A Northern California vacation just isn't complete without a visit to the Shastas – Shasta Lake and Mt. Shasta. No matter what you're into – golf, boating, spirituality – the Shastas won't disappoint.

Mt. Shasta

Located approximately 208 miles north of Sacramento, Mt. Shasta is a 14,179-foot volcano, the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range. Yeah, it’s big. And beautiful. And, some claim, home to a vortex which attracts “New Age” types. A drive down Mt. Shasta Blvd. in Mt. Shasta City reveals a vast array of spiritual shops and assorted healers. You can buy singing bowls and tuning forks, divination tools, yoga supplies, vibrational sprays and magical jewelry. You can also find all types of spiritual healers, such as those offering psychic hypnotherapy, reflexology, Reiki and energy work, vibrational healing and massage. If you’re into mineral baths, you can drive a few minutes north of Mt. Shasta City to Weed, where you’ll find therapeutic mineral baths at Stewart Mineral Springs.

Those of you wishing to take vortex tours are definitely in luck, as there are numerous guided tours to choose from, including Shasta Vortex Adventures, which offers Mt. Shasta Guided Tours all year round. You can choose from guided hikes, healing earth journeys, bus tours and winter outings, such as snowshoe, cross country or telemark ski outings. Call them at 530-926-4326 for more information.

Skiers will delight in skiing Mt. Shasta at the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, where you’ll find 31 trails on 425 acres of skiable terrain. Night skiing is also provided on 14 trails and 3 lifts. The terrain level of difficulty is 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, and 25% advanced. There is also a cross country ski and snowshoe center for those wishing something other than downhill skiing. And for beginners, the ski park offers ski, snowboarding and telemark lessons.

If golf is your passion, you'll be more than satisfied with Mount Shasta Resort, home to a 6,035-yard par 70, 18-hole championship golf course, as well as luxurious cabins and a day spa, where you can get pampered with Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, as well as aromatherapy.

Lake Shasta

Maybe you're more the boating type. If so, you'll want to head 50 miles south of Mt. Shasta to Shasta Lake, the second largest lake in California after Lake Tahoe. Shasta Lake is a very popular destination for boating, water-skiing, camping, and fishing. They also claim to be the houseboating and wakeboarding Capital of the World, with a wakeboarding school to get you started.

Shasta Lake is also home to the Lake Shasta Caverns, which is open all year round. In order to view the underground caverns, visitors are taken on a 15-minute catamaran cruise across Lake Shasta, where they then board a bus which carries them up a mountainside, more than 800 feet above the lake, where the caves are accessible. All this for only $20; $12 for those 3 to 15. Call 1-800-795-CAVE for more information.

For a real treat stay at Coram Ranch, built on the location of an abandoned mining town, next to Shasta Lake on the Sacramento River. Many activities are offered, including horseback riding and mountain biking, swimming and fishing, with outstanding fishing within walking distance from your cabin.