Thursday, 3 March 2016

Bay Area visitors who want to walk along leafy streets, enjoy cultural attractions, and get in some great hiking should head toward Redwood City.  

Take note of the following 25 things you and your family can do in Redwood City for less than $25 per person.

1. Eat a scone inside a Victorian house

If history and good eating are two of your favorite things, visit  Alana's Cafe  and settle inside a circa-1874 Victorian home (on warm days, opt for a table under a tree outside). Start your meal with a fresh-baked scone for $3.50, and then move onto Martha's Famous Swedish oatmeal pancakes for $9.10. You'll want to lick your plate.

2. Learn San Mateo County history

On a rainy day—or any day, especially if you're a history buff—go to the  San Mateo County History Museum  for a lesson on the area's past with hands-on exhibits. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and free for kids under 5.

3. Play on a play structure

The awesome play structures  at Stafford Park  are absolutely worth the visit (and free to use!). Grab some food and set up shop at a picnic table, then race your kids on the monkey bars and down the slide.

4. People-watch on Broadway

If you and your family want to check out the locals, head to  the Shops On Broadway  and settle in for some prime people-watching. Spend your afternoon browsing, and check online before you go for fun  events and promotions.

5. Dig into a Burrata pizza

Vesta  is arguably the most popular pizza spot in Redwood City, so head over and order a table on the outside patio. Order one of their handcrafted and wood-fired Basil Burrata pizzas ($19 each), or a simple Marinara ($11 each).

6. Hike to a sandstone formation

Lace up your hiking boots, put on your sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses and drive to the El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve. Redwood City is known for its hiking areas and if you're the outdoorsy type, you're in luck. Park (for free!) near Skeggs Point, and then start on the six-mile Tafoni Loop. Take out your camera to snap photos of the beautiful honeycomb-shaped sandstone boulders along the way.

7. Take in a show at the Fox

A visit to Redwood City isn't complete without swinging by the stunning  Fox Theatre. Built in 1929, this theater has beautiful Moorish and Gothic architectural detail. Exciting performances are scheduled all the time, so check the  online schedule  before heading over. Tickets to the upcoming Nutcracker ballet start at $22 per person.

8. Get lost in records

Record stores are dying, but thankfully Redwood City still has the perfect place for anyone missing the old days. The Record Man  has a deep, thorough collection of vinyl, and music junkies can spend hours looking for that perfect 45. Try to find the  album from your childhood, play it on one of their many turntables, and educate your kids on the best music from your day.

9. Pay homage to water engineering

pulgas-water-temple

It may sound strange, but Redwood City has a monument to water. It's the  Pulgas Water Temple, and it honors the engineering feat of bringing water from the Hetch Hetchy in the Sierras to the Bay Area, providing drinking water for the entire region. Impressive, since it took 24 years (including through the Great Depression) and $102 million to complete. The temple is gorgeous, free to the public, and open Mondays through Fridays.

10. Burn off steam at La Petite Playhouse

At 10,000 square feet,  La Petite Playhouse  is an awesome indoor playground made up of tubes, slides, and a climbing wall. It has several areas where kids can go wild, and it's the perfect place to go on rainy days. Admission is just $10 per person and free for kids who can't walk yet.

11. Dance to live music

In the mood for live jazz music or stand-up comedy? If so, head over to  Club Fox  near the Fox Theater, an ideal place to wind down for the night. Tickets are usually very cheap (around $7-$10), parking is abundant, and the drinks are tasty.  Check their calendar  for events.

12. Have a taste of Italy

La Biscotteria  is an Italian bakery that gets raves among the locals for their daily-baked delicacies made from fresh organic ingredients. The family-run shop are famous in Redwood City for their biscotti (with many varieties at under $10 a bag), and they're almost as famous for their generous and welcoming customer service. Try the delicious Snowballs at $5 apiece.

13. Check out live theater

The Bay Area is home to countless places to see live theater and Redwood City is no exception. If you're looking for something fun to do during the evening, buy tickets to the latest show at  the Dragon Theatre, where tickets are as low as $22 per person, though rush tickets are $10 if you're lucky to get them.  Check out the calendar  before you go.

14. Try New York pizza in California

For a delicious night out with your family, try  Galeotti's Pizzeria, a local favorite for their New York-style pizza. Check the chalkboard for the day's specials and then have your kids order off of the inexpensive children's  menu: just $6 for cheese ravioli and $3 for a slice of pizza.

15. Play pickup basketball

SportsHouse Indoor Sports and Grill   is a great place to get into pickup game of basketball or volleyball, just $10 per person on a drop-in basis (adults only, so take your older kids). Hungry after your game? Just walk over to the on-site restaurant Kicks Sports & Grill for a $6 wedge salad or an $8 cheeseburger.

16. Play nine holes

Looking for a cheap round of golf in a beautiful setting? Make your way to  Emerald Hills Golf Course, a par 3, nine-hole course in Redwood City. Rates here are crazy cheap, just $15 on weekdays and $16 on Saturday and Sunday. Fore!

17. Enjoy green tea ice cream

Never had green tea ice cream? Now's your chance! Belly up to the counter at  Queen Bee Ice Cream, where small scoops will run you just $2.75, and hand-packed quarts cost $7.95. This family-owned shop has been a local favorite since it opened in 2011. If green tea isn't your jam, go for the honey-flavored ice cream Lavender and ginger are also tasty.

18. Make a splash

On a hot summer day, there are few places better in Redwood City than the pool at  Red Morton Community Park. Jump in with your family, then play catch in one of the park's ball fields and cook burgers at an available BBQ pit. Admission is just $3 per day.

19. Learn aviation history

For just $15 for adults and $10 for kids aged 5 to 17, you can check out the  Hiller Aviation Museum  in San Carlos, three miles north of Redwood City. The museum's exhibits offer a peek into the history of air travel back to the late 1860s and include a glimpse at the future of aviation.

20. Feast your eyes on wildflowers

edgewood-park-and-natural-preserve

If you're lucky enough to visit Redwood City during the spring, don't miss a chance to explore  Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve. This 467-acre plot of land is the  place to see wildflowers. Note: pets are not allowed to visit with you. Check the  website for information on docent-led nature walks  on the third Saturday of each month.

21. Go on a short hike

Outdoor exploring is a common pastime for people who live in Redwood City. While you're on vacation, blend in with the locals and hit the well-kept trails at  Stulsaft Park. This 42-acre plot of land has a stream you can walk along, as well as off-leash areas for your dog and a water play area for kids during warm weather months.

22. Start your day with a cinnamon roll

Right down the street from the Redwood City Caltrain station, you'll find teeny-tiny  Kristi Marie's, an adorable café and bakery that serves everything from breakfast sandwiches to a variety of pastries. For just a few dollars, you can savor the sweet flavor of a piping-hot cinnamon roll. Order two—calories don't count on vacation!

23. Listen to outdoor music

Redwood City offers  many free concerts several evenings a week  during the summer at Courthouse Square. If you're headed there during the winter, check the  city's website  for a list of fun events, like their day-long yearly holiday celebration downtown on Dec. 5.

24. Jump!

Three miles north in San Carlos, visitors can blow off steam at  Rockin' Jump, an indoor trampoline park where open jump time is priced by the half hour. 30 minutes will cost you $10, 60 minutes costs $14, 90 minutes costs $18, and 120 minutes is $20 per person. Phew. You'll be exhausted!

25. Let your dog run free

Just in case you brought Fido along for your vacation, you're in luck with a visit to  Pulgas Ridge Preserve. This 366-acre site (free parking and admission) is awesome for hiking (there are six miles of trails), but your dog is likely to be most excited about the 17.5-acre off-leash area at the center of the Preserve. Just take the Cordilleras Trail and you won't be able to miss it.

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