Posted in Blogging Marin on Friday, June 22, 2018 by MCVB Staff
By Megan Eileen McDonough
With the school year winding down and summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning your family-fun weekend getaway in Marin County. Whether you and your kids are in the mood for a lazy beach day or ambitious enough for an afternoon hike, there are countless activities to choose from. Here are five fun (and in most cases, free) ways to make the most of your time off.
Hit the Beach
Marin has no shortage of scenic beaches, but when it comes to family fun in the summer sun, Stinson Beach is tough to top. Located in West Marin, the beach spans 3.5 miles of sand and surf. Amenities-wise, it’s a smart choice, as there are plenty of parking spots, a large picnic area, and a seasonal snack bar. The water is swimmable here, even for the little ones, but there are also lifeguards on duty to ensure everyone’s safety. At Stinson Beach, dogs are allowed on a designated section, so bring them along for the ride!
Take a Hike
Beat the Marin summer heat with an early morning or evening hike through some of Marin’s most picturesque landscapes. There are dozens of trails to choose from, with the Tennessee Valley Trail being among the most family-friendly. As part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Marin Headlands, it’s designed for visitors of all ages and skill levels. That said, as one of the Headlands’ most popular trails, it’s also among the easiest to manage. The 3.1-mile loop to the beach and back is even suitable for strollers.
Pack a Picnic
On beach trips and nature hikes, picnics are a great way to break up the day, especially during weekend excursions. To celebrate in-season produce, start your day at one of Marin’s many farmer’s markets, like the one at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael. It’s open Thursdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and you can stock up on fresh fruits, seasonal veggies and delicious cheeses and slices of bread. If you’re in the mood for something light (and sugary), indulge in some popcorn or melt-in-your-mouth baked goods.
Take a Day Tour
Instead of being your own tour guide, leave that to the experts. See the best of San Francisco with Big Bus Tours. Our open-top sightseeing tours will introduce you to all the city's must-see sights, with stops conveniently located at iconic landmarks and attractions. Your flexible ticket allows you to hop on and hop off the bus as much as you like, so you can enjoy the freedom to stay for a few snaps, or immerse yourself for hours.
Allow Coastal Walkers to introduce you to the dramatic wild north coast of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Offering expertly guided, half-day walking tours infused with California history and led by local guides along the beautiful unspoiled coast on the City's edge. Meandering along coastal foot paths and trails, you are rewarded with views so naturally stunning you will forget that a major city is directly behind you. Dip your feet in the Pacific (brrr!) and enjoy the fresh salt-air, brisk ocean breezes and panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands.