The first full moon of summer happens July 3, bringing a season of opportunities to light up your life. Save the date for any of these three moonlight adventures. Get glowing!

Milagra Ridge Full Moon Hike
You won’t need fairy dust to enjoy a moonlit stroll loaded with ocean and city views; you’ll need a fairy trail! Good thing there’s the 1.5-mile loop at Pacifica’s Milagra Ridge—a bluffside beauty delivering a storybook setting. At 239 acres, this secluded open space traverses pavement, dirt paths and wooden steps through an island ecosystem where endangered plant and animal species thrive. Though the park feels small, the views are mighty—stretching from Mount Tam to Montara Mountain and lending the sense that you’re scaling the edge of the earth. Start the hike about a half-hour before sunset. Pass the yellow gate and make your way along the gently inclining paved trail, keeping an eye out for the endangered Mission butterfly with its orange and azure wings. When you reach a three-pronged fork about 0.5 miles in, veer up the Milagra Summit trail just in time to catch the amber sun dipping beneath the Pacific. The trail seems to end at this point, but cross over what appears to be the cliff's edge and go down a set of stairs surrounded by silver lupine and mustard clusters. It feels like you’re descending straight into the horizon, but instead you’ll end up back on pavement that will lead you to a World War II gun battery on the right, offering one of the best ocean viewpoints in the Bay Area. Retrace your steps up the paved path until it branches right to a dirt trail, keeping along the bluff's edge and winding by a lone cypress silhouetted against the blushing sky. As night falls and the moon rises, keep right to crest at a third vista highlighting the city of Pacifica as the nearby waves sparkle. Follow the trail down a final set of wooden steps to return to the trailhead. Full moon trifecta!

Milagra Ridge is located off Sharp Park Rd. in Pacifica off Highway 35, just 15 minutes southwest of San Francisco. Free parking is available on College Dr. just outside the gate. For driving directions and more information, visit Milagra Ridge's Web site. Here's a map of the park. Note: a mountain lion and coyotes have also been known to enjoy the view, so be aware, and try to hike with a pal if you’re going at dusk. Dog-friendly!

Full Moon Kayak Berkeley Marina
Ingredients for an adventurous first date: pairing up in a kayak and finding out who makes double trouble and who does double duty! Test the waters with Cal Adventures Outdoors Program. Their three-hour, full moon paddle excursions are primed for romance (or whatever floats your boat). You’re single? Cal Adventures will partner you on one of their sit-on-top dual sea kayaks. The journey embarks just before sunset, after a crash course in paddling and navigation. Squeeze into your wetsuit as blue herons look on and see you off from the south sailing basin. On clear evenings, groups of up to 20 paddle the southern edge of the 52-acre Berkeley Marina. Basic instruction soon gives way to the bay, where you’ll be privy to a stellar view of San Francisco. The crimson sky mingles with the Golden Gate Bridge as the sun sets to the west. To the east, the moon ascends over the Oakland hills. The trip’s shining moment is when the full moon’s glistening rays ripple across the waves and against San Francisco’s cityscape. If it’s rough waters, you and your partner will have to paddle forward as a team, trust one another to stay afloat, and—don’t forget—have fun. Yubba-Double-Do!

Cal Adventure tours meet one day a month, on or near the full moon, at the UC Aquatic Center, 124 University Ave., in the Berkeley Marina. Excursions run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and cost $45, or $35 for Cal Rec Members. Expect to spend an hour to an hour-and-a-half on water, with the remainder left for suiting up and down, and a quick kayaking how-to. Sign up online and find tips on what to bring and wear, or call (510) 642-4000. Walk-up registration is possible at the UC Aquatics Center, but bring a completed registration form, and be sure to check ahead that there’s still space. Next full moon paddle runs July 3. Classes contingent on enrollment.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Full Moon Tour
A lighthouse, a full moon, and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Can you get any more noir? Full Moon Disclosure: You’ll need to plan ahead and save the date for this one, but it’s worth it! The newly re-opened Point Bonita Lighthouse sits on the western tip of the Marin Headlands and the entrance to the Golden Gate. Every full moon, the National Park Service hosts tours of the lighthouse, and though their July and August dates are filled, new dates for the fall will be added in the coming months (details below). The majority of the tour actually happens as the sun sets, painting the Golden Gate Bridge even more golden. An informative docent shares amazing stories about past shipwrecks (over 300 during the gold rush years!) at the Golden Gate. It’s a thrill to cross over cliffs on Point Bonita’s new, 132-foot-long bridge. Stop for a moment to take in the view up and down the coast, as the rugged ocean growls below. The span brings you close to the famous, beaming Fresnel lens, which can be seen 18 miles away (inside the lighthouse you can pick up a passport-style stamp to add to your journal). But perhaps the coolest moment is looking on as the sun sets to the west, the moon climbs to the east, and the the waves crash below: This is one mysterious and dramatically beautiful place at dusk. Lights, camera, full moon action!

Full-moon tours are offered year-round; to make a reservation, call Marin Headlands Visitor Center (415-331-1540). If you prefer to visit by day, tours are offered every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from noon to 3:30 p.m. From Hwy. 101, take the exit for Alexander Ave. and turn right at the stop sign. After 150 yards, turn left toward the tunnel on Bunker Rd. Continue on Bunker Rd. to Field Rd., and turn left. Follow the signs to Point Bonita Lighthouse. No dogs.

Russian River Adventures

Grab a swimsuit, sunscreen, and some friends who like inflatable fun: Russian River Adventures has the best family-friendly (and dog-friendly!) boat for your summer float. Their signature SOAR inflatable canoes are so plush and comfy it’s like cruising in a Cadillac. They’ll set you up with everything you need, and send you down a gloriously remote 9-mile or 4-mile section of the Russian River less traveled. Kick back for a few hours, coasting by redwoods and vineyards while spying birds and other wildlife on this easy, crowd-free river. Nose up to shore for a picnic: do your best Tarzan on the rope swing, and splash around in the pristine swimming holes. At the end of the float, Russian River Adventures will be there to shuttle everyone back to the car–wet mutt included. It's time to hit the water on Northern California’s most cushy ride! Altogether now: "Row, row, row your boat…."

NEW! Can’t spend a full day on the river? Russian River Adventures has launched a brand new, half-day paddle. (Dogs only permitted on the full-day, 9-mile paddle.)

Reservations are required. Visit or call 707-433-5599 to book your trip!