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4 Places to Visit Near Sacramento

by Libby ThompsonMar 24, 2023
4 Places to Visit Near Sacramento

Whether you’re a Sacramento native or visiting the city on a West Coast road trip, it’s crucial to venture outside of the city to discover the beauty of the surrounding area. After touring the California State Capitol and the city’s many museums, pack up the camera and sunscreen for a visit to these serene small towns and relaxing lakes. You won’t want to miss these four picturesque places to visit near Sacramento.

Clear Lake

mountain on horizon at Clear Lake near Sacramento

As the oldest natural lake in North America and largest freshwater lake in California, Clear Lake offers an abundance of fishing and boating opportunities. The 68 square miles of surface area allow for endless swimming, water skiing, and sailing in the warm waters. Located in an area known for clean air, geothermal features, and high-quality winemakers, Clear Lake is one of the most serene places to visit near Sacramento.

Clear Lake is home to various wildlife species. Birds range from red-tailed hawks and songbirds, to osprey and waterfowl. Snapping turtles and gray foxes reside near the lake as well. Anglers can cast a line for large bass.

Where to Stay: The Oasis Campground

boat on lake at the Oasis Campground near Sacramento

Surrounded by quaint towns and oak-covered hills, Clear Lake is one of the top places to visit near Sacramento for relaxation and waterside fun. Spend a few days in this laid-back, quiet natural playground with a stay at The Oasis Campground. True to its name, this lakeside campground is shrouded in the shade of enchanting willows and thriving palms. Equipped with both tent and RV sites as well as a boat launch, The Oasis Campground makes an ideal jumping-off point for winery tours, fishing days, and adventures on the water.


orchard vineyard at Plymouth near Sacramento

Love wine but hate crowds? Plymouth is one of the best places to visit near Sacramento for vino-lovers, thanks to its local wineries and vineyards. Get the blood flowing before your wine-tasting activities by heading over to Lake Natoma or Willow Creek Recreation Area. These natural attractions pop with wildflowers and colorful sunsets. Hikers, swimmers, boaters, and anglers can all enjoy the offerings of the trails, lakes, and rivers near Plymouth.

In downtown Plymouth, hop between wineries to sample exquisite local products and tour the picturesque vineyards. History buffs can enjoy learning about the mining history of the town—it became a home to quartz and gold miners way back in 1871.

Where to Stay: 49er Village

For a cozy stay near Plymouth, book a cottage or an RV site at 49er Village. This is the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway, complete with a beautiful swimming pool and hot tub. Cast a line at the fishing ponds right on the campground and enjoy at least one meal at the delicious Cafe at the Park. The sweet aromas from the nearby Amador Flower Farm drift into the grounds when the breeze is just right, and the fresh air always provides a needed reset.

Jackson and Pine Grove

Jackson and its neighboring town of Pine Grove are ideal places to visit near Sacramento for those seeking a healthy balance between outdoor exploration, small-town history, and luxurious wineries. Jackson’s mining history leaves behind landmarks such as the Kennedy Goldmine, which was prospected in 1860. Now, visitors can tour the surface and view real footage of the mine during operation. Then head downtown for a stroll along Court Street in search of antiques or a great cup of coffee.

Just down the road in Pine Grove, explore the ethereal Black Chasm Cavern. This National Natural Landmark offers 50-minute guided tours allowing visitors to view the rare helictites and beautiful draperies. Connect with the mining history of the area with family-friendly gemstone mining activities on the surface.

Where to Stay in Jackson: Jackson Rancheria Casino & RV Resort

rows of RVs parked at well-manicured campground near Sacramento

Try your hand at Blackjack, Poker, and more at the Jackson Rancheria Casino & RV Resort. Stay the night at this pristine resort to enjoy amenities like a 9-hole putting green, a dog park, and a relaxing swimming pool. With 100 RV spaces and an easy five-minute shuttle ride to the casino, these accommodations combine the luxury of the resort with the relaxation of the golf course.

Where to Stay in Pine Grove: Gold Country Campground Resort

RV and truck parked at woodsy campground

To enjoy all of the natural history and wine-tasting tours this area has to offer, stay a few nights at Gold Country Campground Resort. From cabins and cottages to single bedrooms and deluxe RV sites, there are accommodation styles for every taste at this serene resort. Towering trees set the scene for family fun. Make lifelong memories each day at the mini-golf course, arcade, and water park.

Lake Camanche 

Escape the big city and plan a lakeside vacation at Lake Camanche. This is one of the best places to visit near Sacramento if you’re looking to enjoy water sports without driving all the way to the coast! Just an hour drive from Sacramento, Lake Camanche features fishing and boating opportunities, as well as peaceful places to swim, hike, or horseback ride.

With a whopping 7,700 surface acres of water, this is the perfect location for kayaking, swimming, boating, and more. Anglers can cast a line for bass, catfish, trout, and bluegill. Adrenaline seekers can try their hands at jet skiing and water skiing on the reservoir’s waters.

Where to Stay: Lake Camanche North Shore or Lake Camanche South Shore

person sitting at end of dock overlooking Lake Camanche

Both the North Shore and South Shore campgrounds feature convenient amenities and frequent events, especially during the summer. Choose from cottages, lakeside primitive campsites, and RV hookup sites. Group sites make it easy to plan large get-togethers and family reunions along the stunning 54 miles of lakeshore.

No matter which nearby town you choose to explore, these places to visit near Sacramento promise fun in the sun. From romantic getaways packed with wine tours to family vacations at the lakeshore, there’s something for everyone at these sun-soaked destinations. Pack a sunhat and the camera for a trip you won’t forget!

Libby Thompson is a freelance writer living in Denver, Colorado. Having grown up in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, hiking and camping have been cornerstones of her life since childhood. Rain, snow, or shine, you can usually find her outdoors on a paddle board, a hiking trail, or a pair of skis. Libby can be reached via email at

Image credits: Adobe Stock – Chris, Adobe Stock – mikeobiz, The Oasis Campground, Adobe Stock – Jeffrey Banke, Jackson Rancheria Casino & RV Resort, Gold Country Campground Resort, Lake Camanche