As my regular readers know, I grew up in the town of Boulder Creek, California, which is located in the Redwood tree studded Santa Cruz mountains.
The small resort city/town of Santa Cruz is about 20 minutes from Boulder Creek. As you can imagine I spent most of my teen and young adult years at the beach, going to school (at Cabrillo College in Aptos), or working in and around the city of Santa Cruz.
Boulder Creek is in the center of the "greenish" mountain area. The city of Santa Cruz is at the bottom of the map. The Silicon Valley is in the immediate area surrounding San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino.
This video clip of Santa Cruz, put out by local Santa Cruz realtor Bryan Mackenzie is phenomenal. You'll understand immediately why I return to the Santa Cruz area as often as I can ...
Kudos to Annetta for posting the link.
PS: Let me add - and for R.M. - in my view, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a far superior experience than Disneyland, especially for young kids. There's no admission fee, the ocean breeze during the summer is awesome, and you can get individual tickets, or all day passes. And you can go to the beach any time you get bored with rides or the games (it won't happen). The restaurants on the wharf - a 10 minute walk from the Boardwalk - are awesome too.