Although I've worked diligently to remove as much as the "evil grass*" as my family will let me from our yard in SJC, I still have grassy paths in the back garden. At one time the whole yard was grass, from one edge of the hardscape to the other, and I have systematically carved out beds and added trees, shrubs and perennials that require less water, fertilizer and maintenance than grass, but I still haven't taken the next logical step which would be to replace the grass with gravel or DG. This garden is filled with color and I kind of still like the cool calmness that the thick carpet of grass adds to the ambiance. In my defense I must say that it is more of a mowed meadow with all kinds of plants that grow in it as opposed to a monoculture lawn (in other words it's full of weeds) and it only gets a bit of chicken poop fertilizer once a year if that helps. But the dogs and cat like to roll in it and they tend to have the last say here.
*Grass lawns are very un-PC in our area due to the amount of water needed to keep them looking healthy. Many people are extremely vigilante in their passion for banning them from our lives and replacing them with extreme drought tolerant native plants, and making people like me feel very guilty for splurging in the self-indulgent luxury of a lawn.