Clearlake, California, is home to just over 16,000 people. It is one of the smallest yet fastest-growing towns in Lake County, California. It is located in Northern California and is the perfect getaway spot for people that want to vacation away from the hustle and bustle of major cities or enjoy a serene afternoon near Clear Lake State Park.
Other tourist attractions here include the historic courthouse museum, one of the best places for children and families alike! Wine tasting abounds, and local artists express the beauty of this town through the Art House Gallery, local flea markets, and much more.
For those that want to stay in a beautiful resort while exploring this charming town, the Clearlake Cottages and Marina are a serene getaway, but there are many more lovely places to stay for all tastes and budgets. Read on below to find the best areas to fish, hike, and explore in Clearlake, California!
Offering an on-site restaurant and a fitness center, this Clearlake hotel is sure to make your stay a comfortable one. With free Wi-Fi access available, you'll be able to stay connected even while on vacation. And Anderson Marsh State Historical Park is just 3 km away, so you can explore all that the area has to offer. Each air-conditioned room at Best Western El Grande Inn comes equipped with a flat-screen cable TV with HBO film channels. And the convenient dining area includes a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee machine.
This hotel features a seasonal outdoor pool, private beach area, and concierge service. Every room at Clear Lake Cottages & Marina is air-conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. All rooms have a private bathroom with a bath or shower, and extras like free toiletries and a hair dryer are included. The hotel is located in an area popular for golfing and canoeing. Calistoga is 44 km away, and Williams is 48 km away. Book your stay today!
This motel offers an outdoor swimming pool, private fishing dock and pier, and convenient access to shops and restaurants in downtown Clearlake, the Lamplighter is the perfect place to enjoy all that this beautiful area has to offer. Featuring spacious and comfortable rooms with views of either the pool or lake, the Lamplighter is perfect for couples or families looking for a relaxing getaway. Each room includes free Wi-Fi, cable TV, a balcony, and an en suite bathroom, so you can enjoy all the comforts of home while you're on vacation.
- Most significant landmark – Lower Lake Schoolhouse Museum
- Best park – Clear Lake State Park
- Best free activity – Redbud Park
- Best activity for kids – Tatonka Land Mini Golf
- Best activity for adults – Brassfield Estate Wineries
- Best food – Catfish Coffeehouse
- Best nightlife – B&B Cocktail Lounge
- Best all-around accommodation – Bed and Barrel
Things to Do in Clearlake, California
1. Visit Anderson Marsh Historical State Park
Address: 8400 CA-53, Lower Lake, CA 95457
Anderson Marsh Historical State Park is one of the best state parks for people that want to explore the nature surrounding Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California! The park is located near the South East of Clear Lake and is easily accessible through Highway 53. This is one of the best stops to explore the lake, as well as go bird watching and hiking on its many hiking trails.
Access to Anderson Marsh Historical State Park is currently restricted due to COVID-19. However, its trails are still open to the public from sun up to sun down. Note that dogs are not allowed, so leave your fur babies at home. You can visit their website to find out more about their current closures and restrictions.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Napa Valley, California
2. Visit Redbud Park
Address: 14655 Lakeshore Dr, Clearlake, CA 95422
Redbud Park is home to one of many lakes managed by Lake County. It is one of the best parks to have a picnic, launch your boat, and also experience the beauty of Clear Lake. There are boat launching areas so you can feel free to explore the lake responsibly, as well as a fishing pier so you can explore the very best fishing spots in the area.
For those that want to get in their daily exercise and get their heart pumping, there’s also a tennis court and a playground at the park as well. This makes it the perfect getaway for families with smaller children who want to explore the park while also making sure their children are entertained. Visit the website for daily information on the park, recent closures, and for more about visits here.
See Related: Northern California vs Southern California: What’s the Difference?
3. Hike around Borax Lake
History buffs can rejoice while touring and hiking in Borax Lake! As the name suggests, this is one of the oldest archeological and most important sites in the entire United States, with artifacts dating back as much as 12,000 years!
Borax Lake is just north of Clearlake and is also located at the foot of Mt Konocti. For those that want to learn more about the history of Clear Lake and that want to explore the borax and obsidian deposits nearby, Borax Lake is the perfect place to visit.
Hop on their website to find out more about the history of the lake, and take a trip yourself to marvel at the fascinating remnants of an ancient volcanic blast!
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Crestline, California
4. Go Wine Tasting at Vigilance Vineyards & Shannon Ridge Winery
Address: 13888 Point Lakeview Rd, Lower Lake, CA 95457
For those that want to go wine tasting and enjoy the very best pairings near Clear Lake, the Vigilance Vineyards and Shannon Ridge Winery are the perfect places to visit! Vigilance Vineyard sits 2,200 feet above sea level, providing the best views of the area along with beautifully grown grapes and tasty wine.
The Shannon Ridge Winery is hailed for having some of the best wineries in the area, for its many tasting options, and for its affordability that doesn’t skimp on quality! This winery and tasting room is open to folks 21 and up and offers a very budget-friendly $20 wine tasting!
Visit their website to learn more about tasting, and book your reservation today.
5. Visit the Hiking Trails in Mt Konocti State Park
Address: 5413-5553 Konocti Rd, Kelseyville, CA 95451
Mt Konocti State Park is one of the best areas to take in the views of the area, as well as explore the trails that line the historic volcanic region of Mt. Konocti. Mt. Konocti is located just north of Clearlake, California, and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in California.
This is the perfect place to visit to learn more about the geographic history of not just California but the United States in general. There are lots of hiking trails to choose from, including Wright Peak, Howard Peak, and Buckingham. For more information about the history of Mt. Konocti and the best ways to get there, visit their website here.
See Related: Fun & Best Things To Do in Ontario, California
6. Visit Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum
Address: 16435 Main Street, Lower Lake, CA 95457
The Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum is another excellent museum for kids to teach about the geological history of Clearlake. It has been recently renovated, and its exhibits include a rock and mineral display and even a restored schoolroom! Nothing is better for kids than exploring this charming museum to see how students in the past experienced the school year.
There are also Native American artifacts available for exploration, and they are on display for all to see. In addition, the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum is open for tours, cultural events, and art shows, and it even has a research library attached for those that want to learn the history of Clearlake, California. You can visit their website to find out more about nearby museums and for more about their current exhibits and showings.
See Related: Best Lakes in California to Visit
7. Visit Brassfield Estate Winery
Address: 10915 High Valley Road, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423
This is one of the highest-rated wine tasting rooms in all of Clearlake and for a good reason! Memberships here are completely affordable, meaning you have a chance to get your fill of excellent local wines and pairings!
The Brassfield Estate Winery is open for reservations, and it is also open for tastings for members of their wine club! Tastings start at just $15 per person, which is a great price for the quality of wine provided.
They also provide charcuterie boards, as well as the finest olive oil tastings to pair with your delicious wines. Visit their website here to find out more about how to pay and book a wine taste room experience in advance.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Santa Maria, California
8. Go Golfing at the Tatonka Land Mini Golf Course
Address: 14240 Lakeshore Dr, Clearlake, CA 95422
When you’re on a date or with kids, what’s better than being able to mini golf with your loved ones? Tatonka Land Mini Golf is one of the best places for anyone in the family to enjoy! For $5 admission tickets for those 12 and under and just $10 for kids 13 and up, this is also one of the most family-friendly and budget-friendly destinations in Clearlake!
They have a wide selection of mini golf courses, different obstacles, and some of the cheapest prices around. Visit their website to get the latest hours of operation. Currently, they are closed Monday and Tuesday but are open for business during the weekends and Wednesday through Friday, so you can experience fun during those weekend getaways. After your visit to this destination, you and your family can stay at Best Western El Grande Inn for another maximum comfort.
9. Eat at Catfish Coffeehouse
Address: 14624 Lakeshore Dr, Clearlake, CA 95422
Catfish Coffeehouse is a staple of Clearlake and is located on the beautiful street of Lakeshore Drive – yes, that Lakeshore Drive. They offer organic coffees, Italian sodas, and also natural smoothies and milkshakes to satisfy any craving you have! They’re also highly regarded for their delicious selection of foods, sandwiches, and more.
If you’re in town with family and need a quick coffee break, a quiet place to think, or even want to be inspired by local artists in Clearlake, Catfish Coffeehouse provides the perfect atmosphere. It’s a must for those that want to experience a local hot spot and that need to get their coffee fixed before continuing to explore Clear Lake.
Visit their website for more about their foods, coffee drinks, and their mission to provide the best coffee in Clearlake, California.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Roseville, California
10. Visit Clear Lake State Park
Clear Lake State Park is one of the best state parks in California and is home to the largest freshwater lake in the entire state! Clear Lake State Park offers ample amenities to make your trip one of the best. Pack up the car and visit this park with your kayak, launch off the boat ramp, and get the very best views from the water in Clear Lake State Park.
You can also explore the many hiking trails here, as well as take your family on an outdoor adventure by booking a camping ground reservation. Making a reservation ahead of time allows you to access the beautiful campsites here for multiple nights. Visit the website to find the most updated information on water levels, closures, and other types of activities on Clear Lake.
Do note that currently, water levels are too low to launch a boat from the ramp at the park. However, you are still free to kayak around the lake if you can get it in the water.
11. Kayak to Rattlesnake Island
Address: Clearlake Oaks Boat Launch, Island Park Drive off Hwy 20 East, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423
Rattlesnake Island might sound like a scary name, but it’s one of the most beautiful areas in Clear Lake! The island itself is situated at the southern tip of Clear Lake. It is one of the best places to kayak and explore from the water.
You have to launch your boat from the Clearlake Oaks boat launch site, which is located 4 miles within the inland harbor. This is one of the nicest paddling areas for new kayakers and those who want to explore Clear Lake.
On windy days, note that it’s best to have only experienced kayakers striking out on the water to Rattlesnake Island since the wind can create choppy waters. Nevertheless, even staying on the water around Rattlesnake Island is a great experience.
The trail has views of Mt. Knocti, wetlands viewing, and migratory movements of fowl birds. There are also ample picnic spots, canals, and islands near the Clearlake Keys. If you make it to the island, don’t worry so much about rattlesnakes.
Hogs were released years ago onto the island (so goes the legend), and the island is currently free of rattlesnakes or dangerous, venomous animals. Nevertheless, it’s best to always keep a look out and practice good safety while hiking on the island.
Visit this website to learn more about launching and kayaking over to Rattlesnake Island. Lamplighter motel is close by for pocket-friendly accommodation in Clearlake.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Redding, California
12. Go Wine Tasting in Stonehouse Cellars
Address: 500 Old Long Valley Rd, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423
Stonehouse Cellars is one of the best tasting rooms in Clearlake! Located just an 11-minute drive north of Clearlake, California, they have a wide selection of local wines that are considered some of the best in the Bay Area. They are also home to Picnic on the Vineyard, which is a chance for you and a friend to enjoy the best food prepared by a chef while taking in the best views in Lake County.
This is a great place to go wine tasting on a budget since prices start at just $15 per person, and you can get a premium tasting for only $40 per person! If you want to enjoy great food, wine tasting, and relaxing vibes in California, this is truly a great stop for people 21 and over! Check out their website to book your reservation now for your picnic or for more information on their many delicious wines.
While at Stonehouse Cellars, you can also enjoy staying at one of Clearlake’s highest-rated hotels! Bed and Barrel has a wide range of amenities for you and your family, including chef-cooked breakfast, spas and pools, and even vineyard trails close by.
There are also spacious accommodations to choose from, including two king-sized rooms, a master suite, and full-sized family accommodations such as The Ranch House and Stonehouse cabins. These areas are secluded, giving you the peace of mind you need during your vacation to recharge.
13. Visit the Harbin Hot Springs
Address: 18424 Harbin Springs Rd, Middletown, CA 95461
These beautiful hot springs are truly a one-of-a-kind trip destination in Lake County. If you’re in Clear Lake and want to look for a relaxing location to unwind, spend a day at Harbin Hot Springs, only a short 25-minute drive away. It’s located only 30 minutes from San Francisco and another 30 minutes from the Napa Valley wine region, making it super strategically placed for a dream California vacation!
This hot springs site is owned by the Heart Consciousness Church. You can book a private room through reservation only. For those that want to take in the views of the surrounding mountains, relax in Lake County, and experience the many benefits of the hot spring, this is the best place to do so.
Take in views of the sunset, and make sure to visit the in-house Dancing Bear Cafe restaurant too! Visit their website to make reservations, learn about the restaurant and dining options here, and learn more about the history of the hot spring.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Santa Barbara, California
14. Visit the Historic Courthouse Museum
Address: 255 N Main Street, Lakeport, CA 95453
The Historic Courthouse Museum in Lake County holds a rich history and is one of the best areas to truly get a sense of the beauty and vibrancy of Clear Lake. This museum is home to was established in 1936 and holds both Native American artifacts and artifacts from the clear lake. The building itself is beautiful and is the perfect place for family members that want a geological history of Napa Valley and Clear Lake.
Visitors can learn about Clear Lake and its formation in California through the gem and mineral displays, as well as pioneer artifacts, Pomo baskets, and other Native American artifacts. This is truly one of the must-sees on your trip, and it’s worth it to spend time here exploring the rich scientific history of the west! Visit their website to view hours of operation and possible closures.
15. Explore Library Park
Address: 200 Park St, Lakeport, CA 95453
Library Park in Lake County is open to families, and kids and is one of the best dog-friendly areas to relax and unwind. Library Park has stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You can dock your boat here and have easy access to it through the available boat ramps. BBQ outings, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming are all possible at this incredibly beautiful park located only 25 miles from Clearlake.
It’s also one of the best areas to hold events such as water sports and reunions since there is a gazebo, picnic area, and a play area for children. Look at their website for hours of operation and updates on water safety.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Fallbrook, California
16. Visit Running Creek Casino
Address: 635 State Hwy 20, Upper Lake, CA 95485
Looking to gamble and have fun while staying near Clear Lake? Running Creek Casino is the best place to visit for those that want to get the energy of a big city like San Francisco but still be near a small town like Clear Lake. The casino is located in Lake County, and you can find a nearby room at the Lodge and Blue Lakes and other facilities in Upper Lake.
Running Creek is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is the best getaway for older members of the family and those that want to experience spending and winning big! They have some of the best slot machines in upper Northern California (over 200 of them) and have card games open from 10 am to 2 am all days of the week. Check their website for rules, regulations, and more on this hot location.
17. Tour Edenberry Farm
Address: 3036 Stone Dr, Lakeport, CA 95453
For those that dream of berry picking some of the best-tasting berries in glorious surroundings, Edenberry Farm is the perfect place to satisfy your tastebuds and explore with your little ones! Edenderry Farm is a small, locally owned farm located 17 minutes from Upper Lake, California, and 25 minutes from Clearlake.
You can take tours of the farm, which hosts annual berry picking during the summertime and grows raspberries, blackberries, and 300 fruit trees, all on 10 acres of land just minutes from Clearlake. All produce is organic, so you can feel good about having your children enjoy the berries grown on the banks of the clear lake.
Check their website here for the latest updates on touring dates and hours, and plan a day trip!
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Santa Ana, California
18. Go Fishing in Hidden Valley Lake
Address: 18174 Hidden Valley Road. Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467
If you’re looking for another great place to kayak, go fishing, and enjoy stunning views of the water, look no further than Hidden Valley Lake. This man-made lake is one of the best areas for outdoor activities since they require all boats to be low-powered or man-powered. Do note an HVLA registration is required, as is a fishing license and permit.
However, once you have those items, you’re free to go swimming, find new fishing spots along the lake’s beaches and marinas, and explore the natural wildlife around Hidden Valley Lake.
Feel free to have a picnic and lounge around, enjoying the best of this dog-friendly and family-friendly area near Clearlake, California! Visit their website for the latest updates on water safety.
19. B&B Cocktail Lounge
Address: 5895 Old Hwy 53, Clearlake, CA 95422
B&B Cocktail Lounge is a quaint and charming bar that sits at the very edges of Clear Lake. It is host to a wide range of delicious beverages and a full bar! Locals love the friendly bartenders here, as well as the various games offered.
Choose from a variety of dart boards and pool, or simply pull up a chair at one of the many picnic-style tables inside! There’s also a jukebox where you can select your favorite songs to be played while you sip on a couple of cool beers.
This is the definition of a small-town bar and is a great place to meet locals and spend a night out in an unassuming and intimate setting. For more reviews, testimonials from locals, and the latest deals, visit their website to find out more about B&B Cocktail Lounge before you step into its charming walls.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Oceanside, California
Getting Around Clearlake, California
For Couples and Solo Travelers
We recommend using boats, kayaks, and man-powered water vehicles to explore the area of Clear Lake and its harbors. Check out these boats for rent near Clear Lake.
Clear Lake is a rural area, so it’s best to plan your visit with a family using a car in mind. There are lots of car rental places in the nearby cities of Lakeport, Lower Lake, and Upper Lake, California.
Ride Sharing in Clearlake, California
You can always find an Uber or Lyft for more convenient traveling in Clearlake, California. Ride-sharing services make it easy to travel around Clear Lake and can prevent the hassle of trying to find parking.
What are the best tourist attractions in Clearlake, California?
Clear Lake State Park’s lake is named the number one bass fishing site in the United States by the U.S. Bass, Wester Bass, and Cal Bass associations! We recommend coming here to fish, hike, and camp as it is one of the biggest and best tourist attractions in Clearlake.
What are some fun things to do in Clearlake, California?
Redbud Park is one of the most fun places to visit in Clear Lake and Lake County. It has ample playgrounds, picnic areas, and boat launch areas for a full day of fun.
What is the best thing to do with kids in Clearlake, California?
For kids, we recommend visiting the Tatonka Land Mini Golf Course. It’s cheap, has lots of courses, and is a great way to entertain kids and get out all of that energy.
What are some things to do in Clearlake, California, when it’s raining?
When it’s raining, we recommend spending some time relaxing and wine tasting at Stonehouse Cellars. You can get your fill of delicious wine and taste the fruit around you while being in the warm indoors.
- Best Cancel Anytime Travel Insurance
- How To Book Flights With Longer Layovers
- Best Family Travel Hacks You Need to Know
- Best Credit Cards for Traveling: Our Top Picks
Lock In Your Travel Now
Find Cheap Flights
Use Skyscanner to find flight deals. As my personal favorite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours websites and airlines across the globe, leaving no stone unturned to help you find the best deal possible. And if you really want to take your savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Formerly Scott's Cheap Flights). With access to exclusive mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you'll be packing your bags and jetting off on your next adventure before you know it.
Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!
Discover the Best Travel Tools
Be sure to visit our page on our favorite travel resources to learn how you too can visit over 10 countries in year.