I have been living in San Francisco Bay Area for a while and it has taken some for me to explore the region outside of well-known tourist locations. Here is a list of places I go to for finding solitude, tranquility and recharging my batteries.
Alviso is a marshland overlooking the bay. It has iconic yellow gateways and vast stretches of flat land merging into the horizon.
2. Portola Valley
A beautiful lush-green valley with easy hikes. A favorite place for horse-riders. There is also a biker-friendly cafe – Alice’s.
3. Foster City
Houses and parks here are built-on snake-like canals in a Venetian style.
4. Los Altos
A cute Christmassy downtown nestled in the woods. Has smaller, but high-end stores. My favorite are the Japanese bakery and the Farmers market.
5. Alameda Breweries
This region has an array of wineries, distilleries and breweries built facing the Bay adjacent to San Francisco so you can view the city’s skyline. But unlike the city, the establishments here are quieter, low-key and out of the way. My favorites are those built on former military establishments like Hangar Vodka. They keep the air-force theme.
6. Stanford Dish Trail
The trail going to the satellite-dish at Stanford gives beautiful vantage-points where I saw gentle rolling meadows glittering in shadows of moving clouds above.
7. Redwood City Downtown
The San Mateo Museum is an amazing repertiore of the history of the region. And in its courtyard, there are several umbrella-shaded stands where artists and writers gather, trying to draw inspiration from the city. There is good bubble tea and juice stand for hot summers nearby.
8. Muir Beach, Sausalito
Muir Beach, Sausalito is on the other side of Downtown, up San Francisco but west of the mountains. The close proximity of the beach and the mountain trails (which give a vantage point – and from here I have taken this photo) give it a unique vibe, not to mention a mini Cinque-Terre style houses nestled along the slope.
9. Stanford Campus
Stanford Campus in Palo Alto has numerous seating benches, and outsiders are allowed. I have spent a lot of tranquil moments walking around the Spanish Colonial buildings with golden stones, beautiful gardens and bike trails and discovered a lot of quirky gardens and art installations in the campus.
10. Sutro Baths
Sutro Baths contains the ruins of a bath-house overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the North-West corner of San Francisco. I found it less known than other points in the city and the ruins give an amazing atmosphere similar to ancient Roman Ruins found in European cities. There is a bridge-like structure between two points which is a thrill to walk from end-to-end.
Have you been to any of these places? Are there any other tranquil places in the SF Bay that you recommend?
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