If you’re seeking a place to experience the artistry of the fall season, you need to visit Northern California. Fall in Northern California is insurmountable. The temperatures are mild, the air is crisp, and the trees are home to dazzling leaves of auburn and gold. We’ve broken down the best attractions to explore in the area during autumn.
For additional tips and tricks for planning your trip, check out our complimentary Vacation Guide. It is full of insider information on the best restaurants, outdoor activities, and places to visit. Stay in the heart of it all at the conveniently located Courtwood Inn.
How to Experience Fall in Northern California
Fall in northern California is nothing short of amazing. From activities to events, there’s always something entertaining to do.
Fun-Filled Fall Activities
1. Visit a Wine Tasting Room
California wine country is a beautiful place that needs to be on your list of places to visit. Murphy’s, CA, is home to several fantastic vineyards and tasting rooms that you can stop by and sip on some Calaveras County wines. One of the best ways to discover the best wineries in the area is by taking a Courtwood Wine Tasting Tour.
- Ironstone Vineyards
- A 9-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
- Twisted Oak Winery
- A 12-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
- Brice Station Vineyards
- A 14-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
2. Take a Scenic Drive
If you’re looking for the perfect place to take a road trip this fall, look no further than Northern California. The area is full of scenic drives that will surround you with breathtaking fall foliage and views of rugged mountains.
- Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway
- Best Drive: Taking day trips from Murphy’s to a state park.
- Redwood Highway
- Best Drive: Anytime you’d like to take a road trip to see the Redwoods.
- The Yosemite Valley Loop
- Best Drive: Taking a day trip from Murphy’s to Yosemite National Park.
3. Embark on a Hike
When you go hiking in Northern California, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and towering sequoias with canopies of red, orange, and yellow will encompass you. There are a plethora of trails to choose from, but we’ve selected the best fall hikes in northern California.
- Duchess Mine Trail
- A 17-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
- Arnold Rim Trail
- A 26-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
- Calaveras Big Trees State Park
- A 29-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
4. Gaze at the Stars
Calaveras County is an ideal location for stargazing because of the high elevation and distance from large cities. On a cool autumn night, explore one of these stargazing spots to feel the magic of the season.
- New Melones Lake
- A 28-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
- Calaveras Big Trees State Park
- A 30-minute drive from Courtwood Inn.
- Yosemite National Park
- An hour and 40-minute drive from Courtwood Inn
Exciting Autumn Events
1. Calaveras Grape Stomp
The annual Calaveras Grape Stomp is the largest and oldest grape stomp competition in California—wow! Each October, the historic town of Murphy’s transforms into a frenzy of activity with two renowned events, the Calaveras Grape Stomp and the Gold Rush Street Faire. These events feature grape stomping, live and silent auctions, a stomp team costume contest, and wine tasting. Main Street floods with over 100 unique booths where you can purchase antiques and collectibles, handmade crafts, eclectic jewelry, and much more. There’s a plethora of delicious food vendors, in addition to restaurants and tasting rooms that will open their doors.
2. Harvest Festival & Pumpkin Patch at Copperopolis Town Square
This October festival is a blast for people of all ages. The Harvest Festival features live music, a pumpkin patch, face painting, horse-drawn carriage rides, and pony rides for children. There’s also no shortage of delicious food. There will be vendors serving up cannolis, stone-oven pizza, kettle corn, and ice cream. You’ll also be able to pick up some local, hand-crafted goods as well, such as soaps, jewelry, and crafts.
3. Murphy’s Day of the Dead
Murphy’s celebrates the Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de los Muertos, each year on the first Saturday in November. Local businesses will be offering authentic cultural art, food, sugar skills, face painting, and live music. Featured events during this celebration include the Catrina and Catrin Dress Contest and Remembrance Ceremony.
Stay at the Gorgeous Courtwood Inn
When you’re searching for the best place to stay during fall in Northern California, stay at Courtwood Inn. Our elegant inn sits in the heart of picturesque Murphy’s and yields views of rolling foothills filled with pine trees all the way to the San Joaquin Valley.
At Courtwood Inn, we’re very proud of our custom-designed cedar log lodge, which we built with our guests’ comfort and luxury in mind. Each of our five distinctive rooms has a private bath and spectacular views from a private patio, deck area, or balcony. Our Drop Shot Room is our “No-Frills” option where you can enjoy the million-dollar views for much less than our deluxe rooms. This room is a wonderful option for the traveler that is concerned with exploring the area, rather than residing in a room.
It’s time to start planning your autumn adventure in Northern California. Check our availability and reserve your room today!