What to Do in the Bay Area


People and cities are, relative to the wildlife, pretty much the same everywhere. So I always recommend focusing first on nature. These suggestions are not necessarily in order of priority.


1. Farmers' markets and the Berkeley Bowl (to see what we eat here)


2. U.C. Berkeley (including the dinosaurs in the Valley Life Science Building), the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden (plants from all over the world), the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Tilden Park Botanic Garden (only California native plants, from all over the state)


3. The Oakland Museum (the natural history of California, the history of California, and art)


4. Muir Woods (the redwoods!), Muir Beach Overlook (approaching the ocean along Highway 1 after visiting Muir Woods, it will be on the left a great view of the ocean and the coast)


5. Point Reyes National Seashore, especially Drakes Beach (a nice seafood cafe is there, and the warmest seawater for swimming)


6. Ano Nuevo State Reserve (elephant seals resting (sometimes fighting or mating) on the beach) and the Monterey Aquarium in Monterey


7. Briones and Morgan Territory Regional Parks (nice hiking)


8. My favorite restaurants: http://mjvande.info/mjv2.htm


9. Kinokuniya Bookstore (in Japantown, San Francisco, if you like books about Asia) and City Lights Bookstore (in San Francisco, if you like poetry)


10. The Marine Mammal Center at Fort Cronkhite: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/ (hospital and research center for northern California marine mammals)