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The top 15 places to travel in Northern California in 2020 | Bartell's Backroads

John Bartell takes you to the must-see attractions and unique road trips for your next adventure in 2020.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For many, a new year can represent beginnings and resolutions. For Bartell's Backroads, it means a new year and new travels! 

If you're looking for an adventure in 2020, take a look at these 15 must-see destination spots. 

1. Vacation on the coast at Battery Point lighthouse 

Have you ever wanted to live on the coast? All you have to do is volunteer at Battery Point lighthouse in Crescent City. One lighthouse keeper shared her experience living on the coast of Northern California. 

LEARN MORE: Want to live on the coast of Northern California? Here's your chance | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: 577 H St, Crescent City, CA 95531-3743

2. Hike 'hell on earth' at Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell is in Lassen Volcanic National Park, one of California's most volcanic hot zones. Its unique beauty makes it a must-see place for adventurous day-trippers.

LEARN MORE: Boiling acid pits and a potent aroma aside, Bumpass Hell is a Northern California road trip worth taking | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park. "[It] covers over 106,000 acres and does not have a single central address," according to National Park Service.

3. Corning, Calif., is the 'Olive City' 

If you like your martinis with olives, instead of lime, Corning, Calif., should be on your list of road trips. It's the 'Olive Capital' of the state, and celebrates the little green, briny fruit like nobody else. We're especially talking to you, olive milkshake fans.

LEARN MORE: Corning, Calif., is the 'Olive City' | A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop

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Where: Corning is in Tehama County, California. Located about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

4. Cedarville Surprise

If you hit Oregon, you've gone too far. Cedarville is almost as far north as you can go in California, and there's a lot to see in this tiny town in the middle of Surprise Valley, including wild horses and epic green scenery. 

LEARN MORE: The wild horses of Surprise Valley | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: Cedarville is in Modoc County. Located 20 miles east of Alturas.

5. 'The Geysers' power plant keeps California's electric grid green

Largest of its kind in California, this Sonoma County power plant uses volcanic activity and steam to generate electricity. If you're looking for an educational adventure, the plant offers tours!

LEARN MORE: 'The Geysers' power plant keeps California's electric grid green | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: Calpine Geothermal Visitor Center, 15500 Central Park Road, Middletown, California 95461

6. Photographers, tourists flock to the Point Reyes shipwreck

The Point Reyes shipwreck has a great back story, and attracts thousands of photographers and sightseers every year. Make a pit stop near Inverness, Calif., to have a look around. You might just capture the Instagram picture you've been looking for all your life. 

LEARN MORE: Photographers, tourists flock to the the Point Reyes shipwreck | A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop

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Where: 12784 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness, CA 94937

7. Create custom fortunes at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

In San Francisco's Chinatown, you'll find swarms of people lined up outside the Golden Gate Fortune Factory. It is one of the few family-owned cookie companies that makes hand-folded cookies, and if you ask, they'll let you create a custom fortune for your cookie. Take a factory tour to see how these popular fortune cookies are made!

LEARN MORE: 'My philosophy as a cookie man is to make people happy' | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, 56 Ross Alley, San Francisco, CA 94108

8. The smallest city in California, Amador City 

Looking for a slower pace? Try Amador City, California's smallest city. It's artsy, off the beaten path, and Pig Turd Alley really isn't as bad as it sounds.

LEARN MORE: The smallest city in California is an out-of-the-way road trip gem | A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop

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Where: Amador city is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Sacramento.

9. Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

If you've ever wondered what the inside of the Sierra foothills look like, you will find the answer at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, near Nevada City, Calif. In a way, it's beautiful, a kaleidoscope of sedimentary rock piled up layer on layer.

LEARN MORE: Malakoff Diggins State Park to be completely solar-powered by end of year | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: 23579 North Bloomfield Road, Nevada City, CA 95959

10. Santa Cruz's Mystery Spot will keep you guessing

It's one of California's classic tourist spots. It'll leave you questioning your perception of reality and groaning in disbelief at the tour guide's jokes. Make a quick pit stop in Santa Cruz to experience it for yourself.

LEARN MORE: Santa Cruz Mystery Spot | A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop

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Where: 465 Mystery Spot Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95065

11. Cuteness Alert! Otters at Elkhorn Slough

Find the cutest otters at Elkhorn Slough, a protected research area near Moss Landing in Monterey County. It is one of California's largest wetland estuaries and is home to more than 700 animal species and countless ocean rearing plants. 

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Where: Moss Landing State Beach which is 25 miles North of Monterey.

12. Coldest Place in California is Bodie State Park

The gold rush town of Bodie used to be full of hopeful gold prospectors. Today, just a few park rangers inhabit the abandoned town. Due to the dry climate, the buildings are well preserved. Bodie State Park is open year round, but if you visit in the winter bring a coat. Bodie is on average the coldest place in California.

LEARN MORE: Coldest place in California is a ghost town | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: The park is located northeast of Yosemite, 13 miles east of Highway 395 on Bodie Road (Hwy 270), according to CA Dept. of Parks and Rec.

13. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is home to some of the world's largest trees

Travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in Tulare County to get a phenomenal glimpse into California's natural beauty. Bartell's Backroads takes us to some hidden wonders in this giant national park, including a 1.4-million-year-old cave, that's only getting bigger.

LEARN MORE: Northern California is home to some of the world's largest trees | Bartell's Backroads

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Where: From Sacramento head northwest for approximately 250 miles.

14. Hike the Mobius Arch Loop Trail

Hikers and photographers love the Mobius Arch Loop Trail in Lone Pine, Calif. Journey to the Alabama Hills of Inyo County to visit one of the great hidden pit stops that you can make on your next road trip.

LEARN MORE: California's Mobius Arch Loop Trail - a great stop for your next road trip

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Where: Movie Flat Rd, Lone Pine, CA 93545

15. A unique toll road along the Tour Thru Tree in Klamath, Calif.

The Tour Thru Tree in Klamath, Calif., is a tunnel carved out of a massive redwood tree stump. Throw in gigantic statues of Paul Bunyon and his blue ox, Babe, and it's a great place for a quick diversion while you're on the road in Northern California. 

LEARN MORE: Tour Thru Tree in Klamath, California is a unique toll road | A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop

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Where: 430 CA-169, Klamath, CA 95548

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