San Francisco: out-of-town excursions
Muir Woods National Monument
Just 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the forest offers a refreshing break from the city. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the park a national monument in 1908. Try to spot foxes, squirrels, bats and other creatures (the black-tailed deer if you’re lucky) as you take a walk, or catch a glimpse of a few of the remaining steelhead trout and Coho salmon at Redwood Creek. Visitor Center opens from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the summer, while the park opens from 8:00 a.m. To 8:00 p.m. Free for children aged 15 and under, and $5 for ages 16 and over.
Address: 1 Muir Woods Trail
Tel.: 415 388 2595
Rose Garden and Farmers’ Markets at Berkeley
Across the San Francisco Bay is a college town that houses the first University of California school. In addition to bars and restaurants surrounding the campus, floral fans will enjoy the Municipal Rose Garden at Euclid Avenue, which contains more than 3,000 rose bushes and 250 kinds of roses. A picnic area and hiking trails are in the vicinity. Farmers’ markets run by the Ecology Center are held every Tuesday and Thursday at M. L. King, Jr. Way and Saturdays at Rose Street. Open Tuesday 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Thursdays 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. To 3:00 p.m.
Tel.: 510 981 5150 (rose garden); 510 548 3333 (farmers’ markets)
Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe
The weather may be getting warmer, but ski season’s not over just yet. Squaw Valley, the second-largest ski venue in Lake Tahoe and the site of the 1960 Olympics, will be open for skiing Fridays to Sundays until May 30. Ski and ride until 2:00 p.m. on those days, or opt for more summery activities. The high camp pool, hot tub and Umbrella Bar will be open until 4:00 p.m. An all-day lift ticket costs $59 for adults, $39 for youths aged 12 to 18, $12 for children under 12, and $39 for senior citizens aged 65 to 75.
Address: 1960 Squaw Valley Road
Tel.: 800 403 0206
Yosemite National Park
Breathe in fresh air and enjoy the scenic nature at this renowned wilderness park. Famous for its waterfalls, Yosemite also houses various wildflowers, meadows, sequoias and valleys. The park is open 24 hours, but the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station is only open during the day. Check weather and road conditions before your escapade.
Address: 9039 Village Drive
Tel.: 209 372 0200