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Road trips: Things to do near Palmer’s West Campus

3/24/2011 (Archived)

Now that summer is in the air, it’s a great time to get out and take a road trip! Here are just a few things you can do in the areas near and far around Palmer’s West Campus. Included are the miles away from campus for each location.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and Planetarium – 1660 Park, Ave., San Jose, Calif. (8.39 miles)
With more than 4,000 artifacts, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America. The Museum opened in 1966 and welcomes more than 100,000 guests per year.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo – San Jose, Calif. (9.09 miles)
If you have kids, make sure you visit the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Not only is the Zoo celebrating its 50th year, it has also been awarded LEED® gold status under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Happy Hollow’s 16 acres offers the zoo, rides, education center, restaurant and more.

Natural Bridges State Beach – Santa Cruz, Calif. (39.88 miles)
Natural Bridges State Beach has an ocean-carved natural bridge off the coast, mudstone bridges carved into the cliff, and tide pools where you can view sea stars, crabs, anemones and more. The State Beach consists of 65 acres, a eucalyptus grove (to which up to 150,000 monarch butterflies migrate each winter), saltwater and freshwater marshes, Coastal Scrub and sand dunes.

Monterey, Calif. (78.37 miles)
Located on Monterey Bay, Monterey is not only beautiful, it also offers a number of unique attractions, including: the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Cannery Row (where John Steinbeck was inspired to write his novel of the same name). Monterey is just a short drive to Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Napa Valley, Calif. (99.77 miles)
Napa Valley is world-renowned for its wineries, but there’s more to Napa than just wine-tasting and tours. Other attractions include: museums, galleries, theatres, fine dining, bed and breakfasts, spas, and more.

San Luis Obispo, Calif.(191.85 miles)
San Luis Obispo is located in the middle of California’s Central Coast and features beaches, lush hillsides and 30 miles of trails. SLO offers eco tours, biking tours, museums, spas, golf, horseback riding, kayaking, and more. You can also visit the legendary Hearst Castle, a National Historic Landmark mansion and former home of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Yosemite National Park – (182.60 miles)
Yosemite covers an area of more than 760,000 miles and is known for its waterfalls, granite cliffs, Giant Sequoia groves and breath-taking wilderness. Visitors go to Yosemite to camp, rock climb, hike, bike, appreciate the wildlife and flora, take the eco-friendly shuttle bus, downhill and cross-country ski, snowshoe, and more. Yosemite is open year-round, with some sections closed during the winter.

Looking for something a little different? Check out these unusual attractions:

Monopoly in the Park– Discovery Meadow, near the Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose, Calif.

SanJose.com’s Top 10 Ghost Towns

How Weird Street Fair– May 1 – San Francisco, Calif.