We already told you everything you need to do in San Francisco before you die, but did you think we’d let you off there? As if, people. As if. Besides all of the must-do stuff on that list, the best part of living in SF is that our backyard is all of Northern California, one of the most stunning places on earth. And though we'd vote for you to explore every inch and every town of the upper (read: better) half of California, at the very least, you absolutely must check these 39 items off your list before you kick the bucket.
You Throw This Fire Extinguisher Like a Hand Grenade
There’s so much to see and do, all of which could be a separate Yosemite Bucket List, but you definitely don’t want to die without having hiked Half Dome or eaten the decadent Sunday brunch in the dining room at the Ahwahnee Hotel (which, for crappy legal reasons, is currently being called The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, which we just can’t get behind).
If you ditch your tour group at this bizarre mansion with twisting hallways and secret passages, there’s a chance you’ll be lost for hours. This place is also the best reason to go to San Jose that we can think of.
Año Nuevo State Park is one of the largest mainland breeding colonies of elephant seals in the world. Go from December to March when breeding season is in full effect if you want to herald their return.
Is there a lot of stuff about trees on this list? Yes. But that’s because Northern California has the best trees! Including Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 with over 50,000 acres of redwood groves.
The prettiest Taco Bell in the world (no, seriously) is located right on the beach in Pacifica. It’ll taste a lot better if you go surfing first, but we won’t judge if you go straight for the Crunchwrap Supreme.
In Mendocino County, there’s a pygmy forest with trees that are over 100 years old, but have been stunted by factors like "complex ecological conditions" and "magic." Some of these trees are older than your grandma, but less than a foot tall.
Even better, stay in one of the 110 themed rooms at this landmark hotel in San Luis Obispo. But at the very least, use the waterfall urinal that’s activated when someone stands in front of it (ladies, this is what pStyles were invented for).
If you’re headed to Tahoe on 80, you really have to stop at Ikeda’s for apple pie made with apples picked from an orchard that's under a mile away. And you might as well get burgers while you’re there, too, because you should never overlook the opportunity to have a burger.
Whether you go for the more mellow South Fork, or opt for an exciting trip on the Middle or North Fork, you’ll immediately figure out why the American River is the most popular destination for white water rafting in California.
If you die before eating an IT'S-IT, you might as well not have lived.
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Daisy Barringer is a writer living in San Francisco. She’s climbed Mount Lassen over 10 times, and looks forward to doing it again soon. Tell her what she should add to this bucket list on Twitter @daisy.