Annie Burke is the creator of Outside Kids.
In the summer months, those of us living in the hot inland areas head west on highways 580, 80, 92, and 84 in search of cooler temperatures.
It all changes in the winter.
Now is the time to head east and explore the Delta and western Contra Costa counties. There’s so much to do and see. All without sweating profusely.
What do you know about the Delta?
Here are two places that make a good trip with kids (besides the Jelly Belly factory).
- Big Break Regional Shoreline. There’s a great visitor center that tells all about this really fascinating place. Rivers flowing from the Sierras all converge here, along with a complicated and unsustainable amount of human engineering. My kids loved a huge relief map in the ground that they could walk all over. There’s a pier, a playground, and room to roam.
- Rush Ranch. Situated on the Suisun Marsh, this place is way cool. There are short, flat trails through what is a really important brackish tidal marsh in the estuary. There’s a small but informative visitor center, picnic benches, and a stable with horses. Spend a few minutes under the eucalyptus trees near the parking lot and listen for owls.
Have you jumped off any moss-covered rocks lately?
- Morgan Territory. This is a HUGE open space that’s great for longer legs looking to stretch. It’s also great for the 3-4 year old set who can walk 1-2 miles. There are climb-able trees and fantastic rocks to explore. The views of Mount Diablo can be stunning. You feel like you’re light-years away, and you’re only 40 minutes from Oakland.
- Round Valley. We went here once and saw rabbits, frogs, tadpoles, beetles, and horses. The hills are green (this time of year) and everything is growing. It’s such a special place that I’m reluctant to tell you much about. You just gotta go.
Have you been to these places? Share pictures and stories on the 510 Families Facebook page. We want to hear!
Do you love and want to preserve the Bay Area’s natural wonders? Learn what you can do to take care of these pockets of local wilderness with me on Outdoor Voice!
[All photos provided by Annie Burke]