Whether you’re looking to escape the confines and heat of the major cities, an alternative to the beach or are simply on vacation, there are some terrific days out in the west to enjoy the beauty of nature and catch some rays. Of course, not all the western states enjoy the same fabulous year-round summer of California but when that sun does come, days out in the west are all about making the most of the glorious weather and the stunning surroundings.
The Marin Headlands are located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, and ensure one of the best days out in the west. They offer amazing shoreline views, a great surfing experience and some opportunities to see the wildlife. Driving to the area is an adventure in itself due to the exceptional views, and you can make it even better by joining the parade of cars on Conzelman Road to Hawk Hill. Once you have reached the beach parking spot, look for the trail leading to Black Sands Beach. Those who wish some private time mixed with enough adventure can follow the 2.2-mile Tennessee Valley one-way trail, which leads to a secluded and beautiful beach flooded with black and green basalt pebbles. The beautiful mélange of natural attractions and the fun of traveling there make the Marin Headlands one of the best West Coast day trips.
One of the more relaxing spots in Portland, OR is the eastern shore of the Willamette River, and the Sellwood Riverfront Park. The park has several picnic tables, installed in advantageous locations offering views of the surroundings. The stretch of green area is ideal for a game of Frisbee, some yoga or anything that you like doing outside in the sun. You’ll see many people walking their dogs as the wetland’s northern edge provides the perfect loop for a walk.
The area of Soldier Pass in Sedona, Arizona has a huge network of routes, so it’s important you plan beforehand which one you are going to explore to have one of the best west coast day trips. The pick of the routes is the 4.5-mile long round trip known as Trail #66. This scenic route will take you pass the terraced Seven Sacred Pool, a favorite among visitors.
Those who love organic products will find this an excellent day trip. The beautiful Cedros Gardens in Solana Beach, San Diego are spread over 1.3 acres of land. The gardens showcase vignettes that change with seasons, providing you with inspiration for your own garden. It may be operating as a nursery business but the gardens are lovely and tranquil and a delight to wander even if you’re not in the market for garden products.
This Seattle Park is 277 wooded acres jutting out into Lake Washington. The beautiful sandy beaches and challenging bike paths provide you with a perfect combination of adrenaline-filled activities followed by complete relaxation. The historic landmark of the renovated 1927 Tudor Gatehouse is the entrance to some fine trails and art and nature exhibits.
The Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado is one of grand days out in the west. Popular with visitors and locals, it offers a great view of the Colorado State Capitol building – perfect for some classic summer photo-ops with the gold dome in the background. You’ll love that along with the flower beds full of colorful blooms, there are plots of edibles, grown by the civic authority and donated to the needy. The Civic Center Park is a fitting focal point for the Mile High City.
Among day trips in the west, the Earthbound Farm in Carmel Valley, CA is likely to offer the widest range of experiences. Take a walk around the labyrinth, snip your own herbs or buy some organic flowers. Simply wander the beautiful grounds or watch a cooking demo or follow a bug walk. This is what simple sunny days out in the country are all about.
This was really just a tiny selection of the amazing number of options for sunny day outs in the west. I’d love to hear from you Western girls of your favorite places. Pray tell!
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