Oakland is a large metropolitan city noted more for its urban communities and architecture. Just outside the city however, visitors are treated to some of the most pleasant countryside in the USA, the rolling California hills and San Francisco Bay area.Travelup ReviewsNo trip to Oakland could be considered complete without a trip to explore the breath taking countryside of surrounding California. Due to the region’s wonderfully warm climate, it’s always good weather for hiking around Oakland. Whether you’re after relaxing rolling hills, city vistas, waterside strolls or even more adventurous mountain climbing, the land around Oakland has it all. Five of the most popular hikes and walking trips accessible quickly from Oakland include;

- Batteries to Bluffs Trail

This short waterside trail provides idyllic views of birds and boats drifting across the San Francisco Bay, as well as dynamic views of monuments like the enormous Golden Gate Bridge that straddles it.

- Muir Woods and Tourist Club Loop

For a gentle family forestry jaunt this hike is perfect. Taking you through forests of giant redwood trees, the Muir Woods are awe inspiring, thought provoking as well as relaxing.

- Mount Diablo’s Grand Loop

For a little bit more adventure Mount Diablo provides vast panoramic views of the whole San Francisco Bay area, meaning you can look back to where you’ve come from Oakland.

- Steep Ravine via Matt Davis, Mt Talmapais

Cut by thousands of years of water coursing through, Steep Ravine is an enchanting hidden gem in beautiful Marin County’s crown.

- Sibley Volcanic Geology Hike

For something a bit different, the Sibley Valley is formed by the lava flow of a long extinct volcano. What remains today, is a fascinating landscape of igneous rock formations and old magma tunnels. The geology hike is a great way to engage kids in geology.

It’s easy to get out of the city and into the countryside either by hiring a car or taking advantage of Oakland’s excellent public transport network. You can find details on Oakland transportation through the Travelup Reviews website or arrange car hire through the main Travelup website. Travelup are highly regarded travel agents who offer a range of great deals on travel packages to destinations all around the world, and are perfect to advise any travellers looking to get on their feet and explore the countryside of California.


Orlando, FloridaThe first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people when they think about Orlando in Florida is Mickey Mouse, rollercoasters and theme parks. This sunny part of the world has become a bit of a theme park homeland attracting families and couples from all over the planet to experience the rides and adventures on offer.

 

One of the most recent additions to the Orlando theme park roster is Harry Potter World, which is part of the Universal Islands of Adventure. Other impressive parks that you might already know of are Busch Gardens – home to some of the biggest rollercoasters – SeaWorld, and the original, and arguably still the best, Disneyland. You could spend your entire trip visiting these parks, and many people do. They may be a little bit pricey and they don’t offer the highest cultural experience, but where else in the world are you going to get to play out your movie star fantasies, adventure into an underwater world or even sign yourself up for American Idol and embarrass yourself on American TV.

Universal Studios in Orlando, FloridaAfter you have either entertained the kids, or enjoyed being one yourself, there are quite a few other highlights to be had on a trip to Orlando. Being California, there’s a tremendous collection of spas and health centres. There’s no end of luxurious places for you to spend the days pampering yourself. And if that’s not your thing either, or you want to get your husband out of the way so that you can stay in the spa a little longer, there are plenty of golf courses to while away the hours on too.

 

Space station in Orlando FloridaHidden behind the glare of the theme parks there’s also some genuine culture to be explored in Orlando. Whether it is the City Arts Factory, where you can look at the art or relax in their classy coffee house, the glass exhibit, or the world famous Blue Man Group concerts, you can fulfil a few slightly less guilty pleasures in Orlando too.

Orlando is one of the great family holiday destinations. Take them there before they grow up; just make sure that you take some time to enjoy the other sights once you get there.

Travelup reviews are distributed by the experienced travel agents at the Reading agency Travelup. Find a Travelup agency the next time you are planning your trip abroad. You can also find Travelup reviews for many of the other holiday destinations you might be considering.