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San Francisco Bay Area

Temperature, terrain and amenities make the Bay Area one of the world's top destinations for outdoor recreation.
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Overview:  You've been to Alcatraz and done the Golden Gate Bridge, so what's next? Well, if you're into outdoor recreation, you'll have the time... more »

Tips:  California's famous sunshine is your friend for about 15 minutes. After that you need sunscreen to block the sun's rays, especially at... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Weather

The Pacific Ocean moderates the temperatures near the shore, bringing cool, moist conditions year-round. The farther you get from the water, the more the weather returns to normal: hot in the summer, mild in spring and fall, and cold in the winter.

Northern California's Mediterranean climate gets moderate rainfall in the winter months (December... More

2. Terrain

Two parallel mountain ranges run north to south through the Bay Area -- The Coast Range on the west and the Diablo Range on the east. Flatlands ring the San Francisco Bay and the broad area between the ranges south of San Francisco forms Silicon Valley. The California Delta empties into the bay from the east.

The Coast Ranges have two distinct ... More

3. North Bay

Marin County is the most recreation-rich section of the Bay Area. Top destinations:

Marin Headlands: Rocky heights next to the ocean just west of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mount Tamalpais State Park: The highest peak in Marin County has some of most popular Bay Area trails, plus camping, lodging and other opportunities.

Point Reyes National ... More

4. South Bay

Big Basin Redwoods State Park: California's first state park, in the Santa Cruz Mountains west of San Jose, has some of the biggest trees on earth; the hiking and camping are unbeatable.

Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Birds galore dwell in the shallow waters, and thousands more pass through this major stop on the... More

5. East Bay

Mount Diablo State Park east of Walnut Creek attracts campers, hikers, bikers and nature watchers. Hiking or road-biking from sea level to the summit is a major goal for serious Bay Area outdoorspeople.

Mission Peak Regional Preserve: This peak on the eastern edge of Fremont offers a tough workout and wonderful sky-high views of the Bay Area... More