The past two weeks have been emotional to say the least. The stress from the election and the approaching holiday season has got many of us looking for a way to escape. I’ve been contemplating a long vacation to Canada but I’ll most likely end up going for a long walk with my dog Bodie. This time of year can be stressful enough just planning for Thanksgiving but with the uncertainty of the direction of our country we all need a moment to breathe and clear our minds. The best escape for me is through nature. My favorite place around the Bay to go when I feel stressed or overwhelmed is Land’s End in San Francisco. I love walking along the cliffs and looking out at the symbolic Golden Gate. As you walk the trails of Land’s End there is a secret labyrinth, which maybe isn’t so secret anymore. The labyrinth is on the edge of a cliff and is the most beautiful spot to reflect and observe where the Pacific Ocean meets the Bay. My friends and I found the secret labyrinth while running here in high school and it has been one of our favorite spots ever since. The overwhelming beauty and awesomeness of this place allows me to let go of all my worries and live in the moment. Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to set aside time to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the Bay Area. Instead of furiously searching for less-than-amazing Black Friday deals, I will be outside enjoying the beautiful Bay Area that I call home–and working off Turkey Day dinner. There are so many breathtaking spots around the Bay Area waiting to be explored, like the drop-dead gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge at Marin Headlands, or a hike to the beach at Tennessee Valley. Tilden Park is home to a lot of dog-friendly, off-leash trails on the ridge with big vistas, and Montara Mountain provides a little bit of a challenge with a strenuous hike that has great views up and down the coast and into the Bay. Another great spot for the whole family to enjoy is the Roberts Regional Recreational Area in the East Bay Regional Park District. This particular spot is surrounded by gorgeous Redwood trees, and has lush beautiful fields and a playground that can’t be beat. I hope on Black Friday we can all use the day off to destress and appreciate this amazing place where we live. Find more amazing outdoor spaces near you by using REI’s #OptOutside activity map. Happy Holidays!