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Exploring Nearby Towns Around Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park, a hidden gem amidst the volcanic legacy of Northern California, is renowned for its boiling springs, steaming fumaroles, and stunning vistas. While the park offers a few camping opportunities, visitors may seek accommodations and dining options in the surrounding towns. The nearby communities provide a warm welcome along with a taste of local hospitality and cuisine that should not be missed.

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Written byJessy Chan
Published onDecember 13, 2023

Exploring Nearby Towns Around Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park, a hidden gem amidst the volcanic legacy of Northern California, is renowned for its boiling springs, steaming fumaroles, and stunning vistas. While the park offers a few camping opportunities, visitors may seek accommodations and dining options in the surrounding towns. The nearby communities provide a warm welcome along with a taste of local hospitality and cuisine that should not be missed.

Chester

Just 30 minutes away from the park's Southwest entrance, Chester is the closest and most convenient place to stay. Situated on the shores of Lake Almanor, this small town is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will find numerous hotels, inns, and lodgings catering to all budgets. For dining, the local eateries serve traditional American food, with a sprinkle of international flavor here and there. While in Chester, trying dishes featuring locally caught fish, such as the Lake Almanor Rainbow Trout, is a must.

Westwood

Located about 20 miles from Lassen Volcanic National Park, Westwood is another quaint town offering basic amenities. This town provides a more historical setting as it was once a company lumber town and takes pride in its past with the locally popular Paul Bunyan statue, keeping the logger tradition alive. The lodging choices here are cozier, with a few bed and breakfast establishments and inns. For food enthusiasts, local diners serve hearty meals, perfect for replenishing after a day of park exploration.

Burney

An hour's drive to the northeast of the park is the town of Burney. This town might be small, but it's the gateway to the stunning Burney Falls at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. Accommodation options in Burney include motels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals. Dining in Burney can be an experience of regional cuisine, with several local restaurants offering dishes like baby back ribs and tri-tip, smoked or grilled to perfection.

Susanville

Approximately an hour's drive to the East of Lassen lies Susanville, the largest city in the vicinity and the county seat of Lassen County. As such, it provides numerous amenities that one would expect, including a range of hotels, motels, and lodgings. For dining, Susanville offers a variety of restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining, with some spots serving Italian, Mexican, and Asian cuisines. The local specialty to try here would be a hearty Basque dish due to the area's historic Basque population.

Famous Dishes to Try

Aside from exploring the spectacular landscapes of Lassen Volcanic National Park, culinary exploration is part of the adventure. Several dishes are characteristic of the region and reflect its cultural diversity and historical roots. When visiting, travelers should sample:

  • Dutch Oven Dishes: Campground classics cooked in a cast iron Dutch oven, including stews and cobblers.
  • Mountain Trout: Often served grilled with a simple seasoning to enhance its fresh flavor.
  • Basque Cuisine: Susanville, in particular, offers Basque restaurants where one can savor family-style meals featuring lamb stews, Basque beans, and garlic soup.

Given the remote location of Lassen Volcanic National Park, visitors should note that the dining options in the surrounding towns may have variable seasonal hours. It is advisable to check in advance and make reservations where possible, especially during the peak tourist season.

Helpful Websites

For those planning a trip to or around Lassen Volcanic National Park, the following websites can be invaluable resources:

  • Visit California: Contains extensive travel information about California, including regional attractions, accommodations, and dining.
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park Official Website: Provides the latest park news, including trail status, activities, and on-site facilities.
  • TripAdvisor: Offers reviews and ratings of hotels, restaurants, and attractions from travelers who have visited the area.

Each town in the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park has its unique charm, and regional dishes reflect the diverse heritage of the northern Californian countryside. Whether you are looking to relax by a lakeside in Chester, embrace the history in Westwood, enjoy the natural waterfalls near Burney, or experience the bustling small city life of Susanville, the area around Lassen has something to offer every visitor. Remember to try the local flavors, as they are an integral part of the travel experience in this volcanic wonderland.

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