Celebrate Your Parks

Today is Earth Day, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than spending a beautiful day visiting California’s parks and beaches. To help you get going on your Earth Day festivities, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spots to spend time with Mother Nature.


HELEN PUTNAM PARK, PETALUMA

Photo by Paco

Photo by Paco

Located just south of Petaluma, Helen Putnam is the perfect spot for horseback riding, cycling and features trails for beginner and experienced hikers alike. A bonus for springtime visitors: the 216 acres of the park bloom with wildflowers during the season.

 

Photo by Darrell

 

ALSTON PARK, NAPA

A favorite of dog owners, Alston Park is a 2.5 mile loop trail in Napa noted for its views of Napa Valley, off-leash enclosed areas for both large and small dogs, and occasional hot air balloon spotting. Bring a furry friend or go it alone—it’s enjoyable either way!

 


MOUNT TAMALPAIS

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Tam is the highest peak of the Marin Hills, and its 50+ miles of trails within the park make it a favorite amongst local hikers and cyclists. If you’re looking to make it a longer trip, get there early. Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Photo by Kelly

Photo by Kelly


GRIZZLY PEAK

Photo by Scott

Photo by Scott

For stunning views of the Bay, visit Grizzly Peak in the Berkeley Hills. The summit borders Tilden Regional Park, and is a favorite at sunset. Pro tip: bring a sweater! The hills can get windy.

Photo by Adam

Photo by Adam

 

TILDEN PARK

With a botanical garden, a lake, hiking trails and even a carousel, Tilden has something for everyone. Located between Orinda and Berkeley, there are multiple trails to tackle, both long and short. But do your research prior to visiting, as many trails do not allow dogs.

 


REGIONAL REDWOODS PARK

Don’t let the name fool you: there are more than just Redwood trees here. Among the 1,830 acres, spot evergreens, grasslands, and the animals that inhabit them. This forest is hidden outside Downtown Oakland, but your Uber driver can follow Redwood Road to get there easily.

Photo by Elizabeth

Photo by Elizabeth


ASILOMAR STATE BEACH

Photo by Gina

Photo by Gina

To take in one mile of rocky coasts and sand dunes, visit Asilomar in Pacific Grove, near Monterey. Its clear waters and white sand are a highlight, and it’s a great place for a nature walk.
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Photo by Arya

Photo by Arya

 

SEACLIFF STATE BEACH, APTOS

There are plenty of beaches in an around Santa Cruz, but Seacliff is a rare gem. Lying at the end of a long fishing pier, you’ll find the SS Palo Alto, a concrete ship with a past life as an amusement park and dance club.

 


SAN LORENZO PARK, SANTA CRUZ

Whether you’re looking for a spot to picnic and play for the day, or set up camp for the weekend, San Lorenzo has it all. It’s also home to the annual Earth Day celebration, which gives it a well-deserved spot on our list.

Photo by Kevin

Photo by Kevin


MCKINLEY ROSE GARDEN, SACRAMENTO

Photo by Liz

Photo by Liz

More than 1,200 roses reside in this Sacramento Park, covering 1.5 acres. Take a walk, bring a book, or just sit down and relax. However you choose to spend your time here, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

 

Photo by Mimi

Photo by Mimi

 

CASWELL MEMORIAL PARK, RIPON

Located near Ripon along the Stanislaus River, this park covers 258 acres and is home to many endangered species. Camp, hike, fish or take in the gorgeous forest of oak trees at this state park.

 


SAN LUIS RESERVOIR, GUSTINE

Take a trip out to Gustine, where you can take in one of California’s largest reservoirs alongside beautiful scenery. The state recreation area offers camping, parking, boating and picnicking opportunities, but fans of fishing will be especially pleased with the variety of species.

Photo by John Opilac

Photo by John Opilac


LOS GATOS CREEK TRAIL

Photo by Darrell

Photo by Darrell

Welcoming walkers, runners, cyclists, skaters, and even pups, this spot passes through San Jose and Los Gatos and is home to many gaggles of geese. A note for fitness buffs: equipment is planted at various points throughout the trail, so keep your eyes open!

 

Photo by Heidi

 

LONG RIDGE OPEN SPACE PRESERVE, NAPA

Choose one of 10 trails at this lush park outside of Cupertino and Saratoga, with a range of difficulty levels. Fans rave about the scenery, and love that it’s connected to other regional parks so you can easily extend your hike.

 


STANFORD DISH

Go for a run, walk or hike at this popular Palo Alto trail. Roundtrip, you’ll complete about 4 miles, taking in views of the Peninsula along the way. And you can’t miss the Dish – a radio telescope used by the University to communicate with spacecrafts.

Photo by Frederique

Photo by Frederique

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