Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Kelseyville, CA

  • Published 2022/06/15

People from San Francisco and Sacramento love to spend their weekends at Lake County.

This charming countryside area in California boasts the biggest natural freshwater lake in the entire state.

In addition, it’s the oldest natural lake in the nation.

This place in California teems with small towns and communities, making it an excellent alternative travel destination.

If you’re seeking a budget-friendly travel destination in California, visit Kelseyville.

This small census-designated community is on the foothills of Mount Konocti and a mile away from Clear Lake.

Kelseyville is famous throughout Lake County as a premier wine destination because of its dozens of wineries and tasting rooms.

In addition, Kelseyville boasts many outdoor recreational opportunities, thanks to Clear Lake.

Its streets contain local shops and eateries with lots of charm.

This small California community is home to a fascinating selection of attractions and travel experiences.

Here are the best things to do in Kelseyville, CA:

Climb Mount Konocti

Scenic view of Mount Konocti

Michael Overstreet /

Kelseyville is on the foothills of Mount Konocti, which is why this community boasts a scenic backdrop of this majestic inactive volcano.

Based on historical accounts, Mount Konocti gets its name from the Pomo people’s term “Mountain Woman.”

This volcano stands at 4,305 feet, making it the second-highest peak in Clear Lake’s volcanic field.

Clear Lake is home to numerous volcanic domes over a million years old each.

Even if scientists classify Mount Konocti as inactive or extinct, it’s still categorized as “High Threat Potential.”

The term means it’s likely to become active again.

Nonetheless, Mount Konocti remains beautiful and calm, a fascinating natural attraction in Kelseyville.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Clear Lake State Park

The best way to start your Kelseyville travel adventure is to visit the Clear Lake State Park.

As the largest freshwater lake in California, Clear Lake is an excellent outdoor and water recreation destination.

It’s where you’ll enjoy fishing, swimming, water skiing, and boating with your travel buddies.

Clear Lake State Park has abundant bluegill, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and crappie populations.

In addition, the state park is also the favorite nesting place for waterfowls.

If you’re looking for an exciting activity that doesn’t require getting wet on the lake, head to the Indian Nature Trail.

This trail takes you to the Pomo Village.

Traversing this trail is equally exciting and educational because you’ll learn the history of the Pomo people.

This Native American tribe settled at Clear Lake State Park before the Europeans came.

Sip California Wine at Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill

This family-owned winery and olive mill in Kelseyville offers some of the state’s most excellent wines and olive oil products.

Chacewater Winery and Olive Mill takes pride in producing top-notch wines and extra virgin olive oil products from its vineyards and olive trees.

This winery and olive mill sources ingredients directly from its estate vineyard and olive tree farm.

This famous place in Kelseyville is a must-visit even if you’re not a wine connoisseur or an olive oil enthusiast.

It’s a magnificent place, especially if you’re looking for unique souvenirs from your Kelseyville trip.

In addition, you can unwind in its tasting room, where you can pour a glass of its finest California wines.

Have Outdoor Fun at Lakeside County Park

Lake County manages around 30 parks, including the Lakeside County Park in Kelseyville.

This community park is an excellent place to have a picnic or perhaps do outdoor activities without driving far.

Lakeside County Park has a boat launch, fishing spots, birdwatching deck, picnic area, and barbeque pits.

In addition, it boasts more than 50 acres of shoreline along Clear Lake, making it a perfect spot to have fun with your travel buddies.

Check Out the Boatique Winery

This local estate winery in Red Hills is an excellent place to unwind while sipping perfect wine.

At Boatique Winery, you can enjoy your time in various ways.

You can hike through a 47-acre vineyard featuring century-old olive trees.

Otherwise, relax on its outdoor patio while enjoying the scenic view of the area.

However, your experience there won’t be complete without visiting its collection of elegant vintage wooden boats displayed in its tasting room.

Boatique Winery, like its name, features a unique wine-tasting experience you shouldn’t miss.

Step Back in Time at Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum

This local museum is home to Lake County’s fascinating history.

Established in 2011, the Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum houses all of Lake County’s preserved artifacts.

See an 1800s stagecoach and other fascinating artifacts at one of its exhibits.

Plus, you’ll encounter dozens of fascinating things at this museum.

So, Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum is a worthwhile place whether you’re a history enthusiast or a tourist.

This museum was formerly the S-Bar-S Ranch which operated in the late 1800s.

It once had a hotel, general store, commercial corrals, and farming operations.

Today, it’s a charming museum serving as an event venue in Kelseyville, where people hold weddings and parties.

Go on a Shopping Spree on Main Street

Building along Kelseyville's Main Street

Kglavin, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Kelseyville’s Main Street is home to an eclectic collection of local boutiques, restaurants, cafes, wineries, and shops.

With that in mind, Kelseyville’s Main Street makes an excellent place for leisure activities like shopping.

So, don’t forget to go on a shopping spree to score unique items you won’t find anywhere else.

Check out Main Street’s A+H General Store or Oak Boutique to buy unique garments and products.

Meanwhile, the Two Sisters is a shop where you can buy fascinating vintage collectibles.

At the same time, Fritz & Mischell customizes jewelry pieces for your liking.

There are more shops on Kelseyville’s Main Street, but it’s up to you to discover them.

Browse the Painted Bird Art Gallery

This charming local art gallery on Kelseyville’s Main Street is a unique place to witness magnificent artworks.

It’s home to various artworks from painting, wood carving, accessories, and clothing whose subjects are mainly birds.

More than 150 artists and designers contributed to this art gallery when it opened in 1987.

You’ll likely spend an hour or two browsing its massive collection of artworks.

At the same time, you can buy some of these artworks.

If you’re looking for a unique souvenir from your Kelseyville trip, go to the Painted Bird Art Gallery.

Watch Skate Tricks at Kelseyville Skate and BMX Park

If you want to take a break from visiting Kelseyville’s attractions, check out its skate and BMX park.

It’s where locals flex their skateboarding and BMX skills and tricks, which will surely amaze you.

Spending an afternoon at this park is entertaining, especially if you enjoy complicated tricks and techniques.

If you know extreme sports, join the locals and experience the park’s features, such as its hips, bowl corners, and rolled edges.

Kelseyville Skate and BMX Park spans 9,000 square feet, spacious enough to fit all skaters and riders.

Grab a Mug of Craft Beer at Kelsey Creek Brewing

Kelseyville boasts a charming local brewery that produces some of the top-notch craft beers in Lake County.

Kelsey Creek Brewing is a haven for beer connoisseurs who want to have a good time with a mug of fine craft beer.

This local brewery along Main Street in Kelseyville is a favorite watering hole for locals.

So, you should try visiting this place, especially if you want to meet some locals and make friends.

Although this brewery doesn’t serve food to pair with beer, its establishment is within walking distance of restaurants and cafes.

Join the Beer, Wine & Swine Baconfest

Indulge in a fun festival that overflows with beer, wine, and bacon during the annual Baconfest every June.

Locals in Kelseyville and neighboring Lake County communities converge to celebrate this festival.

Local restaurants, shops, and cafes prepare something magical for everyone while beer and wine overflow.

Of course, you can try loads of bacon prepared and cooked the Lake County way.

In addition, musicians visit Kelseyville to perform during the festival.

See Celestial Bodies at Taylor Observatory

Besides museums, parks, and wineries, Kelseyville is also home to a fascinating observatory.

Visit Taylor Observatory along Oak Hills Lane to see the stars and planets with its 16-inch research-grade telescope.

Taylor Observatory can locate and give an extensive view of more than 140,000 celestial bodies.

Aside from its famous telescope, Taylor Observatory also features an educational tour for everyone through its 36-seater classroom and 32-seater planetarium.

Overall, Taylor Observatory is an excellent place to bring kids and let them witness the beauty of outer space.

Taste Local Flavors at the Saw Shop Public House

Before going home, take some time to try some of the community’s best restaurants and cafes.

Check out Saw Shop Public House, known for its comfort food, to start your food adventure.

If you want meat, dine at the Richmond Park Bar & Grill, known for its lakeside outdoor seating and mouthwatering steaks.

Meanwhile, Lydall’s Sports Stop Grill boasts a delicious brunch menu while showing live sports games.

If you want pastries, check out Playfight Farm & Bakery for their Montreal-style bagels and freshly-baked bread.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Get Active at the Highlands Spring Recreation Area

This massive 3,200-acre watershed in Lake County is a substantial water reserve for the towns and villages surrounding Clear Lake.

At the same time, Highlands Spring is a famous recreation area for loPostscals and visitors in Lake County.

So, don’t forget to spend your day enjoying the natural beauty of Highlands Spring Recreation Area.

This place is famous for its scenic trails, which horseback riders and hikers love to visit on the weekends.

It comprises a single-track and a narrow trail traversing steep terrain with a great view of the area.

Besides horseback riding and hiking, mountain biking is also famous at Highlands Spring Recreation Area.

Hike the Glen Eden Trail

If you want to go hiking, head to the Glen Eden Trail in Lakeport, California, 21 minutes from Kelseyville.

It features a 14-kilometer out-and-back trail.

The Glen Eden Trail is exciting because of its difficulty level.

Its trail features a relatively challenging route that takes five hours to complete.

Glen Eden Trail also has a campground to stay in after the tiring hike.

Overall, it’s a famous hiking trail for outdoor adventurers in Lake County.

Final Thoughts

Kelseyville may lack in size, but this small census-designated place in California’s Lakeside County teems with fascinating tourist attractions.

Seize the opportunity to explore Kelseyville before it becomes a mainstream tourist destination.

Start planning your trip today!

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