Planning a 'stay-cation'? Here are a few ideas of places you can visit (may of them free!) within a short drive of Belmont. For more detailed information on each attraction, click on the links provided.
San Mateo County History Museum
Channel your inner kid. "Playing Grown Up: Toys from the Harry P. Costa Collection,'' through Dec. 31. An exhibition of antique toys including pedal cars and fire trucks, a "G-men Fingerprint Set,'' a Lionel train set and many more.
$3-$5; free children ages 5 and under. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. (650) 299-0141, (650) 359-1462, www.historysmc.org.
This offers 14,000 square feet of walls reaching 35 feet in height as well as 3,500 square feet of bouldering caves, walls and arêtes. In addition, there is a basic gym with an extensive array of fitness equipment including weights and machines. All participants under the age of 18 must have a Planet Granite waiver signed by their parent. Fees range from $12-$19. Located at 100 El Camino Real, Belmont. (650) 591-3030, www.planetgranite.com.
Ano Nuevo State Reserve
Guided walks begin at 9 a.m. and continue through mid-afternoon. The reserve is one of only three mainland-breeding sites in the world for the Northern Elephant Seal. Adult male elephant seals are at the reserve to molt during July and August. Visitors may tour certain areas of the reserve by obtaining a Visitor Permit at the Visitor Center and see the seals from the Seal
$10 parking; $7 per person for guided walks. State Highway 1, 22
miles north of Santa Cruz, San Mateo County. Reservation line: (800)
444-4445, General information line: (650) 879-0227, (650) 879-2025,
Bay Area Ridge Trail
The Bay Area Ridge Trail, when completed, will be a 400-mile regional trail system that will form a loop around the entire San Francisco Bay region, linking 75 public parks and open spaces to thousands of people and hundreds of communities.
Guided tours of the Fifield/Cahill Ridge Trail are on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. This is a chance for small groups of hikers, bicyclists or equestrians to trek through the pristine 23,000-acre Crystal Springs Watershed.
Reservations are required; go to www.sfwater.org to make a reservation. For more information, call 415-561-2595 or go to www.ridgetrail.org.
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. An interactive place where children and adults can make a stuffed animal. Choose a bear, elephant, dog or rabbit pattern, stuff the chosen animal, dress it and create a birth certificate.
Free admission; $10-$25 per animal; clothing and accessories
extra. Located in the Hillsdale Shopping Center, San Mateo. (650) 577-8713,
Djerassi Resident Artists Program
The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, founded in 1979, is designed to allow artists time to work and create in a 580-acre wooded setting and structure that frees them from routine cares and responsibilities. A Director's Tour and Two Mile Tour are available with reservation. 40 sculptures that have been created on site punctuate the woods and meadows in ways both surprising and instructive. Most of the sculptures were made by artists-in-residence during their month-long stay at the Program ranch. There is a charge for the tours.
Ranch Front Gate, 2325 Bear Gulch Road, Woodside. (650) 747-1250,
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park was established in 1892 and became and remains a choice cemetery for some of the most prominent and powerful families in San Francisco and California. Beautiful monuments to memorialize the achievements of these men and women were built by the leading architects, sculptors and artists of the early 20th century. The Heritage Foundation provides educational programs to students, conservation and preservation professionals, and communities throughout Northern California. Located at 1370 El Camino Real, Colma. For information on free walks, tours and talks, call (650) 755-0580,
Fifty-Plus Adventure Walks and Runs
The walks and runs are three-mile round-trips, lasting about one hour on the trail. All levels of ability are welcome. The walks are brisk, however, and may include some uphill terrain. Free unless otherwise noted. (650) 323-6160, www.50plus.org.
- Menlo Park Walk, fourth Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Meet at the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 930 Santa Cruz Ave. (650) 493-1621, (650) 329-6628.
- Moss Beach/Half Moon Bay Walk, first Saturday, 9 a.m. Meet at the Pillar Point Harbormaster Building, Princeton By the Sea. (650) 563-7121.
- Peninsula Hike, Thursday, 7 a.m. Locations vary (650) 856-6658, (650) 328-1180.
--Bay City News