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San Jose, California

The San Jose area of California is a true wonderland. With its stunning vistas, abundance of lush parks, and wide variety of activities, it's a great spot to explore whether you want a leisurely day outdoors or an action-packed adventure. From the unique and beautiful Winchester Mystery House to the warm waters of the Guadalupe River, you won’t soon run out of places to visit. With its variety of sports and recreation options, the area is sure to provide everyone with fun and memories that will last a lifetime.

Top Spots in and near San Jose

  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf Pleasure Point

    4.0
    Pleasure Point is located on the east side of Santa Cruz, California. It is a right hand point break that breaks year round. It is a popular surf spot for many people that live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  There are 3 different peaks that break at Pleasure Point. Sewers, which is the furthest ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Photograph the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

    5.0
    No matter the time you'll decide to visit the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, you'll have thousands of interesting plants and birds to see and watch. The Arboretum is located on the west side of UCSC campus, between the main campus entrance and the west entrance. Parking is 5$ for adults and 2$ for chil...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Bonfire at Seabright State Beach

    5.0
    This is a wide, beautiful beach that's an amazing spot to spend the day and enjoy a bonfire at night. Seabright is probably the most popular spot in Santa Cruz for a bonfire, due to its convenient proximity to the Beach Boardwalk. But luckily, this beach is tucked in between the San Lorenzo River...
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  • Pleasanton, California

    Courdet Trail and Schuhart Trail

    5.24 mi / 1122 ft gain
    This is a 5+ mile out and back trail through the hills in the South Bay. The beginning of the hike has a steeper incline and then becomes more gradual later on. There is a beautiful views of the South Bay that are enjoyable in the day, but are fantastic in the evening. Some areas of the trail hav...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf Cowell's Cove

    4.8
    Cowell's Cove is located just south of Santa Cruz’s iconic Steamer Lane. The break is a slow pealing right, and is a very user-friendly wave for beginners. It can get crowded on weekends, especially when it's sunny, but no need to worry, there are a lot people out on foam boards and most are begi...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike or Bike the Old Growth Redwood Loop at El Corte de Madera

    4.4
    8.8 mi / 1900 ft gain
    This hike starts at the middle parking lot of the El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve. The middle lot is located roughly a mile south on Skyline Boulevard from the Skeggs Point Vista. From the parking lot, take the Methuselah Trail for 0.3 miles until you reach the Timberview Trail. Take this ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Beach Day at Lighthouse Field State Beach

    4.0
    This beach is less crowded compared to other beaches in Santa Cruz.  I got there early on a Saturday and found easy street parking.  There was plenty of space to spread out on the soft sand.  Later in the day I saw dolphins several times!  This is close to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.  It’s als...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike the Crystal Springs Trail Loop

    5.6 mi / 1300 ft gain
    This is a great hike for any season of the year, with rushing streams during the winter, wildflowers in the spring, and cool, shaded canyons during the summer. Starting from near the Zwierlein Picnic area, take the Crystal Springs to the left into the redwood forest. Stay straight at the next tra...
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  • Gilroy, California

    Redfern Pond via Hunting Hollow

    5.0
    7 mi / 1263 ft gain
    Henry W. Coe State Park, northern California's largest, provides outdoor enthusiasts with over 89,000 acres of land to explore, as well as 22,000 acres of designated wilderness area. With all of this space, the outdoor adventures are seemingly endless. We recommend a multi-day backpacking trip to...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Natural Bridges State Beach

    4.3
    Natural Bridges State Beach is a wonderful place to photograph located in Santa Cruz off of West Cliff Drive. This is a great place to practice long exposure photography to capture awesome water movement as it passes through the "Natural Bridge" formation. The best time to shoot this spot is at ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf at Natural Bridges State Beach

    4.5
    Natural Bridges is off of West Cliff Drive to the north of popular Santa Cruz break, Steamer Lane. The break is a right point break, which breaks on a rocky shelf and reef. The break is best during sizable swells (NW, SW, and West) and a low tide. Be sure to check the wind, this break gets blown ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Photograph Monarch Butterflies at Natural Bridges' Monarch Grove

    4.3
    The park's Monarch Grove provides a temporary home for thousands of Monarchs. From late fall into winter they make this their home and if you time it perfectly you can see them in clusters in the trees.  When you reached the Natural Bridges State Park, on the right of the Visitors Center you'll f...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike the Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve Loop

    3.7
    5.5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Getting there: exit Highway 280 at Edgewood Road, travel .75 miles east, turn left on Crestview Drive, then immediately left again on Edmonds Road.Once parked, there are several different path options through the park. All of them connect in a large loop, and return to the parking lot. The Cordil...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Hike Natural Bridges to Lighthouse Field

    3.5
    4.8 mi / 121 ft gain
    This is a paved trail that can be used for hiking, jogging, or walking.  It offers over 2 miles of beautiful California coast.  Walk through flowers, see the jagged cliffs, and of course the lighthouse at the end!  This walk can be done from either direction.  Start at Natural Bridges and head We...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve

    4.0
    4.2 mi / 600 ft gain
    Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve rests in San Mateo County, California. The sweeping hillsides exemplify the true native flora of California, as the foundation of rock and soil is poor in nutrients. Only a few specialized native plants are adapted to live here--don't miss the unique wildflower ...
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  • Pescadero, California

    Camp at Butano State Park

    Butano State Park definitely flies under the radar. But for those who love quick escapes, small crowds, fun hikes, and beautiful redwoods, it's a favorite. The park features miles of hiking trails, 21 drive-in campsites and 18 walk-in campsites. Restrooms with running water are provided. Drinking...
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