Redwood National Park
Northern California weather is mild with wet winters and cool summers. Pack appropriate gear if you plan to hike any of the soggier trails or want to head into the backcountry. Most visitors drive the five or six hours from San Francisco, though the airport in Arcata is just 30 minutes from the park. Reservations are required for camping, with a few exceptions, and can be made online. The Redwood National Park is free, but the adjacent state parks charge an $8 day fee. Start at the Kuchel Visitor Center—the biggest of the park’s visitor centers—to get maps, information, and any warnings about closures. The park may be your playground, but it’s also home to wild animals: mountain lions, bears, and elk.