Marin Blog · Summer in Marin Collection

Last-Minute Memorial Day Weekend Guide to Marin County

Posted Friday, May 25, 2018 by MCVB Staff

By Joe Kukura


The unofficial start of summer is already 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.


Outdoor Adventures


Kayaking in Marin County is a fantastic option any weekend of the year. But Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the folks at Point Reyes Outdoors have a special Tomales Bay kayaking experience planned on the wilderness and water wonderland of the Point Reyes National Seashore.


Point Reyes Outdoors guides will help you paddle past the unforgettable sights of tule elk, harbor seals and sometimes even river otters on your journey on the waters of Tomales Bay for this Saturday tour that also includes a light picnic lunch.


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 disco fever with the blockbuster smash hit musical Mamma Mia!, and the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend is no exception. Performances begin 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 Mamma Mia! website.


Or spend a day exploring fine art at Novato’s Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, known locally as MarinMOCA. The contemporary art exhibitions on display are always free, as the museum operates entirely on donations. MarinMOCA is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.


Family Fun


Bring the kids to meet the “kids”—the baby goats, chickens and sheep ready to be petted and held at Toddler Day at Slide Ranch on Saturday, May 26. Located at iconic Muir Beach, Slide Ranch is known as one of the earliest innovators of the farm-to-table food movement. And a farm-to-table lunch will be available from Slide Ranch’s in-house chef Gabriel Powers to teach your little ones to love locally grown, organic food.


Kids of all ages will have a blast at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, an outdoor children’s museum right at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Packed with hands-on interactive features that help kids explore art, science and the environment, Bay Area Discovery Museum has a special “Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit” opening Memorial Day weekend. The Discovery Museum is not open on Memorial Day but is open the rest of Memorial Day weekend and all summer long.


Kick off your summer with an unforgettable weekend in Marin County, where the sun, style and scenery really stand out.


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

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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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The Bay Area has always been fertile ground for music and nightlife. Renowned artists from the Grateful Dead to Metallica have made their musical mark in San Francisco,...[Learn More]