You always hear talk about living in the rat race that is Silicon Valley. All the hard work we do to innovate the world and make it a better place. But behind the scenes, we also play pretty hard and live a very active lifestyle. The Bay Area is an amazing playground for those of us who like to get out into its natural beauty and amazing weather.
I grew up in Palo Alto, I lived in an area that you could consider “rural.” I had miles of hiking trails through neighbors open yards and open fields. I’d go out after school and not come back until sunset. It was a different time back then but the landscape hasn’t changed much.
The rolling hills between 280 and 101, along the Page Mill corridor, still looks the same from my youth. The main difference today is the high tech giants of VMware, Tesla and SAP that hug the hillsides.
But it’s not just the natural beauty of this area that makes it so appealing. It’s the accessibility to so many amazing areas to play that are only a quick drive away.
There is always a body of water nearby. Reservoirs of Crystal Springs, Lexington, Calero are just minutes away and you can paddle board, boat or just enjoying the beauty. Santa Cruz and the majestic northern coast are just over the hill for surfing, paddling boarding, kayaking, kite surfing, sailing, and swimming.
The hills surrounding the Bay Area provide miles of hiking, horse back riding and biking trails. And whether you venture to Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpais or the Santa Cruz Mountains, you are never too far away from home. It is amazing to think that 20 minutes outside of downtown San Jose, you can find the tranquility of a redwood forest with only the sound of the wind and birds chirping in the trees.
Just beyond the Bay Area we have the Sierra Mountains. Only a short 3 hour drive takes you to Tahoe area. With its majestic lake and outlying trails, for biking, hiking and in winter skiing, it’s an outdoor paradise. Whenever I venture up to this area, I feel it is a mini vacation from the craziness of the Bay Area. A place I can reconnect with family, soothe my soul and refresh my mind.
And if you like wine, Napa, Livermore, the Santa Cruz mountains, and Morgan Hill provide ideal day trips to indulge.
The roads that connect all these places are also fun if you are into motorcycles or just love a Sunday drive. Just push the pedal to the metal through the rolling hills of 280, the pacific beauty of 1, the winding roads of 9, 84, and Skyline. Or the lost valleys off 130 that take you deep into a forgotten period of time.
Silicon Valley is a fast paced, highly innovative area. We work extremely hard to live in this area. But if you take a moment to step outside and enjoy its natural beauty, you’ll realize why this is one of the best places to live and play.