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If you’re living in an urban area and looking for a little change of scenery, why not take a weekend trip to the surrounding countryside? You can walk through the wildlife preserve (special area where animals are protected), where a winding footpath (a road you can walk on, that has many turns and changes of direction) will lead you through varied landscapes including dense forests, vast meadows, and gentle, rolling hills.
More adventurous visitors will enjoy exploring the rocky landscape of Yosemite National Park with its towering cliffs (very tall cliffs) and magnificent waterfalls. You can take a hiking trail that goes up the steepest face of the tallest mountain in the park (the side of a mountain is called a “face” – and “steep” means it is very vertical). The trail starts at the foot of the mountain (the base of the mountain) and the ascent takes about four hours; you can stop to have lunch on the banks of a clear, bubbling mountain stream.
From the summit, there’s a spectacular panoramic view (meaning you can see in all directions) of the area. To the east, you can see the jagged, snow-covered peaks of a distant mountain range (a group or chain of mountains); you can gaze at the lush green countryside (an area with lots of healthy vegetation) to the south, and when looking west, you can see the slow-moving, shallow river (a river that is not very deep or fast) that flows lazily towards the ocean.
The coastline is just a three-hour drive from the mountains, with miles of sun-drenched, sandy beaches. You can stay overnight at a family-run hotel in the picturesque fishing village (beautiful, good for taking pictures), where every room has an unobstructed view (there are no obstacles blocking the view) of the sea. The beaches tend to get crowded in the summer, so one option is to take a boat trip across the bay and explore the secluded beaches (beaches that are hidden) on the island – it’s well worth the trip (meaning it’s a good use of your time to go there).