San Francisco April 19, 2017
10 Under-Appreciated State Parks Near San Francisco You’re Sure To Love
California is full of nature and beauty. If you’re looking for a natural thrill in the outdoors, then Northern California is ideal. Let’s take a look at 10 overlooked state parks around San Francisco and beyond! Make sure to check for weather conditions and park hours. Let’s go!
1. Angle Island State Park: Angel Island State Park Tiburon, 94920
Angel Island is a hidden gem in the midst of the urban Bay Area. Angel Island State Park, the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, offers some of the best views of the surrounding Bay Area and incredible coastal hikes.
2. Big Basin Redwoods State Park: 21600 Big Basin Way Boulder Creek, 95006
Another overlooked gem! This state park offers lots of nice, forested hikes with towering Redwoods. It will take about 1.5 hours from the city, so give yourself time. In the end, the redwoods and majestic mushroom growth will wow you!
3. Butano State Park: 1500 Cloverdale Rd, Pescadero, 94060
A short drive outside the city gives you a wonderful state park full of surprises. Explore the "Little Butano" trail and enjoy streams, banana slugs, wild mushrooms, newts, ferns, and more!
4. Fort Ord Dunes State Park: Beach Range Rd, Marina, 93933
Enjoy this park for a variety of reasons. You'll see waves crashing at the start of the trail all the way down to the beach. There will be spectacular views of Monterey in the distance along the hiking trails.
5. Salt Point State Park: 25050 Hwy 1, Shoreline Highway, Jenner, 95450
Enjoy the odd shaped rocks and dreamy atmosphere here. This state park is along the ocean. Also, there are a lot of pretty wildflowers, native animals, and photo opportunities.
6. Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve Park: 17000 Armstrong Woods Road Guerneville, 95446
Everyone goes to the Redwoods, but instead check out the calm, majestic beauty of this Grove at this state park. This park is a living reminder of the magnificent primeval redwood forest that makes California so grand.
7. Limekiln State Park: Highway 1, Monterey, 93920
This park is open and waiting for would be hikers and nature lovers. The park features the beauty of the redwoods, the rugged coast, and the cultural history of limekilns.
8. Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park: 800 North Street, Sacramento, 95814
The most unique and eclectic state park is more historic than anything else, but still worth exploring. Visit a mansion run by the Department of Parks & Recreation. Also, enjoy a guided tour and walk around the grounds. Check out the state capital too!
9. Garrapata State Park: 31841 Cabrillo Hwy, Carmel, 93923
This overlooked park is located on Highway 1 about 7 miles south of Carmel. Due to past storm damage, the beachfront areas are closed, however most of the trails on the mountain side are open. You'll be able to enjoy some coastal views along with dense coast redwood groves.
10. Andrew Molera State Park: Ste 1, Big Sur, 93920
This park is closed, however it may be due to open this September. Even when it is open, this state park was overlooked because of all the beauty nearby in Carmel, Big Sur, and more. This is an undeveloped and coastal trail system that is ideal for true nature lovers.
Have you been to any of these parks? Let us know about your experience at these beautiful spots. Share this story too! If you’re interested in nature, check out
The Newest State Park Near San Francisco And It’s Incredible.