By Joe Kukura
Californians seeking extraordinary encounters close to home will want to plan their next staycation in idyllic Marin County with its picturesque forests, vibrant cities, towns and majestic coastlines. Marin County serves as sort of the “backyard to the Bay Area,” nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, easily accessible from wine country and not far from the famed shores of Lake Tahoe.
But it’s the things to do in Marin County that make it an enticing staycation destination.
There are plenty of attractions for a Marin County romantic getaway, and the shopping in Marin County will suit everyone’s style. If your furry friend is coming for the ride, the dog-friendly options in Marin County will have tails wagging.
Here are a few Marin County staycation ideas that are near home but far from the ordinary.
The Mediterranean climate of Marin County delivers sunshine and warm weather all year round, making outdoor activities in Marin County an affordable staycation hit. As the “birthplace of mountain biking,” Marin County has world-class mountain biking trails for every skill level. Mighty mountains and redwood forests make for unforgettable Marin County hiking, including options for romantic waterfall hikes. Both the bay and the beach beckon, too, for breathtaking waterfront scenery or Marin County kayaking and sailing.
For maximum staycation enjoyment, consider Marin County tours of the region’s distinctive farms, outdoor attractions and waters. Or for a more relaxing activity that doesn’t cost anything, take in some of Marin’s greatest views on Earth.
Foodies worldwide have Marin County on their map, as the Marin County culinary scene is always cooking. From family farms to pastoral dairies to fresh seafood, Marin serves many courses of food destinations and culinary tours.
An impressive list of Marin County farmers markets sets up shop nearly every day of the week and also on weekends. Let local craft food producers dazzle you with their artisan cheeses, meats and olive oils. Wine lovers will want to check out a few Marin County food and wine pairings or explore the exotic side with bee-harvested honey wine.
World-Class Restaurants and Nightlife
Some of California’s premier chefs are in Marin County, with Michelin-star experience to prepare a romantic dinner or a multicourse epic feast. More than 500 Marin County restaurants will cater to your taste for an unforgettable meal, with award-winning Italian food, groundbreaking farm-to-table restaurants, the innovative Asian cuisine you’d expect from the Pacific Coast or scrumptious Marin County brunch spots to begin your day sunny-side up.
When the sun goes down, the nights in Marin let you see stars in more ways than one. Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has opened Terrapin Crossroads, with an eatery, taproom and a live music hall, where Phil and friends regularly jam on weekends. Other Marin County nightlife venues offer signature live entertainment, wine bar encounters or craft beer creations.
Places to Stay
Marin County lodging offers the same variety and inimitable charm of its California landscape. Make it a perfect romantic getaway at a Marin County bed and breakfast, where the spectacular wilderness or Pacific Ocean scenery is complimentary. Or indulge in a coastal cottage in Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay. The boutique hotels of Marin County offer upscale overnight experiences with your choice of historic glamour or ultra-modern appeal. Feel free to call it a night at a Marin County budget hotel, and save some extra cash for your Marin daytime adventures.
Day trippers and weekend bon vivants have long sought their thrills in Marin County, where a bounty of scenic settings sparks your love of the outdoors, good food or once-in-a-lifetime date nights. If you want a trip that hits it out of the park while still staying close to home, Marin has a staycation that’s all you’ve ever wanted.
For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.