SAN FRANCISCO AND BEYOND
|OK--I'm going to give you as much as I can
think of that might be remotely interesting to you. This is only so you can have an
idea of what I know about and I'll give you approximate travel times as well.
For starters is Beautiful Scenic Davis. A tour of Davis will take approximately 10 minutes, if we take our time. Some of the highlights: The historic train station (a drive-by), the University (cows, cows, cows) with a nice creek and arboretum that runs through it--that's a nice walk, actually. There are a couple of marshes with waterfowl. ...I'm struggling here.... And then the famous "tours to see the memorials to the dead Sykes children." This is something I put everybody through. It's quick. There are only four of them, not counting the cemetery.
This is a great biking town and I could get bikes for you. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to be able to bike. Haven't been since my accident. But there are loads of bike paths and the best way to get the feel of the town is on bike.
OK. So we've now "done" Davis. Let's move on to what else is of interest here, moving in widening distance out from Davis. Which of these is of interest to you, I don't know, but I just wanted to make you aware of what is "do-able."
|Sacramento. Of course you have to see Sacramento.
It's the capitol of California and maybe Arnold and Maria will invite us for tea.
The State Capitol is actually interesting, with displays about every county in the state and the building itself is just pretty. There is a large garden where they have planted trees supposedly every country in the world. There is a "tree tour," which I have never taken. There is also a nice rose garden there and a soldiers' memorial.
And, if you like zoos, Sacramento has a nice little one. Nothing particularly spectacular, but it's fun for any zoo person.
|The fun place to go in Sacramento is Old Sacramento,
which is preserved much as it was during the Gold Rush, with lots and lots and lots of
shops, now owned mostly by Asians and Middle Eastern folks. There is a nice paddle
wheeler on the river, some nice restaurants, a great train museum, if you're into trains,
and just fun to walk around.
Old Sac is good for an hour or two to walk around in, unless we stop for a meal, which will then extend it. I really do enjoy being here. It's a great place to take photos!
|So we've now "done" Sacramento and it's time to move on. Down the road 20 miles or so is Jelly Belly World. It really is kind of a fun tour, if you like jelly beans. The photo on the right is of Peggy taken the day I took her. You get a tour through the plant and learn how they make jelly bellies (and you try not to think of oompa loompas when you look at all the guys working), see art made out of jelly bellies and then get shunted through the gift shop of all things Jelly Belly. You can even eat in the cafeteria, where you can get a jelly bean shaped hamburger. Probably about an hour or a bit more for the "experience," but kind of worth it. Especially because you can buy a bag of "belly flops," jelly beans that didn't make the grade visually, but still taste good.|
|Not much between there and the Bay Area. Berkeley is always a fun place to wander around in. The University is lovely and you never know what you're going to find wandering around on Telegraph Avenue. Also great views from the hills over to San Francisco.|
If you like wine, the Napa Valley should definitely be on the list. There are countless wineries where you can go for tastings, and during mid-week it shouldn't be too terribly crowded. I love to go to Berringers, which is more "scenic," as it stores its wines in caves. There is also Sterling, which I like because there's a little tram that takes you up to the winery which looks like a Greek monastery. But I have friends who swear by a whole bunch of wineries that they like, and I would check to get suggestions from them. Also nice to stop by the cheese factory, pick up some fresh bread, fresh cheese and go picnic outside with a bottle of wine.
|If you're into theme parks, Marine World is expensive, but nice. Lots of roller coasters, and lots of marine life, whale shows, etc.|
|It would be a shame to come this far and not see the
redwoods. Muir Woods is near San Francisco and we could go there on the day you go
back down to the city, tour the park, and then I could drop you back at your new hotel.
Alternatively, there is a lovely redwood park, Armstrong Woods, which is at Guerneville, a couple of hours drive. It is not as famous as Muir Woods, so there are fewer people there and you can really get the feel for the quiet of a redwood grove.
At trip to Guerneville would also include a drive out to the coast, just because I love the ocean!
|How could I have forgotten Sausalito. Little scenic town on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Used to be more of a funky artist colony than it is now, but still has that flavor. Fun to walk up and down and thru the shops. This is also near Tiburon and Belvedere, also scenic little towns. From any of those places you can catch a ferryboat over to San Francisco, or just head on out to Angel Island for a picnic. Angel Island is where they detailed Chinese immigrants during the war. Some of them never did make it into the US and ended up going back to China--so close to SF, but unable to enter. Some great places to have lunch here, with nice views overlooking San Francisco.|
|That's pretty much it as far as the biggies are concerned. All of these are just suggestions, based on what I know is around here that people from out of the area like to visit. We can do any or all of them. Just let me know. Or we can do none of them and just sit at home and throw the ball for the dog!|