staycation


Alum Rock Park hiking trails

wearing: adidas sweatshirt / gaiter / spring nail polish / backpack / water bottle / sweatpants / hiking boots (sold out, similar here) /

Alum Rock Park is a large outdoor recreation area in San Jose, California. This park is the oldest municipal park in San Jose, dating back to 1872. It’s located on the eastern side of San Jose and offers playgrounds, picnic areas, multiple hiking trails, and a visitor center with camps and activities where visitors can learn more about the wildlife in the area. In addition to being a great place for outdoor fun and education, there is a historic aspect to the park!

The Alum Rock Mineral Springs were very popular in the early 1900s. While the mineral springs are now defunct, the remnants can be found along the hiking trails and provide a beautiful addition to the natural surroundings.

The hiking trails in Alum Rock are not too difficult, and are perfect for families. We enjoyed hiking through the park and occasionally stopping to take pictures of each other with the ruins from the springs. It was extremely relaxing and beautiful. I cannot believe we hadn’t visited Alum Rock Park before! It’s perfect for a day of fun, exercise, and a little education.

If you are local to the Bay Area, I highly recommend visiting Alum Rock Park; especially if you have children. The park gets very busy, so I recommend going early; before 9am. This way you can enjoy the park stress-free. Love that!

Have you been to Alum Rock Park before? What are your favorite spots? We parked by the visitor center and went on the hiking trails from there.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Marin Headlands Kirby Cove Road

One of things I love about the San Francisco Bay Area is all of the history you can find; in almost every corner. While our history is not as deep as other areas, we still have pockets with remnants of our past; and it is important to learn about it as well as share it with the next generation.

The Marin Headlands is rich with history. While exploring the area, you may come across sites from around 1900, WWII forts, and Cold War relics. This is in addition to beautiful views, nature, camping grounds, trails, wildlife, beaches, and more. It’s truly a destination you cannot see all in one day. When we visit, we choose one little spot, and explore it.

We decided to explore the Kirby Cove area of the Marin Headlands. This area is normally overrun by tourists; but during the cold winter months, we are able to park easily and explore stress-free.

PRO TIP: Arrive before 9am during the off-season so you can park where you want to, and avoid crowds.

The points of interest we explored were Battery Spencer, Ridge Battery, and Battery Wagner. We also hiked along the Kirby Cove Road. This road leads to an amazing beach which is less busy than beaches such as Stinson and Muir; as long as you follow my pro tip above.

Kirby Cove Road is wide, which makes it a great trail for hiking right now when social distancing is so important. It’s really easy to keep your distance from others. We enjoyed the unparalled views of the Golden Gate Bridge, beach, ocean, bay, and general nature. It really is a must-see hiking area; especially if you are local to the Bay Area!

The Marin Headlands is really easy to find. If you are coming from the north on 101, take the last exit off the freeway before the bridge, and follow the road into the headlands. If you are coming from the south, take the first Sausalito exit off the bridge and follow the signs; they will take you right into the Headlands.

Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring a backpack filled with snacks, water, and lunch. Always bring your trash back out of the trail. There are plenty of trash and recycle cans in the parking areas.

I hope you enjoy exploring the Marin Headlands! Remember, the best time to visit is in the off-season, when tourism is down. Also, arrive before 9am so you can easily park.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy


Filoli Historic Gardens with the family

Filoli Historic House and Gardens are located in Woodside; right next to Redwood City on the Peninsula. It is a beautiful mansion which was once a private home, and was eventually donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This beautiful home and grounds offer not only a piece of Bay Area history, the property offers hiking trails and natural beauty; which is great for the whole family to enjoy. It also happens to be a fabulous way to get a bit of outdoor exercise too! Love that!

Filoli offers seasonal events which coincide with holiday seasons. One of the events they hold is for the holiday season. Normally they offer indoor events and activities for the whole family, but this year, due to our shelter-in-place, the holiday event is entirely outdoors.

The gardens at Filoli have been decorated in beautiful, colorful lights for the holiday season. The lights are pretty and downright magical! It feels like you are touring a magical place. The natural beauty combined with the artistic light placement makes for a beautiful walking tour and experience during the holiday season. We loved it!

We spent roughly an hour and a half walking the grounds, and enjoying the beautiful lights. In addition to a magical experience, we got some exercise! Love!

If you are local to the Bay Area, I highly recommend visiting Filoli.org and learning more about the Filoli Historic House and Gardens. I also recommend paying it a visit in person! You can attend a special event, which requires advance reservations and tickets, or you can visit during the day and enjoy one of the scenic and easy and hiking trails. Either way, it’s a location not to be missed!

If you attend in the evening, be sure to bundle up since it gets quite cold. I wore this coat from a couple years ago when I attended New York Fashion Week, and my cozy, go-to, grey scarf. Of course, this time of year calls for a Santa hat; even if it doesn’t quite match the outfit! haha

Get the look:

We are looking forward to visiting Filoli again next year, in order to enjoy their seasonal events, as well as for hiking. Be sure to pay them a visit!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy