A favorite of many hikers is the 11-mile round-trip Skyline-to-the-Sea hike from Waddell Beach to Berry Creek Falls in Santa Cruz County’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We concur, but add this: Try biking it. This easy ride on mostly wide terrain begins at the Skyline to the Sea trailhead at Waddell Beach, on Highway 1. From there it’s four miles of redwood-shaded fire road and a few bridges over the calm waters of Waddell Creek. Park and lock your bike at the rack marking the trail’s final mile, and hike the rest of the way to Berry Creek Falls. Bonus: Continue the hike another mile up from Berry Creek Falls and you’ll get to Silver Falls, a quiet place to stop and savor the solitude.
Drive about 30 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1, past Año Nuevo State Reserve. Drive south about three more miles and look for the Big Basin Redwoods/Rancho del Oso Sign. Park on the west side of Highway 1. For more information click here.
TIP: Chill at Duarte’s (that’s DEW-arts) tavern in Pescadero; after more than 100 years the hospitality is still generous, prices are good, and the home-style cooking includes fresh halibut and mashed potatoes. Their pies are legendary and the original bar (since 1894) is cool too.
Duarte’s Tavern, 202 Stage Rd., Pescadero; 650-879-0464.