All "Water" Stories in Northern CA

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    Battery Recharger

    So close, yet far enough to get swept up in iconic coastal scenery—that pretty much defines this classic hike in the Marin Headlands. Go on a winding 5-mile loop hike that brings together the best of the headlands. Starting from the main Rodeo Beach parking area, head east along…

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    Santa Maria Is Magical

    Ready to find a beach to call your own? Make a visit to Santa Maria Beach in Point Reyes. It’s often overlooked for nearby Limantour Beach. What makes Santa Maria so quiet and peaceful? The 3-mile bike (or hike) in!

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    Del Valle Daytrippin'

    Livermore is popular for its tasty wines, but it has another liquid asset for a triple-play summer day. Head to the East Bay’s Del Valle Regional Park for a reservoir-to-ridge hike, a scenic boat ride, and some beach time. From the boat launch area, start hiking on the East Shore…

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    Cheers to Chimney

    If you’re looking for all that Point Reyes has to offer in spring, Chimney Rock is the place to be. The 1.75-mile (round-trip) hike to Chimney may be short, but packs a visual punch, quadrupling the viewing thrills during spring and early summer. The cooler temperatures on the…

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    Nuclear Option

    A private stretch of the glorious Central Coast with poppy-studded hills and wild coastal bluffs is ours for the hiking, and you’ll never guess who the willing-to-share landlord is: none other than PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Point Buchon Trail makes a grand tour of…

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    Hike the Dunes to the Beach

    Bodega Head is popular for its impressive cliff-hugging hiking trails, but few people follow the path north to a less-trodden hiking trail winding along the bluff and down to spectacular South Salmon Creek Beach. To make this 4-mile (round-trip) journey from the Bodega Head…

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    From Peak to Beach

    Morning on the mountain, afternoon at the beach, and in between both: banner ocean views. It’s all within 3 miles’ reach on the Peninsula when you get an early start at Montara State Beach. From the parking lot, beeline for Montara Mountain’s north peak trailhead, which is across…

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    Going Big on the Coast

    What’s one of the best things to do on the California coast during winter months? Whale watching! Especially, migrating gray whales. And San Mateo County’s Año Nuevo State Park puts you in the perfect position to see them, via a 3-mile (round-trip) hike that includes a stretch of…

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    Whale, Hello There!

    Blissfully quiet on winter mornings, San Gregorio State Beach on the San Mateo Coast is ideal for spying gray whales.

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    Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered, and Bodega!

    Whale watching, hiking along bluffs, and a picnic overlooking the Pacific with the one(s) you love: no, it’s not a Cialis commercial—it’s a great way to spend the day in a gorgeous setting. The tiny outcropping of Bodega Head on the north coast is a scenic standout, thanks to its…

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    Sands of Time

    Those who want a fresh perspective and a quiet place to contemplate New Year’s goals should get an early start and head south of Half Moon Bay to San Gregorio State Beach. Blissfully quiet on early winter mornings, the wide beach has a large cave to explore and more than a mile…

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    From Redwoods to Sea Stacks

    In the heart of Anderson Valley, Hendy Woods State Park is rarely crowded, especially in winter, and has a star attraction: ancient redwoods. There’s an easy 2-mile (round-trip) hike among the redwoods via the Discovery and Upper Loop trails. Meander among 300-foot coastal…

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    The Ghost & the Fairy

    It’s hard to resist paddling the tranquil waters of Golden Gate Park’s Stow Lake … home to ducks, geese, gulls, turtles, tourists, and—according to legend—a ghost! Urban myth or not, the story is a bit of a sad one. During the 1800s a woman sat down at a bench along the lake, and…

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    BonAnza!

    With an ever-changing shoreline, Lake Anza in the Berkeley Hills can make you feel like you’re hiking around a lake in the Sierra: narrow paths, giant boulders, and dense forest. Quaint and quieter in the shoulder season, the Lake Anza Trail offers hikers a short loop (0.7 mile…

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    Clearly a Winner!

    Okay, let’s get something clear … like, crystal clear: The best way to see Lake Tahoe’s beautiful translucent waters is on a crystal-clear kayak! And by that we mean Wild Society’s Crystal Kayaks. Founded by Tahoe native and adventurous entrepreneur Kaylee Howell, Wild Society…

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    Reach the Pinnacle

    The thing about hidden beaches is you’ve usually got to do a little legwork to find them! In this case, the legwork is a lovely 0.5-mile hike to a gorgeous beach on Bodega Bay. The Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trail is found in the quiet Bodega Harbour golf course community…

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    Her Name is Del Rio

    Beaches along Sonoma County’s Russian River come in all varieties: From boisterous with boomboxes to mellow with kayakers quietly floating by. This new spot east of Healdsburg is definitely the latter. Del Rio Woods has new beach access to the Russian River, a wholly welcome…

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    Pools of Gold

    Montaña de Oro: The name means mountain of gold, but the real treasures here lie underwater. Luckily you don’t have to venture into the ocean to see all the cool creatures. Plenty of them are hanging out in readily accessible tide pools. Start your visit at the Spooner Ranch…

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    More Cowell-bell!

    If you didn’t know it was there, you might just drive right on by it. But for those who make the 0.5-mile walk (or bike ride) to the wooden stairway leading to Cowell Ranch State Beach, the reward is sinking your toes into one of the best beaches in Northern California—with…

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    Wild for Wildcat

    There’s a good reason why getting a reservation at Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes is so tough: With seven sites strewn along a coastal bluff adjacent to Wildcat Beach, it’s one of Northern California’s premier camping destinations. And the journey to reach it is as sweet as the…

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