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The Sustainable Traveler's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area

The stunning landscape surrounding Hotel Nia, an Autograph Collection property, is one that offers lasting memories for travelers that come from near and far. Menlo Park is around 30 miles away from San Francisco’s city center, making it a fantastic gateway location to explore the greater Bay Area’s most treasured attractions, set amongst lush greenery, scenic hiking options, and an innovative tech-forward social scene.

As Earth Day comes around, we choose to celebrate this graceful intersection between luxury, sustainability, and breathtaking, natural beauty. From green space recommendations to eco-friendly dining, this guide will help you discover all that the Bay Area has to offer in a sustainable way.

Hotel Nia: Purpose-Built for Sustainability 

At Hotel Nia, we believe sustainability is more than a trend and more than quick habits that can be washed away with the tide. As a LEED Certified Silver building, Hotel Nia was built using local and repurposed materials, with dedicated areas for collection and storage recycling.

To allow guests to participate in these sustainable measures, we’ve implemented an array of environmental practices such as guest room recycling, food and beverage composting practices, and thermal system controls to reduce the overall carbon footprint. As you step in and out of Silicon Valley, you can feel at peace knowing that your stay is supporting a cleaner future for the earth.

Explore the City Sustainably

The Bay Area is renowned for its diverse offering of activities and attractions to explore, all while reducing the environmental impact. For a sustainable Bay Area activity right in Menlo Park, we recommend taking a trip to Bedwell Bayfront Park, which offers 160 acres of space for optimal outdoor activities. Convenient for a day in nature, this park is surrounded by the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge where you can hike one of the many trails and sightsee all the wildlife around.

Shop Locally

Offering an eco-friendly paradise to those in search of clean, low-waste products, the Bay Area is home to a plethora of sustainable retail options. Enhance your shopping experience by visiting The Source Zero in the San Jose area—a zero-waste store that showcases a range of refillable products and locally-made items, and is host to a number of DIY workshops on low-waste goods. 

For a special weekend visit, don’t miss out on the Menlo Park Farmers Market, which operates on Sundays from 9 AM to 1 PM. Open since 1992, this treasured spot is a favorite among locals for its rich offering of local produce, unique artisan goods, and live music for added relaxation while you shop.

Eco-Friendly Dining

Looking to reduce carbon emissions by not driving to breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Try Porta Blu, conveniently located within Hotel Nia. Offering a fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine, and partnerships with local vendors, dishes feature a delectable range of seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients and locally-caught seafood.

Alternatively, we recommend visitors try Camper, where guests can indulge in rich flavors and seasonal menus. The restaurant partners with local farms to place an emphasis on organic, sustainable products, for masterful cuisine. Flea Street is also a great farm-to-table option, as it’s a Menlo Park favorite that serves locally-sourced fare that features pasture-raised and wild-caught proteins.

Transportation Options

To explore the area in a carbon-neutral way, consider opting for an electric vehicle, renting a bike, or even walking through many of the Bay Area’s pedestrian-friendly attractions. Hotel Nia is proud to offer complimentary cruiser bikes so you can explore the neighborhood in style. Not only is riding a bike or walking a great way to sightsee, but Menlo Park currently has a walk score of 95, ensuring a walker’s paradise for the sustainable traveler. If you bring an electric vehicle with you, Hotel Nia has electric car charging stations, taking up 11% of the total parking capacity.

No matter how you choose to get around, we’re certain that your visit to the San Francisco Bay Area will be one that celebrates the earth and all the traveling journeys you’ve yet to experience around the globe.