Marin County is a treasure trove of natural beauty, historical sites, and vibrant culture. With so many things to see and do, it’s easy to fill up a 48-hour trip with unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re a local or visiting, we hope this list inspires you to explore Marin County. Here are nine activities that you may fit into your visit to Marin.
- Drive to the top of Mount Tamalpais – At about 2,600 feet, the mountain peak offers breathtaking, unforgettable vistas. Along the way, you’ll see redwood and madrone forests, rolling hills, and memorable ocean views.
How to get there: From Highway101, take Shoreline Highway (Highway 1) in Mill Valley to Panoramic Highway. Stay on Panoramic Highway until you get to the top of Mt. Tamalpais.
- Walk along the Sausalito waterfront – Downtown Sausalito provides spectacular views of San Francisco, the Bay, and more. You’ll find a thriving coastal town with a rich history and interesting shops, restaurants, and historic destinations.
Where to start: A great place to start this walk is at Dunphy Park, park here and walk east on Bridgeway road.
- Tour the Sausalito houseboat community – These colorful, eclectic homes are moored on Richardson Bay at the north end of Sausalito. They offer a fascinating glimpse into a unique, alternative culture that has made Sausalito famous.
Where to start: To visit the houseboats, park along Gate 5 or Gate 6 Roads of the houseboat community. There are 10 docks as you walk north along the bay.
- Visit the Mill Valley town square – In the heart of Mill Valley, Lytton Square is a perfect introduction to the unique charm that has made Mill Valley famous. It is a great place for dining and shopping. The square is at the junction of two canyons, Cascade and Blithedale, that define downtown Mill Valley. Take a short walk along Throckmorton Ave, at the west end of the square, past Old Mill Park and the start of the Dipsea Steps. If you can’t resist, continue to the end of Throckmorton and back on Cascade Drive along Old Mill Creek (a 45-minute walk). It’s special!
How to get there: Take Miller or Blithedale Avenues until you reach downtown Mill Valley. These streets merge at the square. There is parking behind the Mill Valley Depot Cafe & Bookstore.
- Walk through Muir Woods National Monument– This famous park is home to some of the tallest trees in the world, coastal redwoods that tower over the 554-acre park. Take a hike along one of the many trails to see these incredible trees up close and feel their presence. The park’s tallest trees are found in the Bohemian Grove, accessible by a boardwalk, but there are also miles of trails to explore throughout Muir Woods.
How to get there and make reservations: Make sure to reserve a parking spot before you go. To get to the parking lot, take Shoreline Highway to Panoramic Highway to Muir Woods Road. Then follow the signs to the parking lot.
- Drive through China Camp – This serene state park along the bay in east San Rafael includes rolling, oak-covered hills and marshlands that is habitat for a rich array of wildlife. China Camp was once home to a thriving shrimp-fishing village, and the remains of this community can still be seen.
How to get there: From Highway 101 through San Rafael, go east on Point San Pedro Road until you reach China Camp.
- Walk downtown Tiburon – Tiburon is a picturesque town on the bay with spectacular views of San Francisco. Take a walk through the downtown to explore its many shops, and restaurants on the waterfront. Sam’s Anchor Cafe, a waterfront restaurant is known for its seafood, water views, and laid-back atmosphere. You can lose track of time on the sunny outdoor deck.
How to get there: From Highway 101, go east on Tiburon take Tiburon Boulevard until you reach the waterfront. A good place to park is near the Railroad & Ferry Depot at the end of Tiburon Boulevard.
- Take a Ferry to Angel Island State Park – Angel Island is an idyllic spot located in San Francisco Bay, a short ferry ride from downtown Tiburon. The island offers breathtaking views of the entire bay. You can easily hike or bicycle around the island, enjoying the views and beaches, or have a smack at the boat harbor and then return. If you have time, visit the detention center for Chinese immigrants, a testament to the strength of the people who built this country.
How to get there: Take Tiburon Boulevard until you reach downtown Tiburon. The ferry terminal is located right next to The Bungalow Restaurant. Learn more about the ferry and book tickets.
- Drive to West Marin and Point Reyes National Seashore – You will be amazed by this large expanse of magnificent countryside with tiny villages, Tomales Bay, and dramatic terrain. You will certainly be back to explore the many beaches, trails, and wildlife.
How to get there: From Highway 101, take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard west. At Olema, turn right on Route 1 to the visitor’s center of Point Reyes National Seashore and then to Point Reyes Station. Alternatively, stay on Sir Frances Drake Blvd to Tomales Bay.
If you don’t see it all in your visit, you’ll want to return soon.