Nature’s Summer Secrets

Here’s what’s making us happy this week…

Would you swim in a shark’s cove? Yes, absolutely. At least at this O’ahu snorkeling place, which might have an intimidating name (Sharks Cove) but has no intimidating creatures. The North Shore cove takes its nickname from the large rocks that define it. Come in the summer to get the best views of honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) and Hawaii’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. The pronunciation? Now that’s intimidating.

IMG_7185Photos by Coty Gonzales

A free ride. Monterey Bay’s 17 Mile Drive along the coast from Pacific Grove to Carmel is one of the world’s classic road trips. It whisks you past stately houses, world-class golf courses, the famous lone cypress, and a shoreline of seabirds and seals. The price of admission is $10. To get in free, you can go by bike (you better like curves and hills). The fee is also waived if you book a horseback ride with Pebble Beach Equestrian Center.

17 Mile Drive scenePhoto by Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr

The unknown lake. Even locals are surprised to hear that Orange County has honest-to-goodness natural lakes. The largest one, Barbara’s Lake, is in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Stop in at the gorgeous Nix Nature Center to get the deets and take in the views from the expansive windows. Then, follow the signs to the lake.

laguna_nix-nature-centerPhotos by Mike Boucher via Flickr

The wilds of San Francisco. Sure, San Francisco is a city. But it’s a lot of wild, too. While we love Muir Woods and Land’s End, the trails can be crowded. Instead take in nature from a vantage point less traveled: on the roof of Fort Point National Historic Site, an old military building under the Golden Gate Bridge. Admission is free. Just keep taking those stairs ’til you reach the top.

sf_fort_towerPhotos by Christine Ciarmello 

Title photo by Harvey Barrison via Flickr