Stinson Beach – The beach is expansive and flat making it very walkable. The sand is fine and smooth making digging or building sand castles perfect. The water is shallow making it great for young kids to play and swim. With the Muir Woods and rock formations in the background, this beach is picture perfect. An added bonus: dolphins, seals and whales can me seen from the shore at times. There is a small concession stand, or eat locally in the beautiful small town. There are bathrooms right on the beach.
Adubon Canyon Ranch – A great place to connect with nature. Great for hiking and bird watching in their natural habitat and enjoy the natural sounds of nature. Plenty of hiking trails that lead out to amazing views of the ocean. Nesting colonies of Egrets and Blue Herons. A short hike to the observation platform gives you a great view of the action in the nests. More info at http://www.egret.org
Martin Griffin Preserve – Another great place to get close to nature. It is a quiet place to see birds in action, sometimes a chipmunk, too. There are hiking trails for all levels of hikers. Bring a lunch and enjoy on the picnic tables. More info at http://www.egret.org/preserves_martin_griffin
Point Reyes Lighthouse – A 308 step walkway leads to this 1870 lighthouse, built high on a Point Reyes cliff. Whale-watching is very popular here January through March. More than 70 miles of trails for hiking and biking weave through open pastures, rugged ridges, and coastal cliffs in this 70,000 acre wilderness area. Over 400 bird species have been seen at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. More information is available at any of the three visitors centers. More info at https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve – Great egrets and great blue herons nest here each spring. Harbor Seals are also inhabitants of Bolinas Lagoon. They may be watched from a distance, but approaching the seals, or harassing them in any way is a violation of federal law and is strictly enforced. More info at http://www.marincountyparks.org/depts/pk/divisions/open-space/bolinas
Mt Tamalpais State Park – For more than a century visitors have enjoyed the attractions of the spectacular mountain towering over the bay north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The view from Mt. Tamalpais spans the bay region from the sloping hills of the East Bay to the jagged peaks of the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles to the west. 6,200 acres provide habitation for deer, raccoon, fox, bobcats, and numerous other species. Amenities include picnic areas, hiking trails and campsites.
Red Rock Beach is touted as the north coasts friendliest and most popular nude beach. It is located only .5 mile south of Stinson Beach, at Milepost 11 on Hwy. One. A roadside turnout provides parking, but no signs are posted. Poison Oak is abundant, so be sure to wear shoes and keep a watchful eye out while making your way down the steep ravine trail to the beach. It’s about a 15 minute hike. There are no facilities at Red Rock Beach, but there is a natural spring for drinking. More info at https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471
Red Rock Beach – Clothing optional beach just south of Stinson Beach. More info at http://www.californiabeaches.com/beach/red-rock-beach/
Muir Woods – Coast redwoods, some more than 500 years old, cover 560 acres, filling the area with a rich pine aroma. Trails through the shady groves pass markers describing the trees and their growth cycles. Open daily 8 a.m. – sunset, daily. Muir Woods is a National Monument, therefore there is now an admission fee. Facilities include a Visitor Center, Gift Shop and Restrooms. More info at https://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm
Marin Headlands – Covering 12,000 acres, the Marin Headlands features well-marked hiking, biking and equestrian trails that cross high bluffs and grassy meadows. There is also a Marine Mammal Center dedicated to the recovery and release of injured or sick seals and other marine mammals. More info at https://www.nps.gov/goga/marin-headlands.htm