Hidden gems in the Bay Area to explore on your next quarantine adventure

by Anika Mani and Lavanya Subramanian

On March 13, 2020, Harker made the announcement that they would be transitioning to a virtual learning environment. Although there was some apprehension about the impending pandemic, the thrilling idea of attending school in pajamas and no longer having daily 45 minute commutes put smiles on students’ faces as they left campus that Thursday. However, if after quarantining at home for the past 351 days you crave a change of scenery, you’re not alone!

There are many places to explore nearby. All across the Bay Area lie hidden gems, places that shouldn’t be missed but are often overlooked. We’ve curated a list of the top gems you should visit to escape from the repetitive monotony of your time at home. 

1. Wilder Ranch State Park

Looking for a perfect, socially distanced beach trip? Wilder Ranch State Park is just the place for you. Even in the winter, the air is warm with just a hint of a breeze. After walking along the cliffside that perfectly overlooks the sparkling blue Pacific, climb down a quiet, secluded path into a small stretch of sand. The soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore echo throughout the cliff sides. From the stunning scenery to the serenity, this “secret” cove is a perfect way to spend quality time with your loved ones.

2. Pace Art and Technology Museum 

On the outside, the Pace Art and Technology Museum looks like any other building on Hamilton Avenue, but one look inside will reveal that the gallery is anything but that. From the aesthetic and interactive displays to the elaborate mazes filled with artwork, it’s hard to pick just one remarkable aspect of the museum. One thing’s for sure: the unique fusion of art, animation and technology makes for an incredible experience that no one should miss out on.

3. Sausalito and Marin Headlands 

Right across the Golden Gate Bridge lies the town of Sausalito and the Marin Headlands, tucked away from the busy city of San Francisco. Marin Headlands is filled with scenic drives and numerous beaches including Black Sand Beach. While Sausalito is slightly farther than the city of San Francisco, grabbing take-out food from restaurants in town and picnicking on the beach is the perfect way to spend a warm, sunny day.

4. Silver Creek: “Sunset Spots”

The Silver Creek and Evergreen area in San Jose has many hills that are perfect for picnics, watching the sunset, and photoshoots with friends. Park on Whitetail Lane near the Ranch Golf Club and set down a blanket on the grass to watch the sun set over the entire Bay Area. In addition to the amber evening sky, the vines and arches by the golf club create a picturesque backdrop for Instagram photos.

5. Somi Somi at Main Street

Right in the middle of Main Street in Cupertino is Somi Somi: a unique Korean dessert shop that serves the traditional Korean “Ah-Boong,” a fish-shaped waffle cone that can be filled with a variety of fillings and soft-serve ice creams. The warmth of the soft cone along with the cold ice cream creates the perfect delicacy. Whether there’s a celebration coming up around the corner or you’re just really craving something sweet, Somi Somi’s original and delicious treats are perfect for the occasion.


6. The Pilgrim’s Way in Carmel

A little over an hour away from the Bay Area, Carmel holds countless places to explore such as the beach, cute cafes and small businesses like the bookstore The Pilgrim’s Way. The town is full of tucked away alleys to venture through, and towards the back of the store is a secret garden. Make sure to plan a full-day trip and bring a camera, as there are many opportunities to take aesthetic photos.