2 full days near San Francisco

Old Jun 8th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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2 full days near San Francisco

My husband and I will be visiting our son who is studying at Merritt in Oakland the first weekend of Nov. We'll have two full days after also visiting friends in Palo Alto, flying home on Wed. in the early afternoon from Oakland. We'll have a rental car. Any suggestions for active hiking/road biking/nature loving people on where we might like to visit or places we shouldn't miss, within 100 miles of the bay area? Any hotels or low-key resorts that we might consider? Thanks!
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Oh man - the list of possibilities is endless. You'll have to come back and visit your son many times

Tops on my list would be Big Sur, Monterey area, Santa Cruz mountains, and Point Reyes.
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Canoe and kayak trips on the Russian River at Healdsburg are popular. Also I think there are wine country bike tours available in that area. We like the Inn at the Tides hotel in Bodega Bay and the Grape Leaf Inn B&B in Healdsburg.
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Hiking in Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin Co. Huge park, varied terrain (redwoods, pristine beaches), one of the scenic treasures of the U.S., IMHO.
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 02:07 PM
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I would not advise a kayak/canoe trip on the Russian River in November. This is when our rainy season begins and the river rises, increases in flow from the gentle summer months, and hides some branches and other trouble spots.

Pt. Reyes is indeed a "treasure" and has loads of hiking
if it's not raining, (even fun if it's misty!)
Lots of places to stay-
http://www.ptreyes.com/

You could also stay and/or dine at the Mountain Home Inn
above Mill Valley-
http://www.mtnhomeinn.com/home.html
Loads of hiking and trail biking on Mt Tamalpais
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471
and all over the Marin Headlands, easily accessed from
Tennessee Valley
http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisi...see_valley.htm

Have fun!

R5
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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I second the Mtn Home Inn, was just there last week thanks to recs off this Forum. I took some "CA first timers" there for lunch--amazingly beautiful, get a spectacular view of the bay area, good fresh food, and you can hike into Muir Woods from their parking lot (which we did) or do a bike/hike up Mt Tam.
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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Boy, do you have a lot of options. november_moon is right, you'll have to make a lot of visits.

The coast north of San Francisco is gorgeous. However, since you're already planning on going to Palo Alto, it would be easier if you traveled along the coast south of San Francisco, unless you're already planning on going into the city. You could visit the area around Carmel and Monterey. And if it rains, which is possible in November, you could visit the aquarium.
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 06:07 PM
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Why not hike Angel Island? It's right in the Bay and when you get to the top of Mt. Livermore, the view of the entire Bay Area is fantastic and you feel like you could just reach out and touch Alcatraz Island.

Ferries from San Francisco or Sausalito to Angel Island. There's a ranger station near the pier at Angel Island, but you really don't need a trail map.

http://www.bahiker.com/northbayhikes/angelisland.html

Otherwise, I'd suggest Point Lobos State Reserve a couple of miles south of Carmel. You could spend a whole day on the different trails and it's right by the ocean. Beautiful location.

http://www.pointlobos.org/
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Old Jun 8th, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Between Oakland and Palo Alto you have Mount Diablo State Park for hiking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Diablo
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 04:48 AM
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Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco is lovely. There are redwoods there and it has a haunting kind of beauty.

http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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You guys rock! Thanks for all the suggestions. It appears Richard is going to get tired of seeing his folks in the next 4 years.
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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You asked about "low-key resorts". For me, November is a great time to be on the coast. Even if it rains, it's not usually too cold and your chances of having great weather are good.

One great place to stay is just over the mountains from Palo Alto. The Costanoa Coastal Lodge is along a beautiful section of coastline very near several great state parks. And the place is about as "green" as they come.

http://www.costanoa.com/site.php

If price is no object, the Post Ranch Inn or Ventana Inn in Big Sur would be our first choices for a luxury getaway.
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Old Jun 12th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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There are some great hikes in the Bay Area.

Angel Island
http://angelisland.org/

Mt Tam
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

Big Basin
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=540
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