Day Trippin’ around the Bay Area

If you happen to suffer from cabin fever while stuck in Orinda over break or have taken the accidental but inevitable overdose of relative interactions, try a day trip. Take your pick, or try all three. These day trips may be a little pricey, but the time shared is priceless!

A Day in Sausalito

12:00 p.m.: Leave Orinda, phew! $5 toll for crossing Richmond Bridge.
1:00 p.m.: Arrive in Sausalito.
2:15: p.m.: Capitalize on the open bay and rent a kayak at Sea Treck Rentals~$20 per hour. Contact Sea Treck at: (415) 488-1000, 85 Liberty Ship Way, Sausalito.
3:30 p.m.: You’re feeling a little hungry after the kayak excursion, understandably, and should consider the proximity to the sea, and in extension, to seafood. Try Sushi Ran for reasonably affordable and good sushi~$10 per person 107 Caledonia St, Sausalito.
4:30 p.m.: Rodeo Beach in Sausalito is a secluded sanctuary, placed after a long stretch of road with views spanning the whole winter horizon. Explore the trails and roads leading to an abandoned lighthouse. Tip: the beach is better in winter for some necessary clarity and quiet after the hectic holidays.
5:45 p.m.: Save the best for last! Hike a free two mile, two hour path under the full moon at Mt. Tamalpais. Careful, this hike is only offered on full moons so be weary of the season’s wanes and waxes. And be on time: these hikes leave approximately 15 minutes after sunset.  Contact info: (415) 716-8397.
7:45 p.m.: Leave Mt. Tam and head on home. Listen to 96.5 KOIT for your Christmas music needs.

Total cost: Roughly $35 + gas

A Day in Golden Gate Park

10:00 a.m.: Sleep in.
10:15 a.m.: Attempt making a pancake breakfast.
11:00 a.m.: Pack essential picnic food and drink.
11:30 a.m.: Pack up the car remembering to bring lots of layers, a turned-off cell phone, fast track, blankets, Google maps directions or GPS if you’re lucky, friends, snacks, holiday music for the car ride.
12:00 p.m.: Drive to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco (30 min, with traffic 1 hour, with a poor sense of directions 1.5 hour)~ $4 toll.
1:30 p.m.: Go to the Japanese tea gardens in the park. Enjoy the tranquility of nature and your yummy food. Buy a fortune cookie at the tea shop (Don’t be fooled, fortune cookies are not Japanese)~ $1.00. 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park, (415) 668-0909.
2:30 p.m.: Head on over to the Conservatory of Flowers (One of the world’s largest)~$5 100 John F. Kennedy Dr., Golden Gate Park, (415) 831-2090.
3:15 p.m.: Make your way to the Academy of Sciences. December is featuring a reindeer exhibit to get yourself in the holiday mood, but don’t let the other exhibits be forgotten~ $24.95, and worth it. 55 Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, (415) 379-8000.
5:15 p.m.: Get back into the car and head home.
5:20 p.m.: On the way stop at 9th St. for a quick bite~$8 per person.
6:15 p.m.: Take a detour and stop at Grizzly Peak. Pop the trunk, lay down the blankets and look at the stars and the expanse of the city.
8:00 p.m.: Return home, bundle in blankets, make hot tea and watch a holiday movie.

Total cost: $36.95 + gas

A Day of Hoppin’ Around Towns

10:30 a.m.: Stop by Dipsea Café for breakfast. This old-fashioned breakfast joint is famous for their giant, fluffy pancakes. Breakfast is served all day so don’t sweat if you get a late start~$10 per person. Off highway 1 in Mill Valley, (415) 381-0298.
11:30 a.m.: Walk the three mile loop (or take short cuts) under a canopy of trees at Muir Woods National Monument to enjoy the Bay Area’s very own redwood grove~$5 per person. Take Highway 101 to the Highway 1/ Stinson Beach Exit. Follow the signs to Muir Woods, (415) 388-2595.
1:30 p.m.: Grab a takeout lunch at the Parkside Café. But don’t eat yet! Your food will be worth the wait~$12 per person. 43 Arenal Avenue, Stinson Beach, (415) 868-1272.
2:00 p.m.: Picnic at the Muir Beach overlook (on highway 1). Yes, you get woods and ocean in the same day!
3:00 p.m.: Lounge on the beach and play in the sand. Be sure to bring a towel and some blankets to stay warm. If you’re feeling crazy, take a dip in the ocean.
4:45 p.m.: Watch the sun set over the water as you relish the golden coast.
6:00 p.m.: On your way back to Orinda, stop and explore the town of Tiburon. Get dinner at Guaymas to fill up for your ride home~$15 per person. (415) 435-6300.
8:00 p.m.: Arrive in Orinda and prepare for a crazy Saturday night!

Total cost: $42 + gas