Redwoods @ Big Basin
To the world, California is more known for Hollywood and Silicon Valley. However, when you come here, you hear of “redwoods”. You might drop in at Muir Woods on your sight-seeing trip to San Francisco or you might go as far as Mendocino. But how about checking them out next door? Getting to the redwood trees at the Big Basin Redwoods State Park is less than an hour’s drive from the South Bay.
The setting is almost as natural as it can get, with just trails and signs distinguishing it from a full-blown forest. There are 80 miles of trails, at which hikers would jump with glee, I guess. Horses too are allowed on some trails. I believe one of the hikes leads you upto the Pacific Ocean; but I didn’t have sufficient interest or energy for that.
There are campgrounds too. Strangely, you have to pay for the park maps.