San Francisco Bay Area
Stanford University is located in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area, known for its temperate climate, golden foothills, and exciting array of activities for visitors, including cultural events, professional sports (Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants games, for example), trips up and down the Pacific coastline, wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma Valley, hiking around Redwood Giants, and many other outdoor activities.
In the past, SIPP participants have organized small group getaways to destinations like the city of San Francisco, which is only a 30-minute drive or train ride away. A stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge, a boat ride to Alcatraz, a great meal in China Town or North Beach, a visit of the Museum of Modern Art, shopping for souvenirs at Fisherman's Wharf, sampling gourmet foods at the newly renovated Ferry Building - those are only a few examples of things to do in the City.
For the wine connoisseurs among the SIPPers, renowned wine and tourist destinations Napa and Sonoma Valley offer wine tasting at some of the world's finest wineries featuring tours of unique grounds, magnificent gardens, aging caves, and historic buildings. A stroll around Sonoma Plaza, heart of the City of Sonoma's historic district, takes the visitor past former Mexican army barracks, 19th century hotels, the historic Sonoma mission, as well as chic boutiques, bounteous shops, and excellent restaurants.
For a truly special outdoor experience, Muir Woods National Monument, just north of San Francisco and Big Basin Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains provide many miles of hiking trails through old redwood growths, lush canyon bottoms, and open oak woodlands. Many animals such as deer, raccoon, coyote, fox, an occasional bobcat, mountain lion, and many bird species--including California quail, egret, heron, hawk, owl, woodpecker, and the endangered marbled murrelet--call these parks home.