Bay Area

All the neat bay area places you didnt know existed!

For us locals, the region, which includes Oakland down to Santa Cruz/Monterey area and all the way up to Santa Rosa is called the Bay area.

All the photos were taken on various trips, not all on the same trip.

East Bay

1) Garin Regional park

– great place for a hike

– may have to pay to enter

– recommended duration: 2-3 hours

2) Grizzly Peak Vista Point

– Great place to watch the sunset

– Parking may be a hassle at times, but worth it


1) Windy Hills Summit

– great place for a hike. If going during summer, go either morning or late afternoon when its cooler.

– free parking

– free admission

– recommended duration 1-2 hours

Highway 1 (South, Version 2):

This itinerary is pretty much the same as version 1, except the first destination is Pigeon Point lighthouse and final destination is Carmel, CA/Carmel-by-the-sea. Also, for this itinerary, Santa Cruz is optional. I didnt stop in Santa Cruz this time. So therefore, from Davenport, CA, I drove directly to Carmel.

1) Pigeon Point Lighthouse

See version 1 for more info

2) Davenport, CA

See version 1 for more info

3) Carmel, CA

If you have the time, I would highly recommend window shopping in the little town of Carmel. It has quaint and cute shops to look around in.

When I took my friend there, we left Carmel to avoid being stuck in traffic in the heart of bay area. Therefore, we left in early afternoon.

Highway 1 (South, Version 1):

This itinerary will take up half to 3/4 of your day. So plan ahead! This itinerary has stops in Moss Beach, Pescadero, Davenport, and Santa Cruz. You can also have dinner in Los Gatos before heading home. For this itinerary, you can plan it so that you arrive into Santa Cruz right as the sun is setting so you get a nice chillax sunset photo.

1) Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Located in Moss Beach, CA off of Highway 1.

– Kid friendly

– great place to chill at the “beach” for couple hours.

– Sandals/flip flop

– towel, great, but not mandatory

– free parking and free admission

Next, we continue driving further south towards Santa Cruz. Our next stop will be

2) Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Located in Pescadero, CA off of highway 1.

Driving time from Point #1 (above) to here is 35mins (without traffic).

– jacket recommended (can get windy at times)

– Camera also recommended

– free parking and free admission.

– bathroom

– Recommended duration: ~45mins

Next, we continue driving south towards Santa Cruz. Our next stop is Davenport, CA.

3) Davenport, CA/Davenport Old Pier

This is where you can park. It’s free parking.

– Drive time from #2 to here: ~17mins (without traffic)

– Be prepared for sunny weather.

Be careful at this location, steep, and I mean, STEEP, cliffs. Still pretty though!

– Recommended duration: ~15-20mins.

Next, we continue on our trip to Santa Cruz. Next stop: Santa Cruz, baby!

Final destination: Santa Cruz

Located at the intersection of highway 1 and highway 17.

Park your car along W Cliff Drive and take a walk along the waterfront.

– drive time (from #3 to here): 16mins (without traffic)

– vest/jacket recommended

– good place to take a late afternoon stroll along the waterfront

– while walking along the waterfront, keep your eyes peeled for aquatic wildlife in the waters!

Bonus destination!

If you would like to end the night with dinner in Los Gatos, a good place to have dinner is at Billy’s Boston Chowder House.

Address: 29 E Main St. Los Gatos, CA 95030

Phone: (408)-827-4005

Price range: $$ (Each ‘$’ represents $10 increment/range with $$$$ being maximum)

Yelp link: Billy’s Boston Chowder House

– Drive time: (from Santa Cruz) 33mins (without traffic)

– what I had last time:

• New England white Clam Chowder

• lobster roll

North Bay

Highway 1 (North, Version 2):

For a quick trip to highway 1 north, you can head to the southern tip of Point Reyes National Seashore. Unfortunately, this trip was extremelyast minute and spontaneous, so we did not make it to the waterfall. Next time!

1) Palomere Trail head- Alamere Falls

Highway 1 (North, Version 1):

For north, I havent been north much, only once, which was this specific trip. Therefore, I will update/add as I travel up north more.

1) Bodega Bay, CA/ Campell Cove:

– Sandal/Flipflop

– Camera

– good place for a lunch picnic and a short walk on the beach

– keep eyes peeled for aquatic wildlife both in water and in the sand!

From Bodega Bay, drive south on Highway 1 to Point Reyes National Seashore.

2) Cypress Tree tunnel

Park your car outside & near of the tunnel and walk in.

From Point Reyes, you’ll take a detour onto Point Reyes-Petaluma Road and then onto Nicasio Valley Rd into the little town of Nicasio.

3) Nicasio

View of Nicasio Valley Road