An immensely popular hiking, jogging and walking spot, The Dish is actually named after the radiotelescope that is still in use by researchers. Open from dawn to dusk, cars are parked all day long along Stanford Avenue, the street leading up to the area's entrance. Find it at: Stanford Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard in Stanford. Hours: 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Lose yourself in the many intertwining trails of Pearson Arastradero Preserve in the foothills in west Palo Alto. The preserve has a 275- to 775-foot elevation and is home to bobcats, deer, coyotes and numerous birds, but the view is worth the hike! Find it at: 1530 Arastradero Rd. in Palo Alto. Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset.
Located just north of downtown Palo Alto, Edith Johnson Park boasts a beautiful vegetable and flower garden, playground for the kids, and 2.5 acres of soft grassy lay-around lawn. Grab your red-and-white checkered cloth and head over for a picnic after picking up gourmet groceries at downtown. Find it at: 200 Kipling Street in Palo Alto.
Adjacent to the bay, Byxbee Park is comprised of a wetlands preserve and beautiful trails for on-leash dog walking. Enjoy pleasant views and some of the best trails in Palo Alto. Restrooms and parking are available. Find it at: 2375 Embarcadero Rd. in Palo Alto.
Mitchell Park has it all, from a swimming pool to softball diamonds and tennis courts. Plenty of parking is available, as is shade from trees that surround the park. Dogs are welcome, so grab your frisbee and enjoy. Check out this map of picnic areas for reservations. Find it at: 600 East Meadow Drive in Palo Alto.
This natural wilderness area is one of the few remaining on the Peninsula. Take a walk around the lake or for a bit of a thrill, visit the water sports rentals and try windsurfing. After a pleasant day on the lake, hit up one of the lakeside cafes for some afternoon refreshment. Find it at: 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View.