Destination guide

A wonderland of red wines and redwoods

From world-class cities to world-class wines, Northern California has something for everyone. Walking the hills of San Francisco might leave your legs burning, but you'll need the workout after you eat a burrito the size of your head in the Mission. For a break from city life, indulge in some premium cabernets and chardonnays in idyllic wine country. Even the biggest nature lovers will be left speechless by the towering redwoods and spectacular beaches. Add to that some of the best weather in the country, and you might never want to leave.

Things to do

From towering trees to trolley tours

The City by the Bay is a sightseer's dream. A Northern California vacation rental in San Francisco will leave you dodging cable cars and chilling out at the epicenter of 60s counterculture in Haight-Ashbury. You may just leave your heart there after you visit Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Northern California nature will leave you speechless, whether you're taking in the mountain vistas at Yosemite or craning to see the treetops at Sequoia and Redwood National Parks. If there's time left over, you can visit some of the best wineries and beaches in the country.


Hit the beach, then drink up in wine country

Just thinking of Northern California will have you heading for the wine rack. A Northern California vacation rental in Sonoma County or Napa Valley puts you on the doorstep of winery heaven. Better yet, tons of tour operators will handle the driving so you can fully enjoy yourself without having to worry about getting behind the wheel. Beach lovers are also in luck, because Northern California has some truly spectacular ones along the Pacific coast. If you're more of a city mouse, San Francisco and the surrounding areas offer more sightseeing options than you could ever want.


The weather's great, wish you were here

Talk to any Northern California native and you'll hear that the region has some of the best weather in the country. After one visit, many travelers tend to agree. The warmest temperatures come from June to October, when the daily highs tend to hover in the 70s. The rest of the year is usually wet but mild, with low temps only rarely dipping into the 40s. You'll typically only see any significant snowfall in the mountains. While the warmer months are generally sunny, any time of year can see a visit from the infamous Karl the fog.

Natural features

Rocky coastlines in a land of giants

You can find a Northern California vacation rental in virtually any setting you can imagine. The region is known across the globe for its forests of towering redwoods and sequoias, but trees are only part of the story. If mountains are your scene, the views in the Sierra Nevadas can't be beat. Beach lovers have hundreds of miles of Pacific coast to choose from. If you'd rather indulge and relax, stay among the vineyards of Napa or Sonoma (just leave the driving to the professionals).

How to get there

How to get to and around Northern California

The nearest airport is in Marysville, CA (MYV-Yuba County), located 20.1 mi (32.4 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you might consider flying into Willows, CA (WLW-Willows-Glenn County), which is 25.6 mi (41.2 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, Chico Station, Rocklin Station and Roseville Station are the main stations in the city. You can get around Northern California by catching a ride on the metro at Watt-I-80 West Station, Roseville Road Station or Watt-I-80 Station.

Where to stay around Northern California?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 21,211 vacation rentals near Northern California. From 10,917 Houses to 2,538 Cabins, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Northern California for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Northern California?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Northern California. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Lake Tahoe: 6,475 vacation rentals
  • San Francisco: 1,826 vacation rentals
  • South Lake Tahoe: 2,730 vacation rentals
  • Santa Cruz: 663 vacation rentals
  • Oregon Coast: 4,424 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Northern California! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Northern California?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Northern California:

  • San Francisco: 1,826 rentals
  • South Lake Tahoe: 2,730 rentals
  • Santa Cruz: 663 rentals
  • Monterey: 881 rentals
  • Napa: 949 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when traveling by plane to Northern California?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of vacation rentals in Northern California are:

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 1,950 vacation rentals
  • Brookings, OR (BOK): 143 vacation rentals
  • Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO): 256 vacation rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Northern California?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Northern California. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Yosemite Valley: 786 rentals
  • Napa Valley Wine Train: 830 rentals
  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: 504 rentals
  • Carmel Beach: 646 rentals
  • Capitola Beach: 863 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Northern California listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around Northern California

San Francisco
1,826 vacation rentals
South Lake Tahoe
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Santa Cruz
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Big Sur
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Sea Ranch
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2,077 vacation rentals
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