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8 Outdoor Hidden Gems of the Bay Area

Garden with cherry blossoms - outdoor with lake

The Gardens at Heather Farm - Ward Garden (Source)


Whether your kids are on Spring Break, summer break or have a day off, experience local outdoor treasures that the whole family will love! Hike, bike, walk or picnic in beautiful serene places you may not have known exist nearby. 

Practice the art of soft fascination to rejuvenate and restore your attention.

You can spend time relaxing in nature and also go on an adventure!  


Here are 8 family-friendly places you and your kids can easily explore on a day off. 


  1. Chabot Space Center (Oakland, CA) offers free telescope viewings every Friday and Saturday from 7:30-10:30 pm.  Spend time looking at stars, learn about the night sky, and ask any questions you may have with a professional astronomer.  View on map.

  2. Take a family hike or bike ride through majestic redwood trees on the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail (Half Moon Bay, CA).  Easy to moderate hikes the whole family will love including the dog! View on map

  3. Unplug, hike, and take a picnic with you at Little Yosemite (Sunol, CA) in the East Bay Hills.  There is no cell reception here so you will be able to relax and unwind.  View on map

  4. Pick your own organic seasonal berries at Three Nunns Farm (Brentwood, CA). No reservations are needed, but be sure to check their schedule as picking times will vary throughout the year. View on map

  5. Plan your trip and explore the beautiful grounds of Hidden Villa (Los Altos Hills, CA).  Hike one of the many scenic trails, have a picnic and visit the farm. Good for large groups as well! Reservations are encouraged. View on map

  6. Enjoy outdoor art, gardens, and nature year round at the Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA). This 175 acre property with hiking trails, gardens, and redwoods will inspire your imagination and reinvigorate your senses. View on map

  7. Check out The Gardens at Heather Farm (Walnut Creek, CA).  Explore 6.5 acres of gardens on this beautiful hillside property in Walnut Creek.  Free 7 days/week and includes a children’s garden, waterfall, and nature center.  A perfect spot for little ones to connect with the natural world. View on map

  8. Stop at Menlo Park (Menlo Park, CA) Wednesdays from 5-9 for outdoor dining and some of the region's best food trucks.  You can also bring your furry friends as it is pet friendly. View on map

Strawberry picking farm

Three Nunns farm, strawberry U-Pick (Source: Contra Costa News)


Let us know how your experience goes, and keep exploring!


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