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Trek and treat: it's not like you need a reason to hike the region's most breathtaking trails. But here are three good ones just the same.

MARIN

Mt. Tamalpais East Peak A sweeping view of the fog-haloed bay is almost reward enough for climbing 1,300 feet in just 3 miles. But the final quad blaster to the old fire lookout more than earns you some extra calories. Trailhead on Panoramic Hwy. by Mountain Home Inn; parks.ca.gov

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Tony Tutto Pizza Tony spent decades in the music biz before bringing his one-man organic pizza show to Mill Valley. With kaleidoscopic combos like sweet corn-Maui onion-gorgonzola dolce or peach-fig-grapes, every pie is out of this world. $; 5 miles from trailhead, at 246 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley; 415/383-8646.

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YOSEMITE

Mariposa Grove Hit both the lower and upper groves for 6 moderate miles of mind-boggling sequoias (stick to the dirt trails). Don't miss the view of the sky from inside hollow Telescope Tree. Enter at park's south entrance; or 209/372-0200.

Tenaya Lodge Treat your toes to a 60-minute Foot Revitalizer (acupressure, soak, and massage) at the lodge's new 10,000-square-foot spa. Those shoulders feel a little tight? You deserve a hot stone massage. 7 miles from trailhead, at 1122 State 41, Fish Camp; 888/574-2767

SOUTH BAY

Big Basin Redwoods State Park Pick up a map at park headquarters, then head out and explore a dense patchwork of trails (we're crazy about the Skyline to the Sea Trail) that loop you past gurgling creeks and many of the park's largest old-growth redwoods. parb.ca.gov

Boulder Creek Brewery & Cafe Of the eight craft beers on draft, the caramely Redwood Amber ale is hands-down the best. Plus it goes nicely with an order of crunchy-creamy avocado fries. $$; 3 miles from the state park, at 13040 State 9, Boulder Creek; 831/338-7882. -SOPHIE EGAN

MONTEREY COUNTY

Show a park some love

With nearly a quarter of our state parks set to close within a year, it's a good time to pay attention to the ones we love. Our favorite this summer: Fort Ord Dunes State Park, just north of Monterey. It lies on 4 miles of pristine beach, and except for maybe a snowy plover or legless lizard, you likely won't see another soul. Morning fog burns off early, revealing stunning views of the bay, from Pacific Grove to Santa Cruz. It's the perfect time for one of those quiet little moments in the sand. The ones we too often take for granted, parks.ca.gov -JENNIFER M. VOLLAND

Don't miss ... a chance to pair fish with your Phish at this year's Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. Over 60 restaurants and wineries are on hand to nourish the music-loving masses, including such local standouts as Flour + Water, Memphis Minnie's, and Ridge Vineyards. Aug 12-14; Golden Gate Park; sfoutsidelands.com

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Title Annotation:Editor's picks
Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 2011
Words:459
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