Nature Lover’s San Francisco: Enter for a Chance to Win a Green Getaway to San Francisco
Even though I live in one of America’s biggest cities, I’m a nature lover at heart. Born on the beaches of Florida, I get a little stir-crazy when I’m cooped up in a concrete jungle like New York or confined to a land-locked town like Dallas. That’s one of a thousand reasons I call San Francisco my home.
Are you looking for an urban escape with a healthy dash of the great outdoors? Book a San Francisco vacation package and then check out my top five favorite natural escapes. Plus, keep reading to learn how to enter for a chance to win a special trip for you and three friends to San Francisco.
Top Five Nature Escapes in or Near San Francisco
1) Golden Gate Park: Sure, you hear a lot about Central Park in New York City but did you know that San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is 20% bigger and every bit as stunning? Encompassing more than 1,000 acres, the park boasts several world-class nature sights, including the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Botanical Garden, and the Bison Paddock.
2) Marin Headlands: I lived in San Francisco for two years before I ever made it over to the headlands, and what a mistake that was. If you’re looking to snap this iconic shot of the City by the Bay, this is where to get it. The headlands are also the perfect spot to watch that infamous fog roll in and blanket the city.
3) Muir Woods National Monument: “From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters…” Anything beautiful enough for Woodie Guthrie to include it in his famous song “This Land is Your Land” can’t be missed, right? Right! Make the quick trip across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument. There, even casual hikers can behold the giants of the forest, the mighty redwoods. No trip to San Francisco is complete without this awe-inspiring side-trip.
4) California Academy of Sciences: Though this sight could technically be included under the Golden Gate Park section, the California Academy of Sciences is so important it deserves a number all its own. This cutting-edge nature center achieved LEED platinum certification, thanks, in part, to its living green roof. Visitors can see an albino alligator, stroll through a bio-dome, watch penguins waddle in a frigid habitat, and gaze at the “stars” in the planetarium.
5) Ocean Beach: One of the last beaches in the Golden State to allow bonfires, this classic stretch of shore is within city limits–but it feels worlds away. Pack a beach blanket, hop the N Judah train to the very last stop on the line, grab a few snacks, and toast to the sun sinking low. But be careful! If you want to build your own bonfire, you must do it in one of the designated pits designed by local Burning Man artists!
Admit it, I’ve got you convinced! If you want to experience San Francisco for yourself, head over to Visit California and enter for the chance to win a trip.
You could win the Frank Almeda – Nature Lover’s Package to San Francisco, which includes a special tour of the California Academy of Sciences, a meal from famed loca chef Charles Phan, and a guided nature hike of the Marin Headlands for you and three friends.
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My name: Alison Presley
Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.
How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!
What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.
Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.