City Spotlight: Clearlake
November 18, 2019
On the northern edge of California’s Wine Country, the small town of Clearlake offers up casual food and drink, family-friendly festivals, public lands access and knockout views of nearby Mt. Konocti and Clear Lake.
With a population of 15,000, Clearlake is small by California standards, but it’s the biggest city in our bucolic county. It’s a great place to pick up forgotten essentials from a supermarket or sporting goods store or get your car tuned up before heading out on an adventure in the rugged Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.
If you love the outdoors, but a backcountry outing isn’t quite your thing, take a scenic drive out to Wildflower Point for panoramic lake views; or keep your eyes peeled for the revitalized herds of native tule elk on your way to Cache Creek Vineyards for a tasting.
Food & Drink
Just minutes from Clearlake, the High Valley and Red Hills AVAs are home to a few heavy hitters in Lake County’s wine industry. Swing by Gregory Graham, Shannon Ridge Vigilance, Stonehouse Cellars, and Brassfield Estate for a laid back look at our little slice of wine country.
While you’re in town, dive into mid-century nostalgia and classic diner fare at The Spot. This lakeside family establishment deals in 1950’s kitsch and a paralyzing selection of specialty burgers. Some are “oversize” and “decadent” to the point of being inoperable (see the Coachella), but hey, you only live once. Pull up a seat outside if you’re traveling with your pup, or better yet, pull up in your boat at this funky waterfront restaurant.
You’re bound to find some affordable, family-friendly fun in Clearlake, California. We pull out all the stops for our charming Christmas and 4th of July parades, and in the summer, local thespians put on a lakefront Shakespeare festival.
The lake itself provides plenty of entertainment for folks who are into fishing, bird watching, and watersports. Hit up Thompson Harbor in Redbud Park if you’re bringing your own boat, or rent a WaveRunner, kayak or powerboat at Clear Lake Cottages and Marina.