Out in the Beijing countryside near the Ming tombs (十三陵) is the Shisanling Reservoir. In the summer the mini amusement park and boat rides are open. In the winter the place is pretty much deserted, but the scenery is nice. The view above is from a drive out there I took the past weekend. It's looking from the northern edge of the reservoir towards the amusement park and small island in the center.
If you're driving yourself, the road circling the reservoir is a good place to get really tasty fish, or if you're into dog meat, they have that too. We ordered the fish. The waitress had me accompany her to an outside shack which had a small fish pond, probably fed from groundwater. Upon selecting a nice healthy-looking fish with a net, she took it outside and dumped it on the ground. At this point the chef approached us, pulled out a two-foot length of metal pipe, squatted down, and bludgeoned the fish on the chin three times until it stopped moving. Then he weighed the fish on a hand-held balance and went back to prepare it.
It doesn't get much better than that for freshness. I think the barking dog caged beside the fish pond couldn't have been happier that we chose the seafood lunch. (I'm not joking. This time there really
was a yelping mutt.)
Overall, the area is very nice and I'd recommend it as a day trip. Keep in mind that seeing the Reservoir Dogs
gang is not guaranteed.