Best Bike Trail

American River Trail, Old Town Sacramento

Yes, it's worth the drive. This beautiful, 32-mile-long trail follows the American River through forests and fields from downtown Sacramento to Folsom Lake. The hills are minimal, so your calves will thank you. Park near Old Town Sacramento and hop on the trail just beyond the train depot. The new asphalt path makes for a smooth and speedy ride, so watch out for the hard-core Tour de France types zipping along. After the ride, there is plenty of refreshment in Old Town Sacramento, with its five blocks of late-19th-century Gold Rush buildings that now house quaint candy stores and ice cream parlors. If long bike rides aren't your thing, but you like the idea of an easy, kid-friendly getaway from San Francisco, there is a short ride -- just about a mile -- that will take you from Old Town along the river to a nicely manicured city park with a playground for the young'uns. Not too far to make it there and back in time for a hot fudge sundae. Though not far enough to burn the calories.

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