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Discover 5 Lake House Getaways In Northern California

Lake House (credit: Thinkstock)

While San Francisco is known more for it's city and nightlife, on the outskirts and neighboring counties, there are some of the best lake destinations in California. With several cabins, cottages, and houses on each of the following lakes, the choices are vast and boundless. Through the Napa Valley and wine country, with backdrops of national parks and forests, or closer to a big city where you can branch out the day's adventures into nighttime, here are some of the best spots for your lake house getaway close to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lake Mendocino
1160 Lake Mendocino Drive
Ukiah, CA  95482
(707) 462-7581

Just past wine country in Ukiah, Lake Mendocino offers hiking trails, boating, swimming and even a variety of fishing.  For the family and rustic feel, there are several campgrounds to become one with nature. Although none directly on the water, there are also several vacation rentals in the area, within walking distance or a short drive to the lake.

Lake Berryessa (credit:

Lake Berryessa
5520 Knoxville Road
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 966-2111

In the Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa offers 26 miles of fun at the water and beyond. As a hot-spot for bird viewing, an ideal place for water sports, or even a selection of nightlife including a concert arena, there are variety of choices no matter what you are looking for. Commonly, many of the cabins available on the water are perfect for the four-person family or a fun getaway with friends in the eight-person capacity house. The Napa area of course includes a variety of restaurant and dinner choices, and even hot air balloon rides.

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Lake Shasta
14225 Holiday Road
Redding, CA  96003

Of course there is Lake Tahoe, but just on the outskirts of the Bay, Lake Shasta is the perfect alternative, and only half the distance. The choice of cabins and lake houses are endless. Take the family, take the extended family, take a retreat with all your friends, there is a choice for all your needs. Whether you are sleeping four or sleeping 25 you don't need to worry. The national forest serves as the picturesque backdrop for all your water sports, hiking, fishing and boating adventures.

Clear Lake
14050 Olympic Drive
Clearlake, CA  95422
(707) 994-8201

Clear Lake State Park offers camping, water sports, cabin rentals, hiking, and fishing.  Surrounded by the Calistoga wine country, there are cabins and cottages available on the water, or in the exclusive Venetian Canal that has lake access, affordable and with all the comforts of home. The area also lends itself to some nightlife with Cache Creek Casino just down the road.

Folsom Lake
7755 Folsom-Auburn Road
Folsom, CA 95630

Just east of Sacramento, Folsom Lake offers a way to cool off in one of the hottest areas in the Bay Area. With water sports and camping offered, Folsom Lake is unique with its location so close to Sacramento, offering several city-view and shopping choices while giving the option for the rustic and outdoor as well. While many of the house rentals are private, some highlights include patios for a home BBQ, Jacuzzi and pools, and even a few pet-friendly ones as well. Folsom Lake also offers a variety of outdoor adventures with horseback riding and biking trails.

Andrew Wilson started a music webzine to photograph and write about his favorite artists. He quickly notoriety as both a writer and photographer, and has since been published to a variety of national news sites. Andrew resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is pursuing a degree in landscape photography.

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