Marin Blog · Outdoor Adventures Collection

5 Outdoor Activities in Marin After Dark

Posted Monday, January 3, 2022 by MCVB Staff

By John Egan


In Marin County, nighttime and sunrise can be just the right time to explore the outdoors, thanks to the area’s mild—but a bit nippy—after-dark weather. And as luck would have it, a number of activities are available to satisfy your sense of adventure.

Here are five post-sunset pursuits in Marin that we think will put you over the moon.


Light Up the Night

Kayaking companies provide enlightening experiences at Point Reyes.

Blue Waters Kayaking operates three nighttime tours that’ll light up your night: a four-hour bioluminescence kayak tour of Tomales Bay, a three-hour moonlight tour of Tomales Bay, and an excursion combining either the bioluminescence tour or the moonlight tour with an overnight camping trip.

What, you ask, is bioluminescence? As described by Blue Waters Kayaking, bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by living organisms. On moonless nights on Tomales Bay, bluish-white flickers light up the water; they come from blooms of bioluminescent organisms called dinoflagellates.


Cruise in the Moonlight

If you’re not in the mood for a workout but still enjoy being on the water, you might want to try a nighttime cruise.

From Tiburon, for instance, you can hop aboard a 1½-hour sunset cruise run by the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry. This cruise of the San Francisco Bay operates Friday and Saturday nights from mid-May through mid-October. On the cruise, you can take in the magical sights of Belvedere, Sausalito, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island and more at nighttime.


Wild is Waiting at Sunset

Book a half-day safari in Point Reyes National Seashore. A half-day safari consists of five hours in the park with Daniel Dietrich, a professional wildlife photographer, cinematographer, and certified California Naturalist. This can be any 5 hours during the day. Starting near sunrise or ending near sunset is most common, but of course not required. This is our most popular safari and will give you a great variety of animals to view and photograph.


See the Stars

No, we’re not talking about Hollywood here. We’re talking about the stars that shine in Marin’s beautiful night sky.

Two of Marin’s best venues for stargazing are Mount Tamalpais and Point Reyes National Seashore. At Mount Tam, you can even warm up with a bonfire at the campgrounds. And at Point Reyes, dog-friendly Limantour Beach is an ideal spot to huddle under a blanket and stare at the star-studded sky.

Both of these sites are great for stargazing because they’re not nearly as susceptible to big-city light pollution as San Francisco and Oakland are.


2nd Friday Evening Art Walks

Enjoy galleries, open studios, art exhibits, and more on the Second Friday of each month until 8:00pm. Anchored by the Art Works Downtown galleries and studio tour, the 2nd Friday Art Walk connects art venues throughout downtown San Rafael for an evening of inspiration and community. Afterward, settle down to a romantic dinner under the lights on Fourth Street. Dine Under the Lights in Downtown San Rafael has been popular since March 2021. Fourth Street is closed to traffic for alfresco on-street dining on Thursdays and Fridays from 5:00 to 9:00pm. Making the best of social distancing, restauranteurs arrange tables on the street for a romantic European feel under the glimmering new overhead Tivoli lights.


For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.