family


Relaxing family walk

We finally visited Hakone Gardens! OK, you might be wondering what I am talking about. Well, let me introduce you to a hidden gem in Saratoga, California; Hakone Gardens!

These beautiful Japanese gardens are located in Saratoga just past downtown as you head south-ish on highway 9. Hakone Gardens is a relaxing property which includes Japanese Gardens, a small museum, and event areas. The gardens are currently set-up to encourage social distancing with one-way signs, and some areas blocked off to walkers. It made our visit very private, relaxing, and safe. Loved it!

The self-guided tour is a nice and relaxing walk along the paths inside the gardens. There is a little bit of uphill and downtown walking, making it a nice little exercise. I would place this walk in the easy hike category. It’s a great place to bring kids!

Hakone Gardens is a great place to see some local Japanese history too. It is over 100 years old, and one of the oldest Japanese estates in the Western Hemisphere. You can learn more at Hokone.com.

If you decide to visit, be sure to wear walking shoes and bring some water with you. It took us 45 minutes to walk through the gardens on the designated pathway.

wearing: earrings / mask / grey tee / black joggers / necklace / gold chain bracelet / chain cuff / turquoise and gold cuff / summer nail polish / blue handbag / white sneakers /

I’m looking forward to returning to Hakone Gardens in the near future. It’s so nice to have a beautiful place to visit and walk around, so close by!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Pigeon Point Lighthouse with the family

pigeon point lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse built in 1971 along the coast just south of Pescadero. It’s a fun, historical monument to visit after a hike, or a beach day, in San Mateo County. This historical monument also includes a youth hostel which was established in the 1960’s. It’s a nice diversion off highway 1 where you can explore local history, and enjoy our beautiful coastline.

We took a walk on the grounds of the lighthouse on our way home from a beach day along the coast, and also read the placards which are set up around the property in order to learn more about the lighthouse. It’s always nice to learn local history!

There is a cute little pathway along the coastline, and the cliff, by the lighthouse, which offers a nice and peaceful walk along the grounds. We had fun walking on it and snapping some family photos.

If you are looking for something to do as our local lock-down continues, this is something you can explore! You can combine Pigeon Point Lighthouse with an easy hike, and also learn about local history while enjoy our beautiful coastline.

It’s too bad the lighthouse isn’t in operation anymore. It looks like it would have been pretty to see lit up. Parts of the grounds were being fixed up when we visited, but we were still able to enjoy the area and see the buildings close up. I highly recommend stopping by if you are local to the Bay Area. If you are not local, and are planning a trip to the Bay Area coastline, be sure to add a quick visit to Pigeon Point Lighthouse to your itinerary!

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your trip!

XOXO

Cathy


Rancho San Antonio County Park hiking trails in Cupertino

rancho san antonio perserve hiking trails cupertino review

Rancho San Antonio Park is a large Santa Clara County Park with a series of hiking trails, and a small farm. I have always wanted to hike there, and we finally did!

We took our family hiking at Rancho San Antonio County Park on a Saturday morning, when we thought it might be slow. We were mistaken! This is a popular park, and the multiple parking lots fill up quickly. I recommend getting there well before 9am if you want an easy time finding a parking space.

Although the park is heavily trafficked, it is very large, so it can accommodate a large volume of hikers; even during this time of social distancing.

Rancho San Antonio County Park hiking trails are set up to ensure social distancing. The county made the trails one-way, so you cannot turn around and go back. Get ready to hike!

The one-way trails are a gift, and a curse. If you get tired, you have to keep going; there is no turning around and going back from where you came from. Luckily when my kids saw the one-way signs, they were mentally prepared to gut it out. They did the whole hike!

We were out there for two hours, and hiked roughly four miles. It was really fun, and a very pretty hike. While there wasn’t an abundance of views, as there are on other trails I have covered, there was a cute farm, known as Deer Hollow Farm, and lots of trees. We loved the large amount of shade on these trails! The shady trails are perfect this time of year.

The one-way trails may end at a different parking lot than the one you started at. Don’t worry, all the parking lots are in a line, so you can easily find your way back to the lot where your car is parked.

The terrain isn’t very steep, this hike is more sloped; making it ideal for families with children, and anyone who isn’t into steep hikes. I would say this is an easy hike, but right now, it is long-so bring water and snacks!

There is a mask ordinance in the State of California, so you will need to wear a mask while hiking Rancho San Antonio Reserve hiking trails. I like to hike while wearing a balaclava which is easy to pull down around my neck when no-one else is around. You can wear any mask you are comfortable hiking in.

Rancho San Antonio County Park hiking trails are easy to find. Take the Foothill exit off 280 and head west. Turn right onto Cristo Rey Drive and drive a couple minutes until you see the large sign. Then you can enter the parking area and find a lot with open spaces. You can’t miss it! It’s easy to find 🙂

Have you hiked on the trails at Rancho San Antonio County Park in Cupertino? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy