Of the hundreds of wonderful ways to spend your day in Marin, we’ve pinpointed the top 10 that should be on everyone’s list.
Considered the birthplace of mountain biking, Marin County offers trails for every level of riding skill.
2. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
You may have driven across it hundreds of times, but to really experience its grandeur, take the time to stroll across and soak in its art deco styling.
3. MUIR WOODS NATIONAL MONUMENT
One of the last ancient coast redwood forests, Muir Woods is home to the world’s tallest living things, with 1,000-year-old trees more than 250 feet high. 1 Muir Woods Rd., Mill Valley
Directions: Take 101 to the Mill Valley/Highway 1/Stinson Beach exit; follow signs to Highway 1, then to Muir Woods. Note: If Muir Woods parking is full, there is a shuttle service that takes you from the Pohono St Park & Ride up to Muir Woods and back. The park is open daily at 8 a.m. and closes according to Daylight Savings Time.
4. SAN RAFAEL MISSION
The 20th California mission was built in San Rafael in 1817. Its museum houses artifacts and other objets d’art from when the mission served as the original county seat. Take Highway 101 going North and exit Central San Rafael. Merge onto Irwin Street and turn left onto 5th Avenue. The Mission will be on the right, a half-mile up the road.
5. DIPSEA STEPS
These 688 stairs will get your heart pumping as you ascend the equivalent of a 50-story building, the most famous section of the country’s oldest trail race. From downtown Mill Valley, take Throckmorton to Old Mill Park. Go left on Cascade Drive. Park near the intersection of Cascade Drive and Molino Avevnue. Walk up Cascade Way, which appears to be a driveway, and past the first set of steps. You will see the start to the Dipsea Steps around the corner.
6. SUMMIT MOUNT TAMALPAIS
Whether you are putting your foot to a trail, to a pedal or to the metal, the top of Mount Tam is a must. Best panoramic views of San Francisco Bay, bar none.
7. TUESDAYS AT 142 THROCKMORTON
Pop in to this popular live entertainment spot in Mill Valley on a Tuesday and you might just see Dana Carvey behind the mic. In downtown Mill Valley, on Throckmorton Avenue.
8. DRIVE TO WEST MARIN
Redefine the Sunday drive by motoring around the perimeter of Marin. Tiny hamlets. Majestic redwoods. Bucolic settings. Sweeping ocean views. Check.
9. EAT AN OYSTER
Taste the heart of Marin by sampling bivalves raised inside the pristine estuary that is Tomales Bay. Sustainable slurpable seafood.
10. POINT BONITA LIGHTHOUSE
Set out on a fog-free day and be rewarded with vistas for miles at the fully functioning lighthouse at the northern edge of the Golden Gate. Take 101 to the Alexander Avenue exit, go left on Danes Drive (which turns into Bunker Drive). Take Bunker for 2.5 miles to Field Road and turn left until the road ends at the Point Bonita parking lot. The lighthouse is a half-mile walk up a trail that can be steep in parts. Visiting hours are Saturday through Monday, 12:30-3:30 p.m.