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Good Bay Area activities for a mom-in-law birthday weekend? (spas, outdoor, day trip, non-hotely places to stay)
She’s from the Midwest, but we’ve done the SF tour on previous visits. We’re thinking getting a bit out of town would be good, and we’ve got a car to use. Due to some health things, we’ve got some restrictions: no far-out new foods (and no seafood at all), no alcohol, nothing too physically taxing, no more than a couple hours in the sun. Overall she likes to be comfortable, but loves seeing/experiencing new things and having fun. Our goal is to have lots of quality talking time while doing some memorable fun and relaxing things. [and not spend a fortune – particularly for a place to stay]
WITHIN SF, I’m thinking Greens restaurant, maybe a visit to the Ferry building farmer’s market, maybe something in Golden Gate Park (Sunday morning w/good weather) or Land’s End trail or a picnic in Dolores Park, the 49 mile drive?, is the Exploratorium fun as an adult? ........ would do KABUKI spa (that would be PERFECT) but she’s here Fri-Sun and it’s clothing optional those days (which she would be uncomfortable with). Any similar ones? Could be in the greater Bay Area?
OUT OF SF, we’ve thought of Mendocino (would be PERFECT but too much car time for such a short visit – but great combo of nature, shops, restaurants, all new to her, and alternative but not too funky), Napa / Calistoga (but she can’t have wine, so that’s torture), Monterrey / Carmel (haven’t been in years… aquarium sounds awesome… where to stay?), maybe Western Marin somewhere? (that seems great), redwoods – Muir or East Bay – sounds like a good short activity, ..... maybe a ferry ride to Angel Island or Sausalito or Tiburon (it’s be great to get ideas of fun things to do in those places – no rigorous hike, not wild about yuppy window-shopping, but I’m sure there’s fun to be had – like the Tiburon Friday night street party?), ... too bad it’s a little too early for Apple Hill. mmmmmm
Comfy outdoorsy stuff would be great. Ideally I’m thinking a fun group activity like Burke’s canoe trips on the Russian River but shorter/milder. A walk on Mt Tam? Something more interesting/new/fun than that? I’d really like to come up with creative not-every-day things—like bowling or ice skating (summer, obviously), Chile-tasting festival, mud bath (can’t with her sensitive skin, but wouldn’t that be fun), ...
A cabin in the woods somewhere? Not a big hotel chain but not too rugged?
Hopefully this is enough info to throw some ideas out there!