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I liked the show on Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is a great little
place that was not mentioned in the show (probably because it's not
a city park) was Spring Lake Regional Park. Spring Lake is a beautiful
75-acre recreational lake. It has good fishing, including planted
and boat rentals are available. The park has campgrounds with showers
the hills above the lakeside. A large nearby swim lagoon surrounded by
sandy beaches provides warm, safe swimming for all ages. There are
picnic areas in the hills and around the lake. Next to it are Howarth
(which was covered in the Backroads show) and the huge 5000-acre
of Annadel State Park. Spring Lake and Annadel might be good subjects
another show. See:
Q: Want to go hiking in a kinda woodsy area, but not have to travel to far to get there. I'm in San Jose.
A: You are really lucky. San Jose is surrounded by great hiking areas. Many people don't realize that, and maybe that's a good thing. Most of these areas are not very crowded. Here is just a sample:
Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a fantastic open space
huge! In the spring, its hills are covered with lush green grass and
wildflowers. It has more miles of trails than you are likely to be able
to take in a day. The shadiest is the New Almaden Trail, which runs for
miles along the foothills through shady forests. The Randol Trail and
Guadalupe Mines Trail are other good choices. For a real challenge,
the Hacienda Trail (also known as the "cardiac hill trail") from the
Lane Entrance. See:
Santa Teresa County Park also has some shady areas on its east
It's easy to get to from several points, including the backside in the
Almaden Valley. The Laurel Canyon Nature Trail runs from the park
near the golf course and enters a shady canyon with a seasonal
at its end. The Ohlone Trail runs along the hillside, with views of the
golf course and its lakes below. The Stile Ranch Trail is a spectacular
trail, especially in the spring, when it's surrounded by a riot of
The park also has some surprises, like an ancient spring (Santa Teresa
Springs) that runs year-round, a lush rest area where moss grows on
(Laurel Springs), a vine-covered hillside fed by a hidden spring (on
Hidden Springs Trail), and a spectacular hidden waterfall that can only
be seen in really wet weather. See:
Lexington County Park/St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve and The Kennedy Trail in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve near Los Gatos have some challenging trails through steep, shady canyons. Other nice places are Sanborn County Park in Saratoga, Stevens Creek County Park and Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino, Uvas Canyon County Park near Morgan Hill, Mount Madonna County Park near Gilroy, Alum Rock Park in East San Jose, and Joseph D. Grant County Park east of San Jose. Uvas County Park is one of the best places in the South Bay for viewing waterfalls in the winter. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, there's lots of places, especially Big Basin State Park, Henry Cowell State Park, Castle Rock State Park, Portola State Park, Butano State Park, Wilder Ranch State Park, Pescadero Creek County Park, San Mateo County Memorial Park, Sam McDonald County Park, Wunderlich County Park, and Huddart County Park.
See my hiking pages:
Bay Area Backroads has done some good stories on the outdoors
in the Bay Area:
Some good books to get or check out at the library are:
Q: I have a friend in Lodi who rescued a great horned owl some time ago. He was injured somehow. I am in search of a reputable facility which would take this injured bird and allow him to live out his life.
A: First, I would suggest contacting the Micke Grove Zoo in
There's also the San Joaquin Audubon Society:
The Central Valley Bird Club:
In Walnut Creek, there's the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, which is
rehabilitation center. See: http://www.wildlife-museum.org/
The California Raptor Center at UC Davis:
There's also the Sacramento Zoo:
In Hayward, there's the Sulphur Creek Nature Center:
Q: My bride to be has a vision of our being married on a beach at sunset. We are in Contra Costa County. I have no idea if this is possible. Can anyone recommend a site or two it would be greatly appreciated, as I would love to make this happen for her?
A: There are lots of beaches along the coast. The problem is
It tends to be unpredictably wet, windy, and foggy, even in the summer.
That makes planning ahead for a wedding tricky. Somewhere around Santa
Cruz, like New Brighton State Beach might be your best bet, unless you
want to travel to Southern California. In that case, the Santa Barbara
beaches would be a great choice.
The weather is warmer and more predictable along a bay, like
Bay, San Pablo Bay, or Tomales Bay. Finding a nice beach, though, can
tricky. If you want a sunset view, you need a beach on the East side of
the Bay. On SF Bay, there are small beaches along the San Leandro
shore. See this:
There are also several lakes in your area. Try Lafayette
Backroads did a story on it recently.
If this rain keeps up, Anderson Dam in Morgan Hill should
When it does, it creates what is probably the most spectacular
in the Bay Area. Because of the rocky spillway on Anderson Dam, it
like a natural waterfall, like one you'd see in Yosemite. It's so big,
you can see it from Cochrane Road and Hwy 101 in Morgan Hill. It's a
event when it spills. They often cover it on the local TV news. There's
a picture of it at the bottom of this page:
Uvas Canyon County Park near Morgan Hill and Gilroy also has a
of lovely waterfalls. There's a picture of one at the bottom of this
Q: I'm looking for interesting stuff of any type to do in or around San Jose. A hike or nature stuff is OK as long as I don't have to walk too far or go up and down hills. Any suggestions are welcome - interesting museums, novel place to eat, something neat to see.
A: Click on "Search Past Stories" then enter "San Jose." You'll get a lot of stories and ideas. Also, look down at the old notes in the Message Board. You may find some ideas there. Off the top of my head, here are some South Bay ideas in no particular order:
Museums and gardens:
Easy hiking/biking trails:
One of the most unusual places to go to in San Jose is Alviso
laugh). Alviso is a sometimes neglected and forgotten corner of the
but it's quite unique. It's San Jose's only port on San Francisco Bay.
It has a long and colorful history, with many interesting historical
It's a quiet old community that is in sharp contrast to hectic Silicon
Valley. There are miles of very flat trails out there where you can get
close to nature and get away from the crowds. There are also some good
restaurants in Alviso. Personally, I like Vahl's, which is a very
homey place, run by Mrs. Vahl, who is in her 90's. See:
That's just a sample. If you have kids, there's even more. If you want to go beyond the South Bay, there's a lot more.
For more ideas and information, see:
Q: I remember hearing something about there being a daffodil hill. Does anyone know where it is???
A: There's a Daffodil Hill in the Gold Country:
Here are more links:
"Daffodil Valley" in Livermore:
On Saturday, I went to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark, near the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza. I walked up the hill above the visitors center and was pleasantly surprised to find that the west-facing slopes of the hill were covered with blazing orange poppies. The view from the top of the hill was also fantastic, with the Diablo Range covered in green grass and the salt ponds full of water. On the south end of the hill along the Tidelands Trail, the slopes were covered in bright yellow flowers. I'm not sure what kind they were, but they were about 3/4" in diameter on long slender stalks and arose from a base of 3-leaf clovers.
On Sunday, I walked though Almaden Quicksilver County Park in San Jose. The hills along the Senador Mine Trail were sprinkled with poppies, which added a bright accent to the lush green grass. Here and there were stands of yellow wild mustard. With the weather warming up and no rain in sight, I fear this scene my be all-too brief, as the hills start to turn brown again.
Anyone else have wildflower sightings to report?
Q: We heard about some covered bridges near Newark. We are interested in seeing any covered bridges in California. Where are they?
A: I got this note sent to me:
"Knights Ferry, CA has the longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi. It is approx 330 feet over the Stanislaus River. Knights Ferry is close to Modesto - Oakdale, California. It is also a great area for hiking."
There are no covered bridges in Newark that I know of.
is a famous one in the town of Felton in the Santa Cruz Mountains, next
to Henry Cowell State Park and Roaring Camp. It's near the intersection
of Hwy 9 and Graham Hill Road. Look here:
There are also probably some in the Motherlode. I'm sure our Valley and Gold Country friends can point out some.
More links on covered bridges California:
Q: I heard that there is a ghost town near Newark that will be closing down. Any info?
A: You are thinking of Drawbridge. See the Backroads story on
You can see it up close on guided tours conducted by the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Visitors Center in Newark. This is the only legal way to see the ghost town close up. For information on tours, contact the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark at (510) 792-0222.
You can see it from a distance from the trails in Alviso. I
pictures of it on my Bay Trail page on Alviso's Mallard Slough Trail:
For more closeup pictures and stories of the town's history,
Q: Need info on Henry Coe Park. I heard it has excellent mountain bike trails. How about camping? dogs allowed?
Q: I am trying to locate the area/town where there are miles of poppy fields which you can walk about. I believe it is in Southern Ca area, perhaps in a place called Antelope.
A: You're thinking of the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster. Here are some links to everything you would want to know about the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster:
Q: We need some advice on where to have a family reunion.
A: Here are some ideas:
Catering and planning:
Q: I want to go biking on some dirt trails and would like some suggestions on places in the Bay Area. Distance isn't really an issue.
A: I have hiking trails listed here, many of which are also
mountain biking (please excuse the complaints about mountain bikers
I'm wearing my hiker's hat):
Wearing my biker's hat, here are biking trails, mostly flat,
There are mountain biking links on the links page (I haven't
the links in a while, so I don't know if they have gone stale):
If you really like flat trails, check out the Bay Trail pages:
Q: How's the Winchester Mystery House? Is it scary?
A: Whether you will like the Winchester Mystery House or not
a lot on your expectations. If you're expecting a fun-house amusement,
like Disney's Haunted Mansion, you will be disappointed. The
seems to emphasize the ghoulish and macabre, but seeing the house is
a very different experience. What I found was that it was a fantastic
of Victorian art, decoration, and architecture. It has some beautiful
intricate wooden trim, and elegant antique furniture. The odd stairways
and dead end halls seemed more like the work of a really bad architect
(Sarah Winchester) than anything spooky, though the guides tried to
them sound eerie. However, I wouldn't want to go there at night. The
is reportedly actually haunted. See these links:
Anyway, if you think of the house as a really neat historical
you'll enjoy it for what it is. The gardens are also beautiful.
Q: Every Easter there is a sunrise service held at a Bay Area location on a hill with a large cross. I'm looking for the location and directions.
A: Are you thinking of Mt. Davidson in San Francisco? See:
Here are some pictures:
The cross on the mountain has been the subject of numerous
and a ballot proposition. It is technically now owned by an Armenian
If you live in the South Bay, you don't have to travel far to
beautiful display of poppies. Poppies and other wildflowers are
along the Stile Ranch Trail at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose.
are some pictures of the trail:
Q: Any ideas of places or names of companies that rent kayaks on the Peninsula (Redwood City?). We are in Palo Alto and looking for a water-related group fun event nearby.
A: How about Mountain View? Shoreline Lake rents kayaks,
paddleboats. It's great for kids, since Shoreline is a small, safe,
lake that doesn't get too rough. The morning breezes are gentle.
the stiffer afternoon breezes make it a great place for windsurfers.
park also has an indoor/outdoor cafe, lawn areas for picnicking, paved
trails for bike-riding and strolling, nature trails, kite-flying areas,
and hills for climbing. See:
Palo Alto's Baylands Nature Preserve and Byxbee Park are
Coyote Point is another popular place for more advanced
Here is a list of kayak outfitters:
If you're adventurous, you can take a nighttime kayak trip in
like Doug did:
If you don't mind travelling a little, a great place to go
(and swimming, clamming, fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding,
is Tomales Bay:
Q: My husband & I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary, our schedules are hectic and I was wondering a good place outside S.F. to go for 2 days, like a romantic B&B, someplace with history (we like old stuff) & woodsy!!
A: How about Point Reyes/Tomales Bay? Inverness is a lovely
Tomales Bay with several B&B's. Check out last Saturday's Backroads
Mendocino, Bodega Bay, Carmel, Big Sur, and the Santa Cruz Mountains are also good places. Search the Backroads' past stories.
Q: Anyone remember the name of the photographer/ or name of the book that dealt with the Crystal Springs reservoir? Think it was on a past Bay Area Backroads.
A: Rob Buelteman. See:
Q: Bay Area Backroads paid a visit to a restaurant that had a stream flowing right through the middle of it. I believe that it was on Highway 19, but am not certain. If you recall the name and location, please let me know.
A: The Brookdale Lodge on Hwy 9. See:
Q: There are supposed to be some Indian petroglyphs somewhere around the San Francisco area. Can you help?
A: This was a tough one, but I finally found these links:
Q: I would like to take the backroads (highways okay, but no freeways) from Sunnyvale/San Jose into Napa. Is that possible?
A: It's possible, but it depends on why you want to take the backroads: to avoid freeway traffic but still get there in a short amount of time or to take the slow, scenic route where time is no object. I'll tackle the latter and suggest a scenic route. I know the Peninsula better than the East Bay, so I'll plot a very scenic, but slow, route along the west side of the Bay. It includes my secret scenic shortcut through San Francisco:
Take Hwy 9 through Los Gatos, Saratoga, and climb up into the
To return, take Hwy 29 south, cross the Carquinez Bridge, get off on San Pablo Avenue. Follow San Pablo to Appian Way. Follow Appian Way south. Turn left on San Pablo Dam Road. This passes San Pablo Reservoir and becomes Camino Pablo, then Moraga Way. Turn right on Canyon Road, then left on Pinehurst Road (this looks like a narrow, winding road on the map), then left on Redwood Road, which leads past Upper San Leandro Reservoir into Hayward. Take 238 to Hwy 84. Take Hwy 84 across the Dumbarton Bridge back to Silicon Valley. (This route is from the map. I haven't taken it, except for small pieces of it.)
Q: I am interested in visiting the Carizzo Plains and was wondering if anyone can give some first hand information.
A: Did you see the Backroads story on it:
Q: I'm looking for a banana farm or plantation that was featured on an old show somewhere on the central coast.
A: I don't remember that show, but when I've driven down the coast on Hwy 101 from Carpinteria to Ventura, I've seen banana farms along the coast there.
Q: Wondering if there are local spots exceptionally suited for "Van Camping." Fremonts Peak, is it one? Others?
A: Look here for some ideas:
If you want to stay close to the Bay Area, the Santa Clara County Parks that have campgrounds (Uvas Canyon, Coyote Lake, Mount Madonna, would be good. So would Olema Ranch and Saratoga Springs, which are private. Any of the state beaches around Santa Cruz that have camping, such as New Brighton, would be good. Big Sur is the best place to camp, but you have to reserve way in advance. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, there's Big Basin, Henry Cowell, Portola, Butano, and Memorial Park. There are also KOA campgrounds in Watsonville, Petaluma, and south of Gilroy.
Q: We are trying to find a nice place to picnic with our 2 boys (age 6 & 4) and take along the family dog. No city parks...too many other dogs and kids. Any ideas?
A: Are you near the South Bay? Try Santa Teresa County Park in
They allow dogs (on leash) and have picnic areas. See:
Sanborn County Park near Saratoga is another good place:
Check the Santa Clara County Parks page for more parks: http://www.parkhere.org/
Check this link for more dog parks:
Q: I have heard that Albany Hill (in Albany) is the top of a volcano nearby that blew off. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, where could I find more information?
A; Look here:
A: My sister and brother in law are coming into town and I would like to show them around Santa Cruz/Capitola area. Are there any boat rides or sailing trips available in that area? Any other fun ideas (besides simply sitting on the beach)?
A: Here are some links:
Bay Area Backroads episodes (Search for "Santa Cruz" in Past
Q: Does anyone know where I can go camping ON the beach legally?
A: Here's one place I know of:
At MacKerricher State Park, you can camp close to the beach,
on it. See:
At Carpinteria State Beach in Southern California, you can
camp in a
paved paved at the edge of the beach. See:
At Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura, you can park your RV alog
that borders the beach. See:
Q: My girlfriend and I just bought road bikes and are trying to find good rides with low automobile traffic and beautiful scenery. Willing to drive 1-2 hours from San Ramon.
A: If you like easy, flat trails, try the Bay Trail:
You can travel for miles along the Bayshore on dedicated
The trail segment from Hayward to San Leandro is really nice and runs
along the Bay. See:
For a long and scenic ride, take the Alameda Creek Trail (see
If you want to try inland trails, try the Iron Horse Regional
the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail, the Contra Costa Canal Regional
the Delta De Anza Regional Trail, or the Marsh Creek Trail. There are
of trails in the East Bay Regional Parks District. See:
Here are some more bicycling links:
Q: I am new to this area and was wondering if anyone could help me out by telling me if there are any web sites that have info on mountain biking in the south bay. I really just would like to know where the trails are, how hard/easy they are, stuff like that. I would preferably like to know about places in the south bay, near San Jose, but am also interested about other areas as well.
A: Look here:
Q: Anyone know of a monastary in Big Sur which is open to visitors staying over night?
A: Tassajara Hot Springs:
I went out to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark today. I asked the ranger about the tours to the ghost town of Drawbridge, north of Alviso. She said that they stopped giving the tours because of safety concerns. In order to see the town, visitors had to walk along the railroad tracks. They had to post a lookout to warn of approaching trains. Then, everybody had to jump off the railroad tracks before the trains came. With the increase in commuter train traffic along this route, it became too unsafe to continue the tours. You can see stories and pictures of Drawbridge and see the tops of the buildings from trails around Alviso. See the notes on "Ghost Town" down below for links and further info.
Here is the official notice from the FWS:
Q: Please give me info on the Town of Sonoma's celebration.
Q: What is there to do in San Fran? I am interested in the arts or gardens... something that may not consist of walking or hiking. Maybe ocean Scenery...Interactive Museums. Looking for fun kid-like stuff
A: Go to Yerba Buena Gardens downtown. In one place you have gardens and fountains, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Zeum, and the new Sony Metreon, which has movies and video games.
Other places to check out:
Search the past stories of Bay Area Backroads for more info.
Q: Does anyone know of any good architectural tours of downtown (+ surroundings) tours of San Francisco?
A: Never been on one, but check these sites out (this is a
Q: I remember seeing a report a while back that you can ride a day on the train and go sightseeing somewhere in Northern California.
A: There are probably several, but the Skunk Train in Fort
to mind. See:
Q: Does anyone have any updated information regarding this lovely estate in Woodside?
A: Here's their Website:
Q: I'm trying to plan a backpacking trip for my boyfriend and I to take next June. I'd appreciate any recommendations on trails around Big Sur or north of S.F. I'm looking for a trail that will take about a week or so. I'm currently considering the Lost Coast trail, but I'd like some other options as well.
A: Here are some hiking ideas close to the Bay Area:
If you look at a map of the Peninsula (http://www.openspace.org/maps.html), you can see a string of parks and open space preserves that are adjacent to each other. You can go from one to the other along the Santa Cruz Mountains. Several of these have camping. For instance, you can go from Sanborn-Skyline County Park in Saratoga, which has camping, to Castle Rock State Park (trail camp), to Saratoga Gap OSP, to Long Ridge OSP, to Portola State Park (camping), to Pescadero Creek County Park. From there, you can go either to Big Basin State Park, which has lots of camping and miles of trails all the way to the sea, or north to Memorial Park (camping) and Sam McDonald County Park (trail hut). From Long Ridge, you can go to Skyline Ridge, Russian Ridge, Los Trancos, Coal Creek, and Monte Bello, which has the only trail camp in the Open Space District. There are lots of other parks and preserves farther north for hiking, but not camping. There are more camping areas closer to the coast, like at Butano State Park.
The Bay Area Ridge Trail runs along the crest of the mountains. Look here to read about 2 people who hiked its entire 400-mile route: http://www.ridgetrail.org/hike/index.htm
Another idea is Point Reyes National Seashore. It has several
camps and 140 miles of trails. See:
Here's some info on the Big Sur area
Here's some info on the North Coast:
Here is a good site for hiking info:
In particular, here is their page on the Ventana Wilderness:
Bay Area hiking:
Q: Thinking of hang gliding on my 27th birthday in September. Never done it before, don't know which company to sign up with. Need advice.
A Take a look at these links. They may be helpful:
The best thing is to contact one of these local clubs
mentioned in the
links above and talk to some of the hang gliders.
Subject: Off-Highwy Vehicles and Camping on the Beach, posted by Ronald Horii on August 28, 2000
People have asked about places to take off-highway vehicles and camp on the beach. At Oceano Dunes SVRA, 3 miles south of Pismo Beach, you can do both. It is the only California state park which allows driving a vehicle on the beach. 4WD's are recommended. You can camp anywhere along 3 1/2 miles of beach. See: http://www.ReserveAmerica.com/usa/ca/ocea/ http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/oceano/ Here is a map: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/oceano/maps/map.htm
Q: We are getting married next year and are desperately trying to find the "perfect" place for the ceremony and reception. Does anyone know of a gorgeous place that fits our criteria?
A: Here are some redwood parks with group areas near the Bay
you don't mind having an outdoor reception:
My friends had a wedding at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, which
is a very
Q: Does anyone know of any local (bay area) legends, ghosts, spirits etc... Websites would be helpful. Or any info. on treasure hunts in the area?
A: I don't believe in ghosts. I've never seen one. However,
reports of ghosts in several places in the Bay Area: the Winchester
House in San Jose, Pacheco Pass, the Boulder Creek Lodge in Boulder
the aircraft carrier Hornet in Alameda, and the Toys R Us in Sunnyvale.
I have some friends who live near Santa Teresa Springs in South San
which is near an Indian graveyard. They once saw a ghost of an Indian
their house. Bernal School, which is nearby, has also had janitors
seeing apparitions in the school at night. Here are some Web sites:
Q: Is the Pulgas Temple open to the public? On the occassions when I have driven by the Pulgas Temple there has been a large chain link gate that is locked, and no parking along Canada Road. Is it open to the public on a specific schedule?
A: I think the parking lot is open 9-4 on weekdays only. My
that they are trying to avoid the crowds of teenagers that used to hang
out there on weekends.
If you're on a bike or on foot, I think you can get to the
anytime. It's just the parking lot that's closed. A good way to get
is by bicycle on "bicycle Sunday." See:
Q: Need advice: I have one week to explore the bay area, Monterey coastal area and Marin coast areas. I happen to have 2 nights in the premier lodge in Yosemite. I am traveling with 2 Sr Citizens. Should I forget the trip to Yosemite if we only have a week? Seems far from the San Mateo area.
A: It's possible, I think, if you go to Yosemite at the start or end of your vacation. It depends on how well your passengers can handle long drives. It will take about 5 hours to get to Yosemite from the Bay Area or more, depending on which route you take and where you go in Yosemite. It's a big park. It requires a long and somewhat boring drive across the hot (if you go in the summer) Central Valley, then a scenic, but winding drive through the foothills to get to Yosemite. If you go to the higher parts of Yosemite, altitude may be a concern, especially for the elderly.
Personally, I would plan a vacation in one area. For instance, if I was going to see Yosemite, I would make it part of a trip to see Lake Tahoe, the Gold Country, and the Sierras. Seeing the Bay Area and Monterey can take more than a week.
Q: I'm fairly new around SF and would like to go camping. Can anyone suggest a place or places to go, 2-3 hours max.?
A: Here's my page on favorite family campsites:
My hiking page covers parks that have camping:
My friends and I went camping at Portola State Park in the
Mountains this year. It's a very nice park and not too crowded, mainly
because it's hard to get to. Here's some info on it and the surrounding
Q: I was wondering if you could give me some information regarding train museums within the bay area.
A: The best train museum in California, and certainly one of
in North America, is the California State Railroad Museum in
Closer to the Bay Area and less flashy, but still with an
collection of rolling stock, is the Western Railway Museum in Rio
There are no museums as extensive as these within the Bay Area itself. There are some smaller museums, train lines, or miniature train rides.
Running through Niles Canyon from Sunol to Fremont is the
In the Fremont community of Niles is the Niles Depot Museum.
You can see some of the places that have miniature train rides
bottom of my page:
There are some new guided photo tours on Coyote Hills Regional
and the Alameda Creek Trail in the East Bay (I made them). They are on
ABAG's Bay Trail Website at:
Q: What days is the WW2 submarine Pampanito open for tours?
A: Hours and directions:
More on the Pampanito:
Q: What is the phone number for White Sulphur Springs?
A: 707-963-8588. They also have a Website: http://www.whitesulphursprings.com/
Here's a list of more spas in the area:
To go with last week's story on Redwood City, there's a page
Bay Trail around Redwood Shores, a suburb of Redwood City, on the Bay
The Bay Trail can be taken from Redwood Shores to Foster City,
the San Mateo Shoreline through Coyote Point, and almost without
all the way to the edge of San Francisco Airport. These routes are
I've taken this route lots of times by bike. It's more than 30 miles round trip, but it's a flat, easy ride and is a nice way to spend a day. It's a great ride for families, since there are lots of parks and beaches to stop at along the way.
Q: Does anyone have a website address that provides a listing of houses/neighborhoods,etc. that do elaborate Christmas displays in the Bay Area?
A: Near Christmas, the San Jose Mercury News usually publishes a list of homes with outstanding Christmas light displays. Check www.mercurycenter.com periodically.
Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos has its annual "Fantasy
show. It's a drive-through tour of over 30 Christmas light
Q: If you know of a Christmas tree farm in the Bay Area, please let me know.
A: Here is a list of some tree farms:
Before we bought a plastic tree, we used to go up to the Santa Cruz Mountains. There were several tree farms there. I think one is now part of Skyline Regional Open Space Preserve. It was quite an adventure bouncing down those winding mountain roads with a big tree sticking out the back of my friend's little pickup truck. Later, we went to Madrone farms in the Coyote Valley just north of Morgan Hill. They had a good selection and much easier access.
Q: I saw on a TV station a program about a place that takes in and saves turtles or possibly reptiles in general. Can anyone enlighten me if there is a sanctuary around?
A:I don't know about the turtle. Maybe you should contact the
Wildlife Museum: http://www.wildlife-museum.org/
Q: Is there an online spot for me to do some snooping into the past (namely 1915 in SF area) about the Pan Pacific Exposition?
A: For San Francisco history, see:
This is an excellent site on San Francisco history:
Q: Does anybody know how long it takes to take the scenic drive to Los Angeles (Hwy 1) starting from Oakland?
A: There may be an easier way to do this, but here is what Mapquest said, given times between cities that are on Hwy 1:
SF to Davenport: 2:13
These are from city center to city center, so there's a little bit of time driving off Hwy 1 and back again. Add in the times for Oakland to SF and Santa Monica to wherever you want to go in LA.
Here's a driving tour of Big Sur:
Q: I was searching for more information. We visited Fort Ross some time ago, but was looking for more info. Do they do children overnight stays with school groups?
A: Here's the Backroads story on Fort Ross, which is in Sonoma
There's a primitive campground just south of the park in a protected ravine.
Q: Does anyone know where I can find a good oyster farm?
A: Backroads did a story on the Point Reyes/Tomales Bay Area.
to Johnson's Oyster Farm in Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National
Q: What days and hours are the Winchester Mansion open, and what's the admission charge?
Here are the rates and schedules:
Created 6/3/01, updated 11/18/09 by Ronald Horii