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7. Muir Woods, Calif.

The old-growth coastal redwood forest just outside Mill Valley is cool and shady year-round. The refreshing climate attracts visitors and an annual migration of Convergent Ladybugs seeking refuge from the hot Central Valley. Visitors to the forest, which is named after conservationist John Muir, can participate in monthly beach cleanups or hike among the giant trees (the tallest recorded redwood is 379.1 feet, about the height of a 35-story building.) Muir Woods is about 16 miles north of San Francisco. Temperatures average range from 40 to 70 degrees, with rain between November and April. Visitors in 2009: 779,880 More info: http://www.nps.gov/muwo Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times
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