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Currently Featured - Best Vacation Lakes - California
There's still plenty of warm summer weather ahead so it's the perfect time to look at lake destinations for your summer and fall getaways. California is blessed to have beautiful lakes in almost every region of the state, but we have chosen three lakes in particular that offer a special combination of clear, inviting water, spectacular scenery and lakefront charm.
The Plumas County region of North Central California was, for us, a real eye-opener. This county is centered roughly between Red Bluff to the northwest, and Reno, Nevada, to the southeast, and is a wonderland of mountain and lake scenery with historic villages dotting the scenic country roads. None of the towns is a real city, and all seem to retain much of the character and charm of their early settlement days. If you enjoy sometimes thick forests and verdant valleys with mountain views around nearly every turn, this is your kind of place.
At the northwest edge of the county is Lake Almanor - not the only lake in the county by any means, but the largest and most popular because of its relative proximity to Interstate 5 - about 80 miles from Red Bluff. Chester is the largest town in the area and does have a few restaurants and whatever tourist services you'll need. But Lake Almanor is not really about the town - it's about the miles and miles of blue water surrounded by forests with snow-covered Lassen Peak never too far out of view.
Many vacationers come up for weeks at a time, especially in summer when the 4,500-foot elevation is a cool relief from the heat of the San Joaquin Valley. The lake's 75-degree summertime temperatures make it ideal for all forms of water recreation yet, surprisingly, the crowds had not yet arrived when we visited in late June....read more »