Top Choice Nature Reserve in Pescadero

Año Nuevo State Park

Twenty miles northwest of Santa Cruz, Año Nuevo State Natural Reserve is home base for one of the world's largest mainland breeding colonies of northern elephant seals. Last entry is at 3:30pm.
Top Choice Park in San Jose

History Park

Historic buildings from all over San Jose have been brought together in this open-air history museum, southeast of the city center in Kelley Park. The centerpiece is a dramatic half-scale replica of the 237ft-high 1…
Lighthouse in Pescadero

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

South of Pescadero along the coast, the 115ft light station is one of the tallest lighthouses on the West Coast. The 1872 landmark had to close access to the upper tower when chunks of its cornice began to rain from…
Farm in Pescadero

Harley Farms Goat Dairy

The farm shop sells creamy artisanal goat cheeses festooned with fruit, nuts and a rainbow of edible flowers. Call ahead for a weekend farm tour (from $25) or show up anytime to pat the heads of the goats out back.
Nature Reserve in Gray Whale Cove to Mavericks

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

At Moss Beach, this marine reserve protects tidepools teeming with sea life, best viewed at low tide.
House in San Jose

Winchester Mystery House

An odd structure purposefully commissioned to be so by the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune, the Winchester Mystery House is a ridiculous Victorian mansion with 160 rooms of various sizes and little utility, wit…
Gallery in San Jose


A cutting-edge gallery highlighting themes by both established and emerging Latino artists, MACLA is one of the best community arts spaces in the Bay Area, with open-mic performances, hip-hop and other live-music sh…
Plaza in Stanford University

Main Quad

Auguste Rodin’s Burghers of Calais bronze sculpture marks the entrance to the university's Main Quad, an open plaza where the original 12 campus buildings, a mix of Romanesque and Mission revival styles, were joined…
Museum in San Jose

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

West of downtown, this unusual and educational Egyptian Museum is one of San Jose’s more interesting attractions, with an extensive collection that includes statues, household items and mummies. There’s even a two-r…
Tower in Stanford University

Hoover Tower

A campus landmark at the east of the Main Quad, the 285ft-high Hoover Tower offers superb views. The tower houses the university library, offices and part of the right-wing Hoover Institution on War, Revolution &…