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Bay Explorers

My vision is to inspire families of all backgrounds to explore, be present, and have fun with their children in the Bay Area.

Our Staycation: What we did over Spring Break

It's that time of the year where everyone is making their Summer plans and getting together their Summer bucket list ideas. I will be putting out a Summer Bucket List as well next month but for now I'd like to post 15 Places we visited over our Spring Break Staycation.

Yes it has been almost two months since we had our Spring Break but never the less the information is still good. 15 Fun Places to put on your Bay Bucketlist...

1. Rodeo Beach

Rodeo Beach is located in Sausalito it may be one of my favorite beaches in the Bay Area. The scenery is beautiful and makes me imagine that I am in Hawaii - or at least what I imagine Hawaii to be like lol. The sand at the beach looks black and with the green hills it's magical. There are good hiking trails and climbing rocks for kids overlooking the beach. Tips: Bundle up, it gets really windy here! I have only been a couple of times where the wind wasn't so bad otherwise we almost got blown away. Also bring flip flops or water shoes. The sand here is more in the form of tiny pebbles and after a few hours of walking on it your feet are going to be sore!

2. Mustard Fields of Half Moon Bay

I kept seeing all these Instagram pictures of people taking pictures in these bright beautiful fields of mustard yellow flowers. Although every time I tried to find them they were nowhere to be found even with the directions from people's pages. Well we finally found the mother load on our way down Highway one on the way to a beach. The specific spot was pinpointed on my phone as being called Half Moon Bay Dhamma Nanda Whihara Buddhist Monastary but I think it's really just past that. Just look for them to the right of the freeway and there will be a spot you can pull over and an opening to the field.

3. Shark Fin Cove

Shark Fin Cove is a really cute and fun beach to go to. It is a cove so it is a little bit more protected from the winds then some of the other beaches along Highway 1. There are two caves you can explore. The large cave has the waves going in and out and makes for a fun game of wave tag/ chase. The cliffs surrounding the beach are beautiful as well. Tips: this beach has a very steep and narrow incline to get down to the beach. Pack light and also do not attempt if you are not able bodied. We went as two pregnant women, with a 2 year old and bag of stuff. We made it down and back up but it was challenging!

4. Lake Chabot Hiking

There are many great paths and trails in and around Lake Chabot in Castro Valley. You can walk above the lake from many angles, you can hike around the Lake, you can take the Fairmont Ridge path and have a birds eye view of the lake. Either way you slice it, it is very beautiful. The path around the lake is a good place for children to bring bikes or scooter. You can walk your dog on leash around the lake. The upper trails and Fairmont ridge are better for off leash dog hikes.

5. Great America

Although theme parks are not my favorite place anymore kids love them. Great America is one of the Bay Area's family friendly theme parks. They have lots of rides for children of all ages. My oldest loves going on the big upside down roller coasters and my youngest one loves the double decker merry-go-round as well as all the little kid rides in Snoopy's Playland.

6. The Palace of Fine Arts

I had been wanting to go to the Palace of Fine Arts for awhile but I felt like it was more a place you visited on the way to something else, not an all day thing. When I got there I felt like that thought was wrong. The architecture is beautiful! There are lots of grounds for kids to run on and explore. There is wildlife in the water that the kids are excited to discover like swans, ducks, and turtles. You can walk the lake or sit in the sun and have your lunch- which was just what we did. We spent so much longer there than I thought & probably could of stayed for longer if we weren't on the way to somewhere else lol.

7. Baker Beach

Baker Beach was the somewhere else we were on the way to after the Palace of Fine Arts. Baker Beach is very close by and is one of my favorite beaches in San Francisco. It is a dog friendly beach with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. FYI part of the beach is a nude beach but we don't go down that far.

8.Vegan Donut Gelato

If you are looking for a sweet vegan treat give Vegan Donut Gelato in Oakland a try. Located pretty close to the Lake this shop will have you ready to return for more. It's hard as a vegan finding ice cream that we can eat, this shop had lots of flavors of gelato and all of them were yummy! You can also get a donut ice cream sandwich- mmmm!

9. Hidden Villas Farm

Hidden Villas Farms in Palo Alto is a quiet little hidden gem of a farm with lots of charm! Farm animals to say hi to and pet, beautiful gardens to walk through and spend time in, and a very quiet serene creek to play in. The creek for my kids is where they want to spend a lot of their time splashing and coming up with ways to cross. This farm is peaceful and hidden in the country side and gives you a nice break from the city.

10. Children's Creativity Museum

Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco is so fun for your little creative kids. There is so much to see, do and get their creative minds working with. There are sand tables, floam tables, blue blocks for building, a puppet stage, book room, cartoon room, computers, activities, a building room, and a karaoke room. Little kids singing karaoke is like the funniest thing I have ever seen! Outside the museum is their carousel and a playground so you can really make it a full day!

11. Tilden Hiking

Tilden is a great place for a hike with your kids and your dog! Lots of different paths and trails hidden among the trees. Many trails are off leash for your pooch too which is a must for us.

12. Lawrence Hall of Science

Just down from the Tilden hills Lawrence Hall of Science offers a unique blend of science and hands on activities for children to explore. The exhibits often change so it is a new experience every time. I recommend for older kids but younger ones will have fun running around too.

13. Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park offers a lot of great variety. There is a playground there, an off leash hiking area for dog walking, lots of beautiful grounds perfect for a photo shoot or wedding lol.

14. Sutro Baths

The Sutro Baths are located in San Francisco right near the Cliff House and pretty near Ocean Beach. They are a sight to behold on a sunny day. You can walk right down to them and walk on the walls of the old bath house. The waves of the ocean are crashing along the edge and there are lots of hiking trails right behind it.