I was travelling on work and had few free weekends to explore San Francisco and rest of California. San Francisco is a huge city with a tons of popular tourist places and restaurants. I’ll talk about them in another post but read the list below to know my favourite non-touristy things to do in and around San Francisco.
1. Biking along the Foster City – San Mateo bay trail
Excercise is definitely not my cup of tea but what better way to burn all those calories from the last night’s cheesecake than biking along the scenic bay trail? The bay waters and blue skies coupled with a view of flights landing at SFO make for some great morning scenes. It’s also a good place for some bird spotting. The landscapes and the skyline of SF city are totally worth the calories!
2. Day hiking at Yosemite
I heard so many wonderful things about the Yosemite National Park that I had to visit the Park inspite of the limited time I had in California. There is nothing like the drive to Yosemite along the Sierra Forests: huge trees, fall colors and streams creating vivid landscapes. But I think the day treks (at least the lower Vernal falls trek) and Yosemite falls are slightly over rated. What I love the most about Yosemite is the night sky: the stars and the most perfect panoramic milky way band I ever saw (and also maybe the picture perfect frames the wooden bridges created).
The Yosemite valley with the giant sequoia trees is the visual image of every walking in the woods poem: canopy of trees blocking the sunlight, dried leaves along the road creating striking color contrasts, a peaceful calm and almost eerie at night.
3. 17 mile drive
Picture golf courses, parks and seaside villas and mansions with amazing views of the ocean (just like the view in the picture below) . That is 17 mile drive! It’s hard not to say that the best Californian beaches are along the 17 mile drive near Monterey. Only few other beaches along US-1 highway can compete with the 17 mile drive. Actually 17 mile drive beaches win! Take your cars or ride your bikes but I’m sure it’s fun either way. It also seemed to be the place for surfing and spotting whales and seals. If I were looking for a retirement house, I think it would be here.
4. Twin Peaks
From twin peaks you get a panoramic view of the SF city and you can also get a view of the Golden Gate bridge and Bay bridge. Isn’t it beautiful to watch the whole city lit up at night? Twin peaks is supposedly the windiest place in San Francisco and you can experience that the moment you step out of your temperature controlled car. My jacket proved almost useless and I had to run back into the car in hardly five minutes. Apparently, according to my friends, the day hike to twin peaks is great too.
5. Orange orchards in San Hose
I was put up with a friend in San Hose and there were these Orange orchards right next to her apartments. I always thought fruit orchards make for great pictures and reading places. And what’s not to like about orange orchards? They are so colorful – the oranges, greens and browns! It’s always a lovely feeling to experience the little things in nature. So if you happen to be around San Hose, do watch out for those.