Summer in the Bay Area: Great Water Fun & Outdoor Ideas


Summer is here! Officially starting today June 20, so start planning your escape into fun.  The best ways to do that in the Bay Area are in the water and out in nature, and there’s plenty of both.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Portola Redwoods State Park

Natural beauty abounds in this popular state park.  Spectacular waterfalls can be seen on Fall and Pescadero creeks, settings that take you away from the hustle and bustle and bring you in touch with nature that has lasted for ages.  There are 18 miles of trails suitable for novice and experienced hikers.  The park is open all year for picnicking and hiking.  Camping is available between April and October.  Learn more about this great state park.

Heart’s Desire Beach, Tomales Bay State Park

Here’s a swimmer’s delight, a place to swim for either fitness or relaxation with warm water and very light waves.  There’s a lot of area with shallow water, making this beach destination a good choice if you have small children or others who don’t care to get in over their heads.  The beach is protected from chilly wind by Inverness Ridge.  Get more info about this fun summer attraction.

Sunol Regional Wilderness

Visit the majestic waterfall known as “Little Yosemite", which you can access with a comfortable hike that’s less than two miles long.  Indian Joe Trail will get you there on a longer, more fascinating trek.  The park here offers many activities such as equestrian trail rides, hiking, backpacking, camping and picnicking.  There’s a lot to do, so plan to make a day of it.  Learn more about this awesome wilderness area.

Russian River

Fun in the sun is mandatory, but at some destinations along the Russian River clothing is optional.  Veteran’s Memorial Beach, in Healdsburg, is one of the more popular spots on the river.  It’s near Hwy. 101 and is ideal for swimmers of all skill levels.  Activities include kayaking, paddle-boating, canoeing, fishing and camping.  There are also nice areas for picnics.  Learn more about things to do along the Russian River.

Uvas Canyon County Park

Close to San Jose, this park is a good destination for hikers of all ages and provides an opportunity to see some beautiful waterfalls.  There’s a mile-and-a-half loop with easy access from the parking lot.  Highlights of the journey include Granuja Falls and Black Rock Falls.  A total of six miles of hiking trails, picnicking spots, camping areas and more.  The park is open year round from 8 a.m. to sunset.  Get more information about the park and its activities here.

Del Valle Regional Park, Livermore

Lake Del Valle, in the center of the park, stretches for five miles and features interesting bays and coves to explore.  You can rent a boat, go camping, swim with a lifeguard nearby and have an enjoyable day fishing.  If you want to get out of the water, hiking is a popular activity here with lengthy trails and nearby Ohlone Wilderness Trail.  See what Del Valle Regional Park is all about.

Get active and have fun at these amazing summer destinations.  If you want more ideas, Bay Area Kid Fun has a ton of listings and descriptions of local attractions that are perfect for kids and adults.