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Friday, April 19, 2024

The best places to travel in-state during the holidays

Winter break is a perfect time to explore Northern California and its amazing sites


By JENA TUFAIL — jjtufail@ucdavis.edu


Winter break is the perfect time for students to relax without the stress of coursework, midterms and classes. With the holiday season, many students will be returning to their hometowns or going on vacation, where they might be able to spend quality time with their family and friends (possibly) for the first time this academic year. 

However, many other students, such as those who are international or who do not have the ability to travel back to their families or hometowns this break, will be in Davis or the surrounding area. As UC Davis students, we are lucky in terms of traveling in-state — we live in a town that is located near many of the gems of Northern California.

If you are interested in visiting the northern coast, Big Sur and Carmel-by-the-Sea are two beautiful destinations located about three-and-a-half hours away from Davis. These areas are filled with scenic views, coastlines, hidden beaches, trails, camping and more. There are so many beautiful sites to see, and the towns are perfect for those who enjoy exploring local shops in a relaxing atmosphere. 

Another coastal town that I visited quite recently is Mendocino. Full of forests, beaches, wildlife, galleries and more, the town and surrounding area is a perfect get-away. Along with all the local shops, make sure to check out Point Cabrillo Light Station and Russian Gulch State Park, and stop by Fort Bragg if you’re in the area. 

As we are in the Christmas season, Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to go to enjoy the snow and other winter-related activities. Located about two-and-a-half hours away from Davis, the town is full of ski resorts and cabins. However, Tahoe is also incredibly versatile — it’s a great place for camping, as well as visiting beaches, lakes and state parks. 

Northern California is also home to many national forests and parks. One of my favorite destinations, Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park, is located near Redding. The park is a wonderful destination for those of you who enjoy nature or are interested in geology, plant science and the natural world. Mount Lassen is full of meadows, trails, lakes, campsites, forests, geysers, waterfalls and much more. I personally was able to visit during late spring, but I would love to go back during winter, as the volcanoes are known to fill up with snow.

Winter break is a great time to explore parts of California you may never have been to before. If you have time to explore I highly recommend it, especially for those of you who may be in the area in the coming weeks. Before traveling, make sure to research your destination well, pack as needed and create an itinerary to make sure your trip is as memorable as possible.


Written by: Jena Tufail — jjtufail@ucdavis.edu


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