The beaches here sprawl—from wide-open sandy strips, to hidden rocky coves—and each is wildly different from the next. But there’s more here than just beaches: the rolling inland hills are protected in a series of parks and marshlands, ideal for day-hiking. In between, small towns beg exploring, and lush, green farms dot the countryside. Plan to poke your head into country antiques shops, then load the trunk with strawberries. Or pick your own: the olallieberries ripen through the end of July. An amazing seventy percent of San Mateo County is dedicated open space. How magical to see the primordial old-growth redwood forest spilling into the churning sea at the edges of Big Basin Redwood State Park. The coast here looks just as it always has—and there’s no chance of it being developed, thanks to the Peninsula Open Space Trust.