This Valentine’s Day weekend, trade dinner reservations for a spectacular view. Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other or just hanging out with friends, experience the wondrous beauty and serenity of state parks as you reflect on the relationships that make you happy.

In Southern California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park offers expansive desert landscapes as well as some of the best stargazing in the nation.  Hike to Font’s Point to take in the geological wonder of California’s largest state park or wait until nightfall and watch the sky light up with more stars than you can count.

Bay Area residents can hike through the redwoods and oak groves of Mount Tamalpais State Park, past waterfalls and sweeping hillsides, to see views of the Farallon Islands, Marin County and San Francisco from the summit.  Watch the sunset as the fog rolls in over the bay.

Further north in Mendocino County you’ll find stunning coastal views at Jug Handle State Natural Reserve.  Home to a series of marine terraces that each exhibit a different stage of ecological succession, the Ecological Staircase trail shows visitors how glaciers, the sea and tectonic activity have formed distinct features. 

These are just a few of the many parks that can provide a beautiful change of scenery from city lights.  Visit the California State Parks website to look for a park near you.

California State Parks Foundation

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