As we cross the one year threshold on our global pandemic and shelter-in-place guidelines, there can be no doubt that our outdoor space is more cherished than ever before. A recent survey compared 200 US cities for the coveted 2021 spring outdoor activities listing, and we won!
These Spring 2021 rankings were determined by availability of outdoor activities, visitor friendliness, and springtime climate.
Outdoor attractions took into account the number of public gardens and arboretums (tree gardens) per 100,000 residents; number of walking trails; number of camping sites, as well as the average residential yard size.
Visitor friendliness took into account the walkability and bikeability of the city; pedestrian fatalities per capita; natural hazard index; and violent crime rate.
Spring climate took into account the average monthly temperature, sunshine and precipitation in inches; average number of very cold day vs. very hot days in spring; and air quality.
And the winners are:
1. San Francisco
Home to 220 parks, San Francisco ranked as the best big city for spring activities. Out of the 200 cities listed, it ranks 17th for outdoor activities, 6th for visitor-friendliness, and 51st for spring climate. Highs in San Francisco average in the low-to-mid-60s in the spring.
2. Portland, Oregon
Full of natural parks filled with trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, Portland ranks 5th for outdoor activities, 11th for visitor-friendliness, and 103rd for spring climate. March highs land in the low 50s and gradually increase to the high 60s through May.
Brimming with beautiful beaches, Honolulu ranks 11th for outdoor activities, 101st for visitor-friendliness, and 1st for spring climate. Highs in Honolulu stay in the 70s throughout spring.
4. Mesa, Arizona
Arizona's third-largest city, this desert destination ranks 93rd for outdoor activities, 8th for visitor-friendliness, and 33rd for spring climate. Spring highs in Mesa, AZ start in the mid-70s in March and climb to the low 90s through May.
5. Washington, D.C.
This bustling yet green city ranks 13th for outdoor activities, 8th for visitor-friendliness, and 110th for spring climate. Highs begin in the mid-50s in March and climb to the mid-70s through May.
6. Tuscon, Arizona
Known for getting 350 days of sunshine a year, Tucson ranks 10th for outdoor activities, 98th for visitor-friendliness, and 4th for spring climate. Highs begin in the mid-70s in March and heat up to the mid-80s through May.
7. Los Angeles, California
California cities make up nearly a third of this list, starting with Los Angeles, which ranks 10th for outdoor activities, 98th for visitor-friendliness, and 4th for spring climate. Spring in Los Angeles is pretty moderate, with highs in March in the high 60s and May highs in the low 70s.
8. Long Beach, California
Living up to its name, Long Beach is great for those looking to spend time near the ocean. It ranks 32nd for outdoor activities, 33rd for visitor-friendliness, and 18th for spring climate. Spring highs stay in the high 60s to low 70s.
9. Huntington Beach, California
Also known as Surf City, Huntington Beach ranks 44th for outdoor activities, 34th for visitor-friendliness, and 5th for spring climate. Spring highs stay in the mid-to-high 60s.
10. Las Vegas
Though home to tons of indoor fun, Las Vegas is great for getting outside. It ranks 19 for outdoor activities, 74 for visitor-friendliness, and 26 for spring climate. March highs are in the mid-60s while May highs are in the low-80s.
So while no Bay Area resident needs to be told we are fortunate to live in the Bay Area, isn't it nice to learn that the world agrees?
Best Places to Explore
By day, it’s a great place to enjoy with family and friends and as the sun goes down, it’s one of the only beaches that allows for legal bonfires. So be sure to bring enough s’mores makings to share.
Access and parking can be tricky, especially in COVID times, but this sweet little sandy beach with shallow water (can get muddy) is ideal for young swimmers looking to splash in almost warm water. It’s also a great place to launch a kayak.
How lucky are we to have access to miles of protected open space, free for all to hike and bike. Restrooms and picnic tables can be found at the parking lot of Rodeo beach — and while it’s not really my favorite hobby, certain spots are mecca for birdwatchers!
China Camp State Park
Mountain biking here is awesome. Regardless of ability, you can go for miles and take multiple trails to explore. We’ve had some great youth group camping fun out there too.
One of my favorites because either way you go, you’ll end up at a beautiful secluded beach. Take the hard way, up hills, rewarded by amazing views, or just walk the level paved path — it’s the best of both worlds.
Stinson Beach - I love walking along the entire beach. I see people enjoying the cold water (not my thing, but they look happy) and if you’re lucky you’ll see a paraglider land on the beach.
Located in San Rafael, this is a one-stop-fun-shop; there is a beach, pool, tennis courts, volleyball courts and grassy areas to play or have a picnic.
For more articles about buying, selling and living in Marin County, I invite you to visit my blog site. Tracy Curtis, Coldwell Banker Realty, 415-910 0599.
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