We had our Christmas early this year, and my mom gave me the best present—a Sonoma County Regional Parks Pass gift card that I can redeem anytime during 2013 for a full year of access to the 55 parks in our brilliant, widespread regional parks system. Some of my favorite spots make the list: Helen Putnam in Petaluma, Riverfront outside of Healdsburg, Spring Lake, Doran (with a long stretch of sandy beach, it's perfect for dogs and kids), Crane Creek (Frisbee Golf!), Hood Mountain (Hobbit-land), Ragle Ranch and so much more. It’s the perfect present for nature lovers, people with dogs (unlike state parks, most regional parks allow dogs on leash), and people who like to meander through trees rather than do death marches up mountains. With a baby on the way in January, the park will give us access to a summer of easy hikes with babe in tow, and across the greater North Bay. The pass costs $69—a bargain when you think about all of the adventures in store during a full year of use. Gift cards are the way to go because then the recipient can choose to register for the pass whenever they want. I’m waiting until March, when the whether starts to clear up and the hills and valleys begin to beckon. Gift cards can be purchased online, or locally at Oliver’s Markets in Santa Rosa and Cotati, Sebastopol Hardware Center, Frizelle Enos Feeds or Sonoma Outfitters. 145 Third Street, Santa Rosa. 707.528.1920.
The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.