One of the most magical places we saw in California (which is saying something, considering how beautiful Northern California is) was Muir Woods. It’s only a half hour drive from San Francisco, but feels like a completely different world.
We got up first thing in the morning and took the gorgeous drive through the state park. Before we had even reached the parking lot I was in awe of how incredible this place was. There’s a new system in place now that requires parking or shuttle reservations, which you should definitely reserve in advance, since there can be spotty service inside the forest. It ended up costing us $28 for two ($10 each for admission and $8 for parking) and it was totally worth it!
There’s a seemingly endless amount of trails to follow, but unless you plan on taking the 8 mile trek to Muir Beach, you probably don’t need to wear activewear. We walk at a pretty brisk pace and took several trails (and not trails – shh) over the four hours that we were there, and I was totally fine in jeans and a pair of Chuck Taylors.
Muir Woods was perfect for the morning after we landed. It was picturesque and serene in the brisk morning, and there’s nothing quite like a stretch of the legs to fight that jet lag. We were inside for a little over four hours, and it completely flew by. We stopped to grab a yogurt parfait at the cafe before we left, and had a little bit of time before the morning fog burned off, so we decided to go take the drive to Marin Headlands.
Past being a perfect picture location, the Marin Headlands have a ton of cool history (shown in the multiple military sites) and are home to lots of different wildlife! We were pretty lucky in our photos, but on a crowded day it’s worth driving farther and stopping at other lookout points where there are fewer tourists! We didn’t have much free time left, since we had planned to go to Sausalito for the afternoon and evening, but there’s plenty of exploring to do in the area!
Check back in on Monday to read all about Sausalito!