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Nothing better than Northern California in the Spring
May 4, 2006“Bay Area local and Yosemite Nut.”
based on 6 votes
In the springtime, the Bay Area and beyond fill with wildflowers, green hills, and waterfalls. While spring can bring some rain showers, it also brings the clearest blue skies, the least amount of fog, and the most verdant vistas of the year. Here are some wonderful things to do during our lovliest season.
Point Reyes is always a wonderful place to visit, but in the spring it comes alive with wildflowers. Try a picnic lunch at Chimney Rock, where along with the wildflowers you can see sweeping views of the ocean as well as the occasional migrating whale. Then head to the park headquarters and take a hike along the trail of the epicenter of the 1906 Earthquake.
Yosemite National Park is a year-round wonder. However, as the snow of the High Sierras begins to melt, the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley come alive. In addition to the major waterfalls of Upper & Lower Yosemite, Bridal Veil, Vernal and Nevada Falls, seasonal waterfalls begin to flow along the sheer 4000 ft. granite cliffs of the valley
3. Hite Cove
Along the way to Yosemite on Highwy 140, just before the town of El Portal, you will find the trailhead to Hite Cove, a modeate hike which leads to a wonderland of wildflowers in the spring. In addition, you may notice the blossoming Redbud trees along the roadside as you travel along 140.
Mt. Diablo is the tallest mountain in the Bay Area, and on a clear spring day boasts a 360 degree view that can reach from the offshore Farrallon Islands to the Sierras. There are numerous hiking trails, including the Mitchell Canyon Trail, which is verdant in the spring. There is a road that can take you to the summit, but for the more adventurous, there are trails to the top as well. Choose a clear day after a spring shower for your best vantage point.
The views from the Golden Gate Bridge are at their best in the spring after a shower has cleared away the fog. Most of the postcard views of SF are taken in the winter and spring months! Now is the perfect time to walk across the bridge, or better yet, rent a bike at Fishermans' Wharf and pedal your way across the bridge to Sausalito, then hop on a ferry back to the Wharf. Companies such as Blazing Saddles will supply you with maps and information for your journey.
Spring means baseball, and there's no finer stadium in the country than AT&T Park (formerly known as SBC Park, formerly known as Pac Bell Park.) Even non-baseball fans can enjoy this park, which even includes a wonderful playground for the kiddies. Be sure to get there early to walk around this very scenic ballpark, and to check out some of the best food in any ballpark in the country. For cheap seats with an outstanding view, try the View Reserved section behind home plate.
Since winter and spring can bring some rainy weather from time to time, a wonderful indoor activity that will still introduce you to the wonders of California is the Oakalnd Museum of California. In it you will be able to "walk across" California and learn of its unique ecosystems, or "walk through" its history, from the time before its European discovery, to the Gold Rush days, all the way to Mickey Mouse and the dot com boom! You will be able to see some of the great art by California artists, and by those who first visited California and shared their impressions with the world. The Museum can be easily accessed from SF by BART; take the Fremont or Pleasanton lines and exit at the Lake Merrit station. The Museum also has an excellent restaurant and outdoor courtyard (in case the sun comes out.)