9 Things to Do in Clearlake That You Shouldn't Miss

August 18, 2017 Deane Carmody

Clearlake is a city in Lake County, California. Clearlake is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north-northwest of Lower Lake, at an elevation of 1417 feet (432 m). As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 15,250, up from 13,142 at the 2000 census. It takes its name from Clear Lake.
Restaurants in Clearlake

1. Clear Lake

Clearlake, CA +1 707-274-5652
Excellent
31%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
15%
Terrible
14%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 88 reviews

Clear Lake

Clear Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake entirely within California, with 68 square miles of surface area. The expansive, warm water of Clear Lake makes it ideal for recreation, including swimming, water skiing, sailing, and boating. Its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife - combined with the clearnest air in California - make Clear lake an excellent place to slow down, enjoy nature, and just plain relax.Quality grapes, visionary winemakers, and high elevation terroir make Lake County one of California's premier viticultural regions. With 35-plus wineries and almost 9,000 acres planted in winegrapes, the area is reclaiming its pre-Prohibition reputation.

Reviewed By Robert A - Anthem, Arizona

Seriously, "Clearlake", it is not. This lake has so much filamentous blue-green algae that a more fitting name, as many reviewers have noted, would be "Green Pea Soup Lake. Excess nutrients (sewage, fertilizer, etc,) plus toxic mercury have destroyed this ancient natural wonder. As a photographer and bass fisherman I just kept going. Next.

2. Brassfield Estate Winery

10915 High Valley Rd, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423-8526 +1 707-998-1895
Excellent
74%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 52 reviews

Brassfield Estate Winery

A world-class property for estate grown and bottled wines. Celebrating the soils, climates and vines of California's High Valley Appellation. Serenity and Eruption blends, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, & Sauvignon Blanc. Open for tours and tastings.

Reviewed By SDCA312 - California

Short excursion (22 min) from Clearlake through beautiful scenery and a few vista points. The Tuscan villa style winery and gardens are charming and the tasting room is pleasant. The wines are great, I personally enjoyed the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2014 Malbec, both were a refreshing sip on a hot summer day. There's a nice covered patio with restrooms to enjoy a picnic lunch/dinner. Young children may not be as entertained but we did see quite a few deer on the way back to the lake and kept the visit short. Overall, well worth the trip getting here.

3. Six Sigma Ranch and Winery

13372 Spruce Grove Rd, Lower Lake, CA 95457-9862
Excellent
80%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 10 reviews

Six Sigma Ranch and Winery

Back roads of California, cozy and scenic road to a real gem of a winery and picnic destination.

Reviewed By sewkap - El Cerrito, CA

Sign up for the Pinzgauer tour (Austrian 4-wheel convoy). This was just plain fabulous.You learn the geologic history of the area (did you know that Clearlake is the oldest lake in North America?) and so much more, including much about wines grown there. There are over 4300 acres on the property, and 4,000 of them are in the hands of the Nature Conservancy, so you really get to see the natural setting of the area.
The tour is $10 or waived with a bottle of the wine (all of which are excellent)

4. Shannon Ridge Winery

13888 Pt. Lakeview Road, Vigilance Vineyard, Lower Lake, CA 95457 +1 707-998-9656
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 7 reviews

Shannon Ridge Winery

Visit our Tasting Room located in the heart of our Vigilance Vineyards, Friday - Sunday 11am - 5pm, (open seasonally May through October). Tasting award winning wines, bring a picnic, play Bocce Ball and take in the amazing views! Friendly pets welcome. At Shannon Ridge we are dedicated to creating a family of wines that consumers love at top-quality and affordable prices. We are passionate about preserving our land, not only for great vineyard sites, but for the wild creatures that share our property. Our sustainability practices integrate a flock of sheep that clean the vineyards, remove excess canopy, and reduce the need for chemicals, while providing natural fertilizer.

Reviewed By darcherd - North Houston, Texas

We'd seen Shannon Ridge written up in magazines so we decided to visit on a recent trip through Lake County, California. We were quite impressed. Not only are their wines very good (and an excellent value, especially compared to the ridiculously pricey Napa Valley to the south) but they are pioneering a new form of holistic viticulture, raising sheep and chickens in their vineyards, which provides weed and insect control, natural fertilizer, and a diversified product line (they sell fresh lamb meat in addition to their wines from the tasting room).

We were delighted with our hostess, Audrey Shannon, the owners' daughter, who was charming, enthusiastic and very knowledgable about her family's wine.

And as some other reviewers have noted, they also sell a variety of Lake County products - infused olive oils, bottled olives, wine jellies, and handicrafts. The tasting fee is $5, but the fee is applied to any purchases.

This one is worth a stop.

5. Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery

250 New Long Valley Rd, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423-8576 +1 707-998-1200
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Cache Creek Vineyards & Winery

Cache Creek Vineyards is a small, family-owned, sustainably farmed vineyard nestled in the eastern foothills of scenic Lake County. In 1997, founder, Bill "Poppo" Van Pelt, started cultivation of the land and embarked upon his dream of creating not only a beautiful vineyard in which world-class grapes would be grown, but also a safe refuge for the Tule Elk which roam freely along Cache Creek.

Reviewed By Michelle R - Los Angeles, California

The venue is beautiful, definitely a hidden gem. You'd never expect there to be such a nice winery tucked away in the middle of nowhere.
I attended a wedding here recently and it was quite lovely. The grounds are beautiful, rustic country but well manicured with fountains and plenty of shade. There were a few details out of place (for instance there were some unused benches that were stacked off to the side rather than removed from sight) but overall its appearance and character was quite nice. It was quaint and classic and charming.
The inside of the winery had a nice ambiance to it, well decorated for it's location. Not too cluttered, but it had a nice homey, loved charm about it.
The wine tasting itself was a tad expensive, especially for the winery being so far removed. It was $5 per taste, and their pours were pretty petite. Their wines were adequate; not remarkable but nothing wrong with them.
I enjoyed my experience here very much, though if I were not already nearby, I would not go out of my way, as there is not much else in the area and the winery itself does not offer enough to warrant an extra trip. However, if you are in the area and looking for a nice day trip, this winery is the perfect place.

6. Laujor Estate Winery

8664 Seigler Springs North Rd, Kelseyville, CA 95451-8839 +1 707-279-2146
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 14 reviews

Laujor Estate Winery

Reviewed By LoomisSteve - Loomis, California

If you are a wine lover this is the trifecta, Gregory Graham Winery, Vigilance-Shannon Ridge Winery and Laujor Estate Winery. All these wineries are in a short distance of each other with outstanding wines and two have to die for views. In addition to great wines we were served by Caroline, she alone is worth the visit, a treasure from across the pond, she is just a ball of exuberance about the wine and life in general. Over the top friendly, she also knows her wines, but most of all makes you feel like family. The wines are rich and full bodied, with the Sarah-Noir the star. The owners-wine makers have built a tasting room that offers comfort and very special views. Located among hundreds of acres of vineyards looking out towards clear lake makes you feel like you are in Europe. But you are not, you are only a short distance away in Lake County! Close enough for many repeat trips!

7. Vigilance Vineyards & Winery

13888 Point Lakeview Road, Lower Lake, CA 95457 +1 707-994-9656
Excellent
30%
Good
60%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
10%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 10 reviews

Vigilance Vineyards & Winery

Located in Lake County, California, known for the cleanest air quality in the United States you will find Vigilance Vineyards & Winery set amongst the historic Anderson Marsh sanctuary where preservation of the land and wildlife are equally matched to the beliefs of Clay & Margarita Shannon, owners of this breathtaking slice of heaven.

Reviewed By darcherd - North Houston, Texas

Vigilance is a sister winery to Shannon Ridge in Clearlake Oaks, which is also highly recommended. Vigilance sits on a hill overlooking the Anderson Marsh and the lower end of Clear Lake and has a nice picnic area and even bocce ball courts. We enjoyed the wine immensely. Lake County is justifiably famous for its Sauvignon Blanc but we were also very impressed with some of their reds, including their Zinfandel and their specialty blend, Cimmarron. Our host was welcoming and quite knowledgable. There is a modest tasting fee but it is applied to any purchases.

8. Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

8400 Ca-53, Lower Lake, CA 95457 +1 707-279-2267
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

Reviewed By Taiscemara - Bantry, Ireland

This park is interesting from start to finish. Every few minutes we spotted another bird, heron, Turkey halk, ducks.. Thankfully, no snakes!

There were soft coloured reeds, woodpecked trees full of acorns, little creeks, huge trees.

It is mainly on the flat, so perfectly suitable for the less fit, young families etc.

We didn't spot a car park, so we parked on the road leading to the Social Services centre. We only met a handful of people on our walk, so it was very peaceful - especially once you leave the path near the main motorway.

Didn't see any official. No entry charge.
Definitely recommend.

9. Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum

9921 State Highway 281, Kelseyville, CA 95451-8404 +1 707-533-9990
Excellent
60%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum

Reviewed By Diane M - Albany, California

We visited the museum shortly after they opened. We had a quick visit to the Country Museum and met a friendly knowledgeable docent. Since our visit they have grown to be of one of the places to be. They have introduced weekend entertainment, Fiddler Days, Blues Shows and some fundraising events to help the fire victims. Events are charged but visits are by donation. They have added many picnic tables, barns, a cable car and entertainment stage. Bring a picnic, bottle of Lake Co. wine and enjoy this open space.

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