Last-Minute Memorial Day Weekend Guide to Marin County
Posted Thursday, April 7, 2022 by MCVB Staff
By Joe Kukura
The unofficial start of summer is almost here, and Marin County, the “sunny side of the Golden Gate Bridge,” shines as a great getaway for your Memorial Day weekend enjoyment. Perfectly placed right between San Francisco and California wine country, Marin County offers a long list of holiday-weekend attractions, with outstanding outdoor activities, eclectic shopping options and an unbeatable nightlife scene that gave birth to legends like the Grateful Dead and Metallica.
Memorial Day weekend is a terrific time to take in the stunning sights and community charm of Marin County. You’ll love the famous range of restaurants. And the places to stay feature distinctive boutique hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and coastal lodging along the Pacific Ocean or Marin’s famed bays. There are also a few special activities and attractions lined up for the holiday weekend to make this Memorial Day one you’ll never forget.
Kayaking in Marin County is a fantastic option for any weekend of the year. But on Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, the folks at Blue Waters Kayaking have a special Tomales Point Exploration planned on the wilderness and water wonderland of the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Blue Waters Kayaking guides will plan the itinerary for your Tomales Point four-hour tour. Launching from Miller Park Boat Ramp (next to the restaurant at Nick’s Cove) closed deck double kayaks are provided for your paddle through the tide channels to the remote beaches of the Peninsula. Exploring the Point Reyes National Seashore, you will discover the diverse animals which inhabit the Bay and its shores. In addition to the Tule Elk, it is common to see harbor seals, bat-rays, leopard sharks, osprey, river otters, and sea lions! The area around Hog Island is rich in wildlife and scenic beauty. Over 400 Tule Elk inhabit the northern part of the peninsula and can be seen from the kayaks.
If you prefer your outdoor adventures on land, hiking in Marin County reaches new heights this time of year, with the spring wildflowers in full bloom and guided hikes that let you see the season’s visiting whales and seals.
What kind of hike do you like? If you flock to bird watching or wildlife, Audubon Canyon Ranch is home to countless species of waterbirds, land birds, reptiles and more.
Fantastic photo opportunities await at the Point Bonita Lighthouse, a secret gem of the San Francisco Bay Area.
World-famous views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge await at the Marin Headlands. And for a panoramic mountain view that you just can’t beat, Mount Tamalpais State Park majestically stands tall over Marin County.
Art, Theater, and Culture
One of the neatest “only in Marin County” experiences is Mountain Play, an outdoor theater with the backdrop of Mount Tamalpais. Saturday afternoons this spring, Mountain Play delivers the well-known1964 romantic Musical Hello, Dolly!, with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is no exception with performances beginning at 2 p.m., but the shows are so popular that general admission seating is usually full by 11 a.m. the day of the show. But VIP and reserved seating options are also available on the Mountain Play Hello, Dolly! website.
Or spend a day exploring fine art at Novato’s Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, known locally as MarinMOCA. The Main Gallery exhibitions on display are $10.00 for adults. MarinMOCA is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
Take in something a bit different and entertaining by viewing Dickens 44’s Delusions of Grandeur: an exhibit of Recycledelic Pro Fusion Art at the Marin County Civic Center. Enter the building through the gold gates under the first arch of the civic center located at 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael and view art on both the first and third floors.
Stafford Lake Bike Park is a scenic, fun, and challenging course for bikers at all levels. The 17-acre terrain features the only dual slalom course west of Truckee as well as beautiful views of Stafford Lake and is North Bay’s first public bike park. The park also includes a kids learn-to-ride zone pump track, beginner zone pump track, skills perimeter trail, dual slalom gravity zone, and progression jumping course.
Kids of all ages will have a blast at the Bay Model Visitor Center, exploring Sausalito's working model of the entire San Francisco Bay complete with regular tides that change every 14 minutes. The model is used to reproduce (to the proper scale) the rise and fall of the tide, flow, and currents of water, the mixing of salt and fresh water, and indicates trends in sediment movement. Features that affect the water flow of the Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are reproduced, including ship channels, rivers, creeks, sloughs, the canals in the Delta, fills, major wharfs, bridges, and breakwaters. The Bay Model was built by the Army Core of Engineers in 1957.
Horseback riding for youngsters six years old and under who haven’t reached the minimum age to go on an adult trail ride can opt in for a fun 20-minute pony ride at Five Brooks Ranch. The gentlest horses and ponies will take your young Buckaroos and Buckarettes on a hand-led ride around the Mill Pond where they may see a variety of wildlife, such as the Black Tail deer or the Great Blue Heron.
Kick-off your summer with an unforgettable weekend in Marin County, where the sun, style, and scenery really stand out.
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]