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209 staff reporter

New England is famous for a lot of things – clam chowder and maple syrup and lobsters and lighthouses.

But it’s also famous for its leaves.

Every fall tour companies give tourists the opportunity to see majestic fall foliage dropping in all of its splendor – bright, bold colors contrasted with the darkening forests.

But you have to hop a transcontinental flight just to get a glimpse at one of nature’s most magical shows. All you need is a few hours, a map and a vehicle.

Here are a few places in the San Francisco Bay Area where the varied climate produces beautiful scenery when the weather finally starts to turn cold in California.

*Samuel P. Taylor State Park – This place is off the beaten path – two-thirds of the way to the coast from the Marin County community of Novato – which means that you have to know where you’re going in order to find it. But when you finally do it’ll be a quaint oasis that’s starkly different from the culture hustle-and-bustle of the region’s largest city across the bay. A combination of running creeks and soaring redwoods add to the gorgeous scenery and offers a wide variety of trees showcases some of the most beautiful scenery in the Bay Area. It’s accessible off of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and is located in the hamlet of Lagunitas.

*Sycamore Grove Park – Open spaces can be wonderful ways to rake in the fall season, and Livermore’s Sycamore Grove Park fits the bill in a variety of ways. At nearly 800 acres, this park, which includes a creek and views of the sweeping Livermore Valley, offers more sunshine than other more wooded areas and can serve as a perfect backdrop for hiking and taking in some of the least congested park space in the crowded region. The park is accessible by taken the Isabel Avenue exit off of I-580 and heading south towards Ruby Hills.

*Tilden Park – Berkeley might be known for being the birth of the free speech movement and its liberal ideas, but the hills above it offer picturesque views of the San Francisco Bay Area and provides some of the most natural beauty in the East Bay. While trees abound on the U.C. Berkeley campus at the base of the hill, up on Grizzly Peak Boulevard there is Tilden Park – a getaway within just minutes of the of the bustling flats below. Bring a blanket and some coffee and enjoy a break with the beauty that the San Francisco Bay Area shows at the change of the season.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.