Marin Blog · Outdoor Adventures Collection

5 Scenic Ways to Explore Marin County

Posted in Blogging Marin on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by MCVB Staff

By Megan Eileen McDonough


Boasting year-round perfect weather and a close-knit community of creatives, it’s hard to find fault with Marin County. Just a hop, skip and a jump from both San Francisco and picturesque vineyards, natural beauty and culture are never far from view. Whether craving a day of outdoor adventure or hoping to keep things simple on the farm, here are five scenic ways to explore Marin. Bring your camera to capture the mountains, hills and valleys from every angle.


1. Get Your Feet Wet

Marin County is an outdoor enthusiast's dream and there are countless ways to experience it. Marin Outdoor Adventures aims to show tourists the area through a local's eyes. They offer several different active experiences including surfing and outrigger classes. For something more slow-paced, opt for a tour with Blue Waters Kayaking and explore Tomales Bay day or night.


2. Climb a Lighthouse

Lighthouses are definitely worth the climb, especially in Marin County. Despite being part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Bonita Lighthouse is a hidden gem for most. It’s easily one of Marin's most scenic spots that overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. The half-mile trail to the lighthouse takes visitors past wildflowers, rock formations and ruins of a Coast Guard rescue station. The tunnel halfway to the lighthouse is open only during visiting hours: Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Learn about geology while viewing wild landscapes and discovering Marin's history.  Make sure to check for opening or closure updates first before heading out there!


3. Go for a Drive

It’s amazing how much of Marin County can be experienced by car. And for travelers on a time crunch, this is a smart option. From the Golden Gate Bridge, take the first exit for the Headlands and drive down Conzelman Road. Prepare yourselves for unforgettable views of the coastline and gentle rollercoaster turns. Lucas Valley Road is a winding one, but definitely worth the twists and turns for the green grass that changes to gold in the summer months. In need of a beach break? Look no further than Point Reyes National Seashore with its dramatic and wild landscape.


4. Hit the Trails

Marin County has some great hiking trails and Coastal Walkers can show you their magnificence. Coastal Walkers introduces visitors and locals alike to the dramatic wild north coast of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Their expertly guided, half-day walking tours are infused with California history and led by local guides along the beautiful unspoiled coast on the City's edge. Meandering along coastal footpaths and trails, you are rewarded with views so naturally stunning you will forget that a major city is directly behind you, so keep your cameras ready!


5. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge

This might be a no-brainer for some, but the Golden Gate Bridge is as iconic as monuments get. Connecting San Francisco to Marin County, the bridge stands tall and proud at an impressive 745 feet. Styled in Art Deco design and boasting its signature orange color, it’s a must for any first-time visitor to the Bay. Walk, run or bike along the bridge and take in the 360-degree Bay view. Another great viewpoint is from the top of the south tower. To make the most of your time, arrive before the sunset to photograph the day and night.


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

More information on featured attractions:

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Point Bonita Lighthouse

This active lighthouse dates from 1877 and sits on top of a rugged outcropping overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Access to the lighthouse is from the Golden Gate National...[Learn More]

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Point Reyes National Seashore

With current conditions, there is currently not full access to the park.  Please refer here for updated information

Point Reyes National Seashore was established to preserve and protect...[Learn More]

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Golden Gate Bridge

A trip to Marin County wouldn’t be complete without a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. This historic bridge, which is 1.7 miles long, was opened to vehicular...[Learn More]