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The List: 5 best places to be alone

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 | Posted by | no responses

Alone time is an essential need for everyone, yet harder and harder to come by in our busy lives. Finding the time is the first part. Finding the space is the next. When you find yourself needing to get away from conversations, email and responsibilities, where do you go?

In Santa Rosa, there are numerous places to enjoy solitude and recharge and many of them are close at hand and don’t cost a thing. Below are some examples of places you might have overlooked as places to regroup while enjoying the scenery. Places where you can see beautiful things and not have to comment on any of them. The outdoor venues provide fresh air and maybe people watching, while the indoor ones don’t dissolve in inclement weather.

1) Flat Rock is located just five minutes walk from Highway 12 along the Brush Creek Trail. It is also accessible from Yulupa Circle, which Yulupa runs into at its northern end. You can sit on a bench in comfort and nod – or not – at the occasional dog walker or jogger or go down the gentle path and sit on one of the many flat rocks there. The picture below was taken before the draught. You can see that you can more fully explore the rocks now that it’s so very dry. The water is still there, but you have to go looking for it near the far bank.

Flat Rock during a wetter season.

The view from Flat Rock during a wetter season.

The view from Flat Rock on July 14 in the evening.

The view from Flat Rock on July 14 in the evening.

2) The Person Senior Wing in the Finley Community Center Complex. The lobby is quite inviting and cool on a hot day. Or sit by the fountain. Complex is located at 2060 West College Avenue. There’s also an art gallery upstairs and you can stand at the end of the hall (which is the gallery) and see out through the tall windows to the fountain.

The new Person Senior Center wing at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa, Friday Feb. 14, 2014.  (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

The new Person Senior Center wing at the Finley Center in Santa Rosa, Friday Feb. 14, 2014. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

3) Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, the newest addition to the Regional Parks system, has a spectacular view of the whole city. Even the view from the parking lot is spectacular. With a park pass, this private getaway is free, or day use rates are $7. Access the park at 2080 Kawana Terrace.

Taylor Mountain (photo Julie Hanover)

Taylor Mountain (photo Julie Hanover)

Faces of a Century exhibit

Faces of a Century exhibit

4) Hotel La Rose is a great place to duck into if you have some free time when you’re downtown. The Hotel, at 308 Wilson Street, is home to a photo exhibit, The Faces of a Century: A Snapshot in Time, which features all the people who attended the 2006 Centennial celebration of the rebuilding of downtown after the earthquake. Visitors need to  check in at the reservation desk, but then can sit in the unused dining room and take in a cross section of the county. It’s not the same as people watching, but still very interesting. And quiet.

5) Cafés with outdoor seating are great places to be alone in a crowd - that is unless you run into someone you know. The nice thing about coffee shops like Flying Goat, Starbucks and Peets is that, once you get your coffee or tea and sit down, your solitude will not even be interrupted by a waitress, and you can be alone for the price of a cuppa.

Tristan St. Germain enjoys some rays and solitude at Flying Goat Coffee.

Tristan St. Germain enjoys some rays and solitude at Flying Goat Coffee.

Planning quality alone time is a good habit to get into. Failing that, having places in mind for when the mood strikes and time allows will get you there that much sooner. Where will you go?

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Ann Hutchinson is our Santa Rosa correspondent.
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