Planning a 'stay-cation'? Here are a few ideas of places you can visit - many of them free! - within a short drive of the Foster City/San Mateo area. For more detailed information on each attraction, click on the links provided.
This offers 14,000 square feet of walls reaching 35 feet in height as well as 3,500 square feet of bouldering caves, walls and arêtes. In addition, there is a basic gym with an extensive array of fitness equipment including weights and machines. All participants under the age of 18 must have a Planet Granite waiver signed by their parent. Fees range from $12-$19.
100 El Camino Real, Belmont / 650-591-3030 / www.planetgranite.com.
Ano Nuevo State Reserve
Guided walks begin at 9 a.m. and continue through mid-afternoon. The reserve is one of only three mainland-breeding sites in the world for the Northern Elephant Seal. Adult male elephant seals are at the reserve to molt during July and August. Visitors may tour certain areas of the reserve by obtaining a visitor's permit at the Visitor Center and see the seals from the Seal Viewing Area. $10 parking; $7 per person for guided walks.
State Highway 1, 22 miles north of Santa Cruz, in San Mateo County.
Reservation line: 1-800-444-4445, General information line: 650-879-0227 or 650-879-2025 / www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523.
Bay Area Ridge Trail
The Bay Area Ridge Trail, when completed, will be a 400-mile regional trail system that will form a loop around the entire San Francisco Bay region, linking 75 public parks and open spaces to thousands of people and hundreds of communities.
Guided tours of the Fifield/Cahill Ridge Trail are on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This is a chance for small groups of hikers, bicyclists or equestrians to trek through the pristine 23,000-acre Crystal Springs Watershed.
Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. An interactive place where children and adults can make a stuffed animal. Choose a bear, elephant, dog or rabbit pattern; stuff the chosen animal; dress it; and create a birth certificate. Free admission; $10-$25 per animal; clothing and accessories extra.
Located in the Hillsdale Shopping Center, San Mateo / 650-577-8713 / www.buildabear.com.
Djerassi Resident Artists Program
The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, founded in 1979, was designed to allow artists time to work and create in a 580-acre, wooded setting and structure that frees them from routine cares and responsibilities. A Director's Tour and Two-Mile Tour are available with a reservation. Forty sculptures that have been created on site punctuate the woods and meadows in ways both surprising and instructive. Most of the sculptures were made by artists-in-residence during their month-long stay at the Program ranch. There is a charge for the tours.
Ranch Front Gate, 2325 Bear Gulch Road, Woodside / 650-747-1250 / www.djerassi.org/sculpture/tourinfo.html.
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park was established in 1892 and remains a choice cemetery for some of the most prominent and powerful families in San Francisco and California. Beautiful monuments to memorialize the achievements of these men and women were built by the leading architects, sculptors and artists of the early 20th century. The Heritage Foundation provides educational programs to students, conservation and preservation professionals, and communities throughout Northern California.
Located at 1370 El Camino Real, Colma. For information on free walks, tours and talks, call 650-755-0580 or visit www.cypresslawnheritagefoundation.com.
Fifty-Plus Adventure Walks and Runs
The walks and runs are three-mile round-trips, lasting about one hour on the trail. All levels of ability are welcome. The walks are brisk, however, and may include some uphill terrain. Free unless otherwise noted.
650-323-6160 / www.50plus.org.
- Menlo Park Walk, fourth Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Meet at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 930 Santa Cruz Ave. 650-493-1621 or 650-329-6628.
- Moss Beach/Half Moon Bay Walk, first Saturday, 9 a.m. Meet at the Pillar Point Harbormaster Building, Princeton By the Sea. 650-563-7121.
- Peninsula Hike, Thursday, 7 a.m. Locations vary. 650-856-6658 or 650-328-1180.
- Bay City News Service
Check back with Patch later in the week for more "stay-cation" ideas!
Have you ever gone on any of these excursions? If so, what did you think? Also, can you think of a good one we missed? Tell us in the comments below!