Three of the my four favorite places to be in California, other than Oakland, is by the Ocean (San Gregorio in Half Moon Bay & Carmel ), in the desert (Palm Springs) or in the wine country (Napa Valley). With the exception of Palm Springs, which is in Southern California, these places are all here in the Bay Area and most only take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to get to.
Although there are numerous beautiful beaches here in the Bay Area in Northern California, my favorite is San Gregorio, which is partly a gay nude beach a breath-taking 45 minute drive to an hour away from Oakland in Half Moon Bay along Highway 1. I talked about this beautiful secluded nudist beach last year in my October 2007 blog entry(see link).
Mark and I go there year around. Above is a picture of me that Mark snapped while we were in San Gregorio over the weekend. I feel so fortunate that so much natural beauty is so close to me and that it is either very inexpensive to experience or FREE! No matter where you live, take a break from the hustle and bustle and take time to enjoy the natural beauty in your area and the sense of peace that it brings.