It can be pretty difficult to shift your focus outside of SF when it seemingly has it all, especially if you’re just visiting. It’s so close, and you insist you’re going to go on that wine tour someday, but whenever you get the chance you just fall asleep on your couch watching cooking videos.
Or is that just me? Anyway, we think it’s paramount to discover the world around you, and the Bay Area can be a perfect place to start. All sorts of natural & man-made marvels can be found, and new adventures are waiting wherever you look.
As you might have been able to tell from the name, this area housed once-booming mines and the many people that worked within them. You can’t find those people today, although you can still see a few of the towns that they used to call home. It’s also a great place for a hike.
Along your journey through here you might also see the infamous Rose Hill Cemetery. It was used as a resting place for Protestant residents from the 1860s to 1954, and many that were buried there are known to remain restless.
Many exorcisms have been performed on the area, but quite a few spirits still hold their ground today. The most notorious amongst them is a woman named Sarah Norton, who’s been given the nickname “white witch,” and is rumored to have a glowing presence & gliding movement.
Considering the entire Regional Preserve is 5,000 acres, you can avoid this site if you’d like, but those with a more adventurous spirit are highly encouraged to drop by.
If you’re in the mood for something slightly more wholesome than ghost hunting, the Pacific Pinball Museum is sure to be fun for the whole family, provided the whole family likes pinball.
Why wouldn’t they? With the trademark flashing lights, elaborate art, and suspenseful gameplay that still holds up today, it’s nothing short of an American classic that deserves to be celebrated.
Granted, it wasn’t always loved in America, and was even illegal for a good amount of time, but it was also a symbol of rebellion. You can learn all sorts of facts like that, and even play on some of the oldest machines in existence, right at the Pacific Pinball Museum.
If you’re going to be in the area for longer, you can even sign up for a membership with them & participate in a league! Why not let the people know you’re the true Pinball Wizard?
While this museum contains significantly fewer pinball machines, it hosts an assortment of marvels that are equally impressive, if not more so.
The Tech Museum of Innovation, known commonly as The Tech, was opened 21 years ago with the primary goal of inspiring people of all ages & walks of life to become the world-changing innovators of tomorrow.
With exhibits focusing on human anatomy, robotics, healthcare, biology & more, The Tech is dedicated to teaching all who enter its beautiful space. There are even educational programs for kids, if you want your child to get some extracurricular knowledge.
Knowledge is cool & all but sometimes you want to just fly through the air without a care in the world. There’s a place for that in the Bay Area, too.
There are few better ways to see the Yosemite landscape than taking it in from the top. Yosemite Ziplines offers exactly that with its famous tour, where they take people along six unique courses weaving through the area.
You have to be between 60-250 pounds to zip through the skies, but those who fall outside of that range can hop in a four-wheeler to see the area and watch their friends & family fly.
Not to be confused with the famous theater in Los Angeles, this theater is a monument in its own right that serves as one of the crown jewels of UC Berkeley.
Along with taking in the column-adorned stage and vast expanse of the venue itself, attendees can enjoy a breathtaking view of Berkeley while enjoying quality performances from a variety of musical acts.
Upcoming shows for 2019 include prominent acts like Chvrches, Father John Misty, Toro Y Moi, Fitz and the Tantrums, and many more. Make sure to visit their website for further details.
Half Moon Bay & Mavericks
This coastal city is one of the most tranquil & gorgeous in the Bay Area, with plenty of beaches and parks to visit if you decide to stay here for a while (which you’ll be very tempted to do).
If you want an experience there that’s a tad less calm than ordinary, your wishes will be fulfilled in the form of the famous Mavericks beach. Why is it famous? To put it simply, it’s the waves. They can routinely get up to anywhere between 30 and 60 feet tall.
While the mere sight of these can have some hiding behind the nearest shelter, brave surfers consider it a premier destination to test their abilities.
Contests are held there regularly, and even when officials for these matches insist that the waves are too high for reasonable safety, people will flock to the water regardless to prove they can conquer this force of nature. You can just sit back and watch, though.
Located in the East Bay Area town of Livermore, the Shiva-Vishnu Temple is not only an aesthetically wondrous piece of architecture, it’s also an important & thriving cultural center.
They host regular prayer services, along with educational talks, Sanskrit classes, youth programs, and other events focused on mental, physical & spiritual health. They also offer free health advisory services on Saturdays & yoga classes every Saturday & Sunday morning.
Lastly, if you want to end your day with a real throwback, the best place to get your fix is at the Drive-In Movie Theater at the West Wind Solano in Concord.
You can grab some snacks at the concession stand, take the kids to the playground if they aren’t in the mood for a movie, and tune into a specific FM station to enjoy the latest movies of the day in a classic setting.
General admission will run you $8.00, cheaper than most tickets at standard indoor theaters, and you can even get in for $5.50 on Tuesdays, with kids aged 5-11 getting in for $1.50 regardless (children under 4 get free entry).