California’s Coastal Range
January 28, 2010 | Permalink
Road warriors traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area rarely consider this a trip to the mountains. In fact, this region is part of the Pacific Coastal Range and offers lots of fun activities.
Extended Stay Hotels guests staying in either of the Santa Rosa hotels are just minutes away from wonderful outdoor adventure. The nearest facility to Santa Rosa is Annadel State Park. A haven for wildflowers in April and May, Annadel’s trails are great for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. You can even fish for bass and bluegill in Lake Ilsanjo.
Also nearby are Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Hood Mountain Regional Park. Sugarloaf contains the headwaters of Sonoma Creek, so come in the early spring for best viewing of the 25-foot waterfall. This is also a good place to view deer and gray foxes. You may even get a glimpse of the occasional bobcat or coyote. Hood Mountain advertises itself as being for the serious hiker, so be prepared for rugged trails and, if possible, bring a hiking buddy along.
From the Extended Stay Hotels in Vacaville and Fairfield, you have easy access to the Napa Valley, arguably the most famous valley within the Coastal Range. Volumes have been written about the tourist attractions here, but Road Warrior will focus on nature’s beauty and the best places to enjoy it.
West of the Napa Valley, off Highway 128, is Lake Berryessa, a man-made lake providing drinking water and flood control for the region. While not as highly developed as some lakes, Berryessa offers boat and jet ski rental as well as great fishing.
Most people don’t realize that one reason the Napa Valley grows wonderful wine grapes is its proximity to an ancient volcano. This fact also created some interesting places to visit and fun things to do.
Near the northern end of the Valley is Calistoga, the self described “best spa town in America.” Here water, heated by underground molten magma, is offered by local spas in the form of mineral hot springs, mud baths and soothing whirlpools. At some places, you can even add a glass of local wine and a relaxing massage.
Two other local attractions owe their existence to the region’s volcanic past. Just north of the town of Calistoga is the Old Faithful Geyser of California. While not as well-known as its cousin in Yellowstone Park, this Old Faithful delivers its show of steam about every 30 minutes.
Just ten minutes from Old Faithful is the Petrified Forest. Here you will step back in time more than 3 million years. Giant trees once covered by volcanic ash have been turned to rock and remain here today for your viewing.
As sophisticated as urban San Francisco may be, there is plenty of natural beauty in the mountainous region to make your business or leisure trip more enjoyable. It is nice to know that these attractions are also close to your comfortable, affordable room at one of our San Francisco By area Extended Stay Hotels.
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