It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here. I have much to be grateful for, both professionally and personally. This year, we celebrated the opening of our creative studio, Baana - a space for Abacus Row to grow and a gathering place to build connections and community. This year, my husband and I also celebrated our first wedding anniversary (though only after a long day at NYNOW).
This year has been full of hard work and long days. It's a choice and I feel fortunate to be in a position where I get to make the decisions on how I spend my time and what I'm working towards. While the holiday season is ramping up, I'm trying to make time for friends and family. To take it in without the weight of a never-ending to do list in front of me.
For small businesses in the retail industry, the holidays are an especially challenging time to find balance. Encouraging people to stop and take a deep breath is what makes me particularly excited about the #optoutside movement. A new tradition that encourages people to slow down and spend time in nature rather than rushing around in crowded stores.
Every year, we travel up to Washington to spend time with family. Following a big day with family, we plan to spend our Friday walking the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful estuary at the base of the Puget Sound. This is where fresh water from the Nisqually River meets the salty tides of the Puget Sound. It's a place where changing management practices are restoring the naturalness of the place and improving the health of the Puget Sound. There aren't endless trails here, but we'll take it slow. It's one of my favorite places in the world.
I suspect I'm not alone in needing a day to get outside and recharge, so with that in mind I'm sharing a list of recommended outdoor walks or hikes around Northern California. We've asked a few of our outdoor-loving friends to share their favorite hikes and they provided a range of options, from easy-to-access spots in San Francisco to a dog-friendly trail with ocean views in Half Moon Bay to a mountainous trail in Tahoe. Take your pick.
a few outdoor recommendations from our friends
Genevieve: Tomales Point Trail (Inverness)
Co-owner of WEND Studio & proprietor of LeMay Shop
This trail has been a long time favorite of mine. The drive from Point Reyes Station is in and of itself fantastic, but the stretch out to what my family dubbed the "Elk Trail" is breathtaking. Picture rolling green hills spotted with cows and an ocean that goes on for eternity. The start of the hike is alongside a historic farm with a whitewashed barn that is almost too picturesque to be real. But best of all, if you're lucky ( you most likely will be) you will be rewarded with a heard of wild Elk that are the cherry on top of a truly fantastic hike. On your way home stop back in Point Reyes Station and pick up a bottle of wine and some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery to wind down your evening with.
Mary: Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail (Half Moon Bay)
Founder of Nellie Victoria
My husband and I love hiking the Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail with our pop, Penny. Unparalleled ocean views, low impact workout, lots of open space. Best part - you can reward your post-hike self with a glass of wine and fried artichoke hearts by the fire at dog-friendly Moss Beach Distillery.
Rae: Tahoe Rim Trail (Tahoe)
Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant
Conservation Biologist at the American Museum of Natural History
I'm hard pressed to name a second-favorite hike. My absolute favorite, everyone-should-do hike is the Tahoe Rim Trail. It's amazing. And not just for people who are tracking bears ;) The most beautiful views you've ever seen - google them and you'll be in awe.
Jen: Andy Goldsworthy's 'Woodline', adjacent to Lovers' Lane (San Francisco)
Blogger, Window of Imagination
Created by the iconic artist Andy Goldsworthy, it's a natural feat of wonder made entirely of fallen Eucalyptus trees that zig zag through the Presidio forest. In the late Fall and Winter, the fog hangs low and the calmness of the earth brings true peacefulness to the soul.
Maggie: National Cemetery Overlook (San Francisco)
Founder of Whisk & co-founder of Baana
This walk is easily accessible and is located in the middle of the Presidio forest in San Francisco. Beautiful views of the cemetery and its rolling hills with the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and the San Francisco Bay in the distance.
Devon: Matt Davis-Steep Ravine Loop (Stinson Beach)
Christine's husband and Baana Handyman
This moderate loop hike starts and ends in Stinson Beach, just north of SF in Marin County. Do the hike clockwise to minimize contact with other people and get the steepest part of the hike out of the way first. You'll climb up the side of Mount Tam to beautiful views along the coast, and then back down through the Redwoods into a steep valley that leads back to Stinson. Take a blanket and a bottle of wine in case the weather allows for a post-hike sunset on the beach.