Travel & Outdoors

Best Outdoor Activities In The Bay Area

November 3, 2010 10:25 AM

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Berry Picking
The San Francisco Bay Area has so many things to do outdoors and we are lucky to have great weather much of the time. Take your pick of some favorites for getting out and about with your family all over the Bay Area.

Rodin Sculpture Garden

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
328 Lomita Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Open Wednesdays – Sundays
Admission is free (including free docent tours)
Cantor Arts Center

Pack a picnic lunch and hang out in this gorgeous sculpture garden on the Stanford University campus. Ride your bike or walk around the campus after you’ve had your fill.

52975187mikesimons Best Outdoor Activities In The Bay Area

credit: Mike Simons/Getty Images

Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve

Natural Bridges State Beach
Santa Cruz, California
Take Swift Avenue west from Highway 1, or follow West Cliff Drive north along the in-town bluffs until it ends at Natural Bridges
831-423-4609
Open 8am to sunset
Natural Bridges State Beach

From about mid-October through mid-February, 100,000 Monarch butterflies make their home here in the eucalyptus trees at this beautiful beach.

Ardenwood Historic Farm Regional Preserve

34600 Ardenwood Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94555
888-EBPARKS
Open 10am – 4pm
No parking fee. Admission prices vary from $1 – $5.
Ardenwood Historic Farm Regional Preserve

This is a working farm where you can meet turn of the century characters, take a horse-drawn train ride, eat free cookies at the outdoor kitchen, visit the blacksmith shop and see all kinds of animals. Come at the right time and you might even get roped into helping with the harvest.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Near Felton on Highway 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains
831-335-7077
Fee applies for parking in the day use parking lot
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

About 20 miles of trails are located here amidst towering, old-growth redwood trees. Take a quick hike about 100 yards away to Roaring Camp Big Trees Railroad and take a steam train ride through the redwood forest or to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Chabot Observatory

10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619
(510) 336-7300
Chabot Observatory

This is night sky viewing in the Bay Area at its best. Evening viewing is available every Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting from 7:30 – 10:30pm.

Swanton Berry Farm

Highway 1
Davenport, CA
831-469-8804
Swanton Berry Farm

The views of the Pacific Ocean while picking berries at this u-pick berry farm are amazing. There is a little house where they have games for the kids, good music, lots of free samples of homemade jams, and tons of moderately priced sweets made with their berries. The coolest thing is that there is no cash register – everything is paid on an honor basis, which is a great way to teach the kids the importance of honesty.

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