Up on the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where Highway 17 winds its way through the redwoods down, down, down to the beaches of Santa Cruz, lies little Felton, a speck of a town surrounded on all sides by thick stands of redwoods. One of the best places to slip into this peaceful setting is local favorite (but off-the-beaten-track) Mount Hermon Conference Center . It’s privately owned, but the staff welcomes day visitors, even with pets on leash. Download or stop by the main office for a free trail map , then find a pretty stretch to explore—trails are generally easy and good for all levels, and kids love splashing in the creek. Afterward, if your kids are the type to perk up at the mention of Bigfoot, visit the nearby Bigfoot Discovery Museum , two rooms packed with footprint casts, videos to watch, and a staff of true Bigfoot-believers to show you around all the “evidence.” Still have time for more? Consider a ride on the Roaring Camp Railroad for a ride through the woods on a 19th-century steam train. End with a tent and a campfire at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with 15 miles of hiking trails and redwoods estimated to be up to nearly two centuries old.