Magazine article Sunset

Slide into Summer

Magazine article Sunset

Slide into Summer

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO On the south slope of the always-sunny Mission Dolores Park, swing sets and 38-foot-long super-slides have displaced sunbathers in Speedos. The new $3.5 million Helen Diller Playground is a G-rated Vegas for the toddlers and a serious workout for the adults who chase after them--across bridges and down spiderwebs, from the bouldering rocks and sound gardens to the wooden boats. Early reviews from those who really matter are glowing. "Everything here is fun," cheers a giddy 7-year-old girl, rainbowing her face with a snow cone from the nearby cart. "Everything!" sfrecpark.org

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SANTA CRUZ

Park yourself here

Not so long ago, Little Basin Cabins and Campground was where software engineers came to do trust falls with their bosses. Now the former Hewlett-Packard private retreat--and newest addition to the quickly contracting California State Park system--is open to the rest of us. There are a dozen modest cabins and three times as many spots to plop your tent around the 520-acre redwood wonderland, not to mention plenty of hikes like the 1,200-foot climb to Buzzard's Roost. But if you're looking to get deeper into the woods, sign up for one of the outdoor ed-inspired activities: This month, learn how to be a redwood ecologist or book a spot on the nighttime astronomy walks. …

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