Bay, Beach & Boulders
We have a great deal of flexibility with our travel plans so when Dave learned he had to be on location at a client site in San Jose for the week we ended up taking a detour! We spent the week enjoying San Francisco, the bay, the beach and the nearby Pinnacle National Park. Over the course of our detour we ended up staying at two different RV parks, Morgan Hill RV Resort and San Benito RV Resort. Both campgrounds offered a convenient place to park and sleep while we explored the area.
Our first evening we spent exploring San Francisco, of which the kid's favorite part was visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding trails. One tip I discovered was not to park in the tiny Golden Gate parking lot but park instead at the Fort Point National Historic Site. Parking is free and far more available and there is a scenic trail that is less then a mile in length that will take you to the bridge.
We next went to Fisherman's Wharf where we enjoyed San Francisco sourdough at Boudin and toured their factory museum. As the sun set we found ourselves taking in the views at Ghirardelli Square and having icecream at the squares namesake ice cream parlor!
Our next day of exploring took us to Monterey bay wharf for lunch at the Cannery Row Brewing Company, followed by a drive on the 17 mile drive to Carmel Beach. As Dave and I were also celebrating our 22nd anniversary we decided to end the day with something special - Dessert for diner! We happened upon Cafe Stravaganza in Carmel where we all shared a number of delicious desserts including a bread pudding that was my absolute favorite!
After exploring the beaches and cities we were ready to explore a more remote locale. We ended up visiting The Pinnacles National Park on two occasions for hiking and bouldering. The Pinnacles include oak woodlands, canyon bottoms, caves and rock spires that make up a very unique terrain. It was not nearly as busy as other National Parks and monuments we have visited and it offered a number of trails for any desired level of difficulty. I recommend a day spent at the Pinnacles followed by dinner at 19th Hole in Tres Pinos. This former 1880's saloon turned restaurant offers great food and authentic Western ambiance.
Sometimes detours can lead to unexpected adventures. Our detour to the Bay area, its surrounding beaches and the Pinnacles provided many such adventures. Now, however, we must return to our schedule and see what awaits us in Yosemite. In the meantime, "Go Forth" and do not miss the surprises and adventures found on the occasional detour!