saved the tribes. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare. More >>

Golden Gate BridgeThis globally recognizable icon of San Francisco has amazing architecture and awe-inspiring views.  You can park and view the bridge or walk/bike across its  More >>

Cable Cars The world's last  manually-operated cable car system, and is an icon of  San Francisco. More >>

San Francisco ZooThe Zoo is home to a stunning and important botanical collection as well as more than 250 species of animals, many of which are highly endangered. From the smallest insect to the tallest giraffe, you’re sure to find a story that touches and inspires you. More >>

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Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Fun for all ages.  The boardwalk offers fun rides, food  and exhibits and it's located on a beach that's perfect for all of your summer activities. More >>

West Cliff Drive / Lighthouse FieldThe wide paved path that parallels West Cliff Dr. is ideal for walking, strolling, biking and skating.  You can also just sit, relax and and take in the sweeping Monterey Bay views from the bluff top benches or watch the surfers at Steamer Lane next to the historic lighthouse. More >>

Santa Cruz HarborYacht Harbor Santa Cruz Port Dist., 135 Fifth Ave., Santa Cruz, CA  (831) 475-6161 Explorer1 Review -- Along with housing boats, the harbor is also home to several restaurants and bars.   But what I like best about the harbor is its wide walkways and road that boarders the harbor.  The mostly flat surfaces makes it perfect for walking, jogging and biking.  Also, with the exception of the harbor's restaurant/bar area, most of the course has very little car traffic.  More >>

Pacific Garden Mall Downtown Santa Cruz. Explorer1 Review -- The Pacific Garden Mall has a multitude of fine restaurants, coffee houses, nightclubs, movie theaters, and small boutiques and book stores. The mall's extra wide sidewalks and benches make it ideal for taking a leisurely stroll or to people watch.  One downside is that it can get extremely busy during the peak tourist season.  Also, the concentration of pedestrians seem to make it ideal for panhandling, student protesting, etc. More >>

Santa Cruz Wharf Next the the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  (831) 420-5270 Home to several restaurants and shops, you can spend hours strolling along the wharf while you take in the sights and sounds of Santa Cruz.   More >>

Santa Cruz County Wineries A directory of local wineries More >>

Santa Cruz BeachesPicnicking, swimming, building sandcastles, sunbathing, and kite flying are just a few of the activities that the whole family can enjoy at any of the Santa Cruz beaches. More >>

Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroad  – The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company operates the train between the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Roaring Camp.  Although, the beach train ride is enjoyable, our favorite train is the narrow-gauge steam locomotive that operates from Roaring Camp and travels into towering redwood groves, over trestles, and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain.   More >>

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Yosemite Valley

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