For this week's Escape from SF, we ventured south to the oldest state park in California, Big Basin Redwood State Park. Here we caught a glimpse of towering trees, tumultuous waterfalls, tent cabins, and the beautiful coastline at Waddell Creek.
The 18,000 acre park, with almost 11,000 square acres of old growth, can be reached from Highway 1 via the coast and from the southeastern side just 22 miles from Santa Cruz.
Home to the largest stand of redwoods south of San Francisco, Big Basin also hosts an impressive 80-plus miles of trails where you're sure to spot some of the local fauna—e.g., deer, raccoons, bobcats, and abundant bird life.
Also, dogs are only permitted in campsites, picnic areas, and paved roads. They must be on a leash and attended at all times.
Make reservations here for camping. Or, better yet, just head down for the afternoon for the perfect day trip. Winter hours at the park are from 8am to 5pm Monday through Thursday and 8am to 7pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
* Note: Park will be closed from December 10 - December 11 due to a severe weather alert. Please be advised.