Marin County, California is just one famous bridge away from San Francisco and right next door to the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. It is an outdoor recreation wonderland filled with wonderful spaces that you can just stumble upon. Nearly half of Marin is permanently preserved with world-renowned destinations like Muir Woods and Point Reyes, and the lodging in Marin is as diverse as the land. You can sleep next to nature or in the lap of luxury. From the dense woods to the wild ocean, here are five reasons to visit County of Marin.
5 Reasons to Visit Marin County
Bike Mount Tamalpais
Locally referred to as Mt. Tam, it is recognized as the birthplace of mountain biking. The Old Railroad Grade fire road that begins in Mill Valley, once the right-of-way of the Mount Tamalpai Scenic Railroad, is the easiest route for traversing up the mountain to its peak of 2,571 feet at East Peak. When you bike famous Mt. Tam, you have your breath taken away- both by the stunning ocean views and steep climbs through tall trees and mountain air.
“Just makin up poems in my head as I climb toward Mount Tamalpais. See up there, as beautiful a mountain as you’ll see anywhere in the world, a beautiful shape to it, I really love Tamalpais.”
– The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac
Muir Woods National Monument
Visitors come from around the globe to pay homage to nature in this cathedral of redwoods, just a short drive from the Golden Gate Bridge off Hwy 101. The park is very popular and so parking is limited. Consider using the Muir Woods Shuttle with pickup locations in Mill Valley and the Sausalito Ferry.
“This is the best tree-lover’s monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world. You have done me great honor, and I am proud of it.”
– John Muir to William Kent
Wake up to the gentle sound of waves lapping on the shore, then step outside to a pristine view of Tomales Bay. Nick’s Cove is a paradise for adventures like kayaking, fishing, hiking and biking or for relaxing in the quite beauty of the area.
“Nick’s is a very special place that honors and respects the area, giving visitors a glimmer of an agrarian life that’s so near but really so far from the city consciousness. It seems impossible to believe it’s still in the 415 area code.”
–Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle
Stinson’s white sand and oceanfront make it one of the best swimming beaches in northern California. With opportunities for hiking, picnicking, exploring the town, surfing, or sunbathing, people continue to visit Stinson Beach to escape from the frantic pace of everyday life.
View the Wildlife
Explore the beauty of the area and experience local wildlife events such as Grey Whale migrations and Elephant Seal colonies from Chimney Rock. Visit the many tide pools, hike among local elk and explore premier birding locations. Even during the off-season, you never know what you’ll see in Marin County. We came across a large community of seals basking in the California sun.
Marin County was my first California experience north of San Francisco. I never expected to fall in love with it the way I did. It’s coastline rivals Southern California and the natural, rustic beauty is unmatched. When you’re standing among natural giants, it’s hard not to be inspired.