Increased fitness, unbeatable views, and an instant mood boost: the benefits of open-water swimming are drawing growing numbers of swimmers to the East Bay’s coastal waters. Whether it’s Alameda’s 2.5-mile sandy shoreline,the Berkeley Marina’s more challenging chop, or the relatively calm cove at Richmond’s Keller Beach, saltwater swimming is making a splash.
Nature is really growing on us. A new survey found that almost six out of 10 Americans have developed a deeper appreciation for the outdoors since the pandemic began — and the national parks are getting much of the love.
With popular options like Yosemite National Park filling up fast this summer, though, how do you visit and still enjoy solitude? The answer is to take the road less traveled. The Hetch Hetchy gate is the least visited entrance to Yosemite and the only way into the park without securing a day pass this summer. That alone is incentive to take Highway 120 through Groveland, but there’s much more to like about this lesser known route.
If there’s a silver lining to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s that the hospitality industry has found new ways to enjoy the outdoors. From electric bike rides in the country to virtual-reality goggles in the pool, resorts are reinventing what guests can do outside.
An industry leader in outdoor adventures is a group of properties started by famed bandleader Lawrence Welk. It turns out the folksy entertainer best known for champagne music was pretty perceptive about customer service.
It’s Santa’s big week, and the presents are nestled safely under our tree, to quote a movie line from “Jingle all the Way.” Statistics show the number-one present this season is the gift card — for anything from electronics to post-pandemic travel. This year, I’m gifting travel.
photo courtesy of Ginny Prior A favorite Yosemite Valley fall hike is the pleasant, forested trek to Mirror Lake, which gets no water this time of year but features a vast expanse of sand and rocks and a nearby collection of Hoo Doos, above, on a hillside.
November brings good news for those of us ‘pining’ for outdoor adventures. Yosemite National Park is no longer requiring advance reservations. The 5-month policy requiring day passes during peak summer travel ended Nov. 1 as the park ushers in “shoulder season.” Continue reading →
The circumstances of recent months have altered how many of us feel about travel. For some, the yearning for human connection has grown. For others, there’s a newfound peace in solitude. Continue reading →