San Francisco is pretty much the same weather year round. It’s usually about 60 degrees, a bit rainier in the winter and foggier in the summer. Which is great weather for any outdoors activity, but being from New York I ache for true seasons. The good thing about the predictable weather is that it’s easy to escape. We can drive 30 minutes and be in 90 degree weather in the summer. And we do that a lot! While many of you try to search for places to cool off this time of year, we’re constantly searching for sun and today I’m sharing some photos from a little outing we went on and some ideas on our favorite summer spots just outside the city…
This post is sponsored by Lands’ End and their partnership with Melanoma Research Alliance. Their stylish swim tees, like this striped one I’m wearing, has a UPF of 50 for full sun protection. See more info about their partnership at the end of this post and check out all Sun Savvy products right here.
Do you like finding a spot to sit in the water on a warm day? I crave it, always have, even when it’s not warm out here! As long as I know there’s summer somewhere close we make pool hopping a priority. Earlier this week Edie and I took an outing to find some sun up at our friend’s pool in San Anselmo which is 30 minutes north of our home in San Francisco. When we left the house it was 62 degrees and when we arrived it was almost 80!
Edie loves the water but sometimes it makes me so nervous watching her lunge toward a ball or teeter haphazardly on the edge. Ahh! One of Edie’s favorite things to do at the pool is fill and empty a bucket with water. Often it lands on me of course when I’m not quite ready to jump in.
Her other favorite thing is getting cozy in a towel afterwards. These Lands’ End towels are so comfy. It made me realize how uncomfortable our current set of towels are that are at least 10 years old. I think we need a whole new set. Even Jared commented that our new towel was luxurious!
This striped tee I have on is actually one of Lands End swim tees. They’re like a really lightweight rash guard and are on sale right now. I love that they can double as a thin shirt (I wore mine all day yesterday) and yet still dry fast and are sun-safe, approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Also great for when the water or air temp is a little chilly, or on vacation when your kid insists at hitting the pool at 8am and you can’t say no (am I the only one who this happens to?). Swim tees to the rescue!
Although we have friends both north and south of the city that have private pools, public pools around the city are GREAT and we go there every week during the summer. They’re clean, entertaining with water features, and warm water. Plus, there are usually vending machines with popsicles which is probably Henry’s favorite part. A couple weeks ago we went to a 3 different Marin pools in 3 days. Here’s a run down of each and some other fun spots to search for sun + water close to the city.
1. Marinwood in North San Rafael: this is a pool that has a lot of green grass to lay on and a huge twisty waterslide for kids that can pass a swim test. It’s Henry’s favorite pool and there’s a nice playground and big lawn as well on the same property. One thing I don’t like is from the baby pool you can’t see the big pool at all so it’s hard to watch older kids and entertain the littles.
2. Terra Linda in San Rafael: I think this might be my favorite. It’s the closest (30 minutes door to door). It has a little baby area with small water features that’s perfect for Edie’s age, but could be boring for anyone 4 and up. In the large adult pool they blow up a HUGE obstacle course in the afternoons, think Wipe Out style! You do have a pass a swim test to do it but most school aged kids are able to pass ok. It’s also great because you can see all the pools from one spot which I really appreciate.
3. Hamilton Pool in Novato: for sure the best kid area. It has a little kid water slide and lots of features and things to climb up on and up. But best for preschool aged kids. The main pool is large and lots of green areas to sit. It’s also the furthest in Marin from the city by about 10 minutes north of Terra Linda pool.
4. Rinconada pool in Palo Alto: this is a great pool for younger kids south of the city. I’d say, preschool aged is best. It’s pretty much just a HUGE little kid pool with water features and slides and then a lap pool next door. It can get PACKED and the hours are sometimes a little funny, plus it about 45 minutes south of the city.
5. Aqua Adventure Waterpark in Fremont: We’ve been here a few times because there are always deals on Groupon or Living Social and it’s a very manageable waterpark that’s not very crowded. About an hour west, it’s a bit more a trek. There are 4-5 large slides, a lazy river, a regular pool, a great water feature area that’s perfect for preschool 3-6 year old kids, AND a little splash pad area with a very manageable slide that Edie loves. She stayed in the splash pad area the whole time! Also the lazy river is crazy warm and there’s a huge bucket that dumps every few minutes. There are certainly other big waterparks around but I love the small to medium ones that don’t get the crowds, especially for Henry’s age.
Where do other locals search for sun outside of the city?
Happy to find out that Lands’ End has partnered with the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) to help bring awareness to the prevention of UV skin damage as skin cancer has increased by 30 percent in the past year (how scary is that?). If you take a picture of your swim tee and tag both #LandsEndSunSavvy and @LandsEnd on Instagram and Facebook, Lands’ End will make a donation to the Melanoma Research Alliance.
Photography by Ashley Aikele and big thanks to our friends Kendra and Seth Smoot for letting us shoot at their lovely pool up north.