From exploring Lassen Volcanic National Park to lounging on the shores of Lake Almanor, there is more than enough to do in the Chester area to keep you busy during your entire stay with us. However, if you are looking to travel a little further and discover other gems of Northeastern California, you have plenty of options as well. Here are six awesome day trip ideas, all located within 90 minutes of Chester. These are also great stops to make on your way to or from the St. Bernard Lodge.
The Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux is a beautiful monastery and winery located in the small town of Vina, California. The Trappist monks at the Abbey have dedicated their lives to prayer, community, and manual labor. The Abbey welcomes guests to come explore the grounds and experience the silence, stillness, and solitude of monastic life. They offer various retreats for people looking for a spiritual space to escape the stresses of modern life and get in touch with themselves again. You have the option of choosing from week or weekend self-directed retreats, a simple day of reflection, or their long-term guest program. If those options sound too overwhelming for you, it is also possible to visit for a few hours during the day and tour their Welcome Center and Bookshop, Abbey Church, and Wine Tasting Room. We promise that even a short afternoon at New Clairvaux will inspire self-reflection and inner peace.
Of course, many people also travel to Vina to go to the New Clairvaux Vineyard, where you can enjoy wines made by the skilled hands of Trappist monks. It is the first Cistercian Monastery in the Americas to grow, make, and bottle its own wine. This winery has its roots in 12th century French vinicultural practices and continues to make distinctive, award-winning wines to this day. After touring the Abbey, hop on over to the vineyard to taste their delicious, award-winning wines.
The small town of Corning specializes in all things olive oil. Corning is the home of Lucero Olive Oil, the most award-winning olive oil company in North America. In Corning, you can explore the olive orchards, olive mill, bottling facility, and public tasting room. It is a great way to learn about the production and taste some of the freshest, finest olive oils in the world. While you are there, swing by the Olive Pit, a popular tourist spot since 1967 that serves as an olive tasting spot, wine bar, and cafe. If you are here in September, consider visiting for the annual Corning Olive Festival, America’s oldest olive festival. But there is more to Corning than just olives. It also boasts golf courses, a casino, a museum, and the Rodgers Theater, a restored historic cinema building.
Table Mountain is about 7 miles north of Orville and well worth a visit particular in the spring. The Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is just over 3,000 acres. It is an area with beautiful vistas, waterfalls, lava out cropping’s and home to a rare type of vernal pool. There is now a required day use fee which must be purchased ahead of time online. Table Mountain is open year round but a must see during the blooming of the wildflowers.
Once home to over 1,000 inhabitants including a doctor, Dr. Fayette Clappe and his wife Louise. Louise is well known for “The Shirley Letters” which describe life in the camp. Over 9 million dollars of gold was taken out of Rich Bar and a total of 23 million from the area. Searching for gold is still worthwhile in the area. Plan ahead, do your research so you are certain you are not on someone’s else’s mining claim. To find rich Bar it is just past Beldon when traveling north on Hwy 70. Watch for historical marker number 337.
Feather River Hot Springs
Nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, in the town of Twain, the Feather River Hot Springs are unique for being hot springs directly situated on the banks of the gorgeous Feather River. The hot springs are fully natural, meaning nothing is added to the waters. The temperatures of the two tubs ranges from a pleasant 99 to 104 degrees. Guests are welcome to visit the hot springs in all seasons, whether surrounded by a blanket of snow or basking in the warm summer sun. Once you are done at the springs, visit the California Sister Nursery, which specializes in plants native to the Sierras.
When traveling the Feather River Canyon Scenic Byway take time to pull over often and enjoy the beauty of the drive. This is one of the earliest routes over the Sierra’s. The drive includes 3 rock tunnels built by the Works Progress Administration between 1928 and 1937. Also along the route are seven hydroelectric powerhouses which make up the “Stairway of Power” along the Feather River.
Northern Portion of Feather River Canyon
The Northern Portions of the Feather River Canyon Scenic Byway is a favorite for train buffs.
Check out the flyer “7 Wonders of the Railroad World”. Williams Loop is an engineering marvel where long trains actually cross over themselves.
Make sure to visit the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola. This unique, hands-on, indoor/outdoor museum allows visitors to inspect and climb aboard its extensive collection. For the train buff in your family surprise them with the Ultimate Train Experience “An Hour of Power.”
Planning a trip to Chester? Book a stay at the historic St. Bernard Lodge, located near Lake Almanor and Lassen Volcanic Park.