Help with driving directions to Muir Woods...

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Feb 8th, 2009, 02:06 PM
  #1
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Help with driving directions to Muir Woods...

Hello. We will be in San Francisco for about two days in early May. We like the idea of renting a car and heading to the Muir Woods on our own. We are staying at the Holiday Inn in the Wharf. Are we crazy? Should we just consider a tour? I like the idea of getting picnic supplies at the Ferry Building and having our own time in the woods. A tour won't allow this. Advise much appreciated, including specific driving instructions from the Wharf across the bridge, suggested stops along the way, and to Sausalito from the woods. Thanks so much!
twobluecats is offline  
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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:00 PM
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you definitely do not need a tour to visit muir woods.

the drive to muir woods is lovely, easy and picturesque going over the g.g. bridge.

the 1st exit after the bridge will take you to sausalito.
so you can visit there either before or after visiting the woods.

take the 4th exit 'stinson beach' on us101 after the bridge. there are directions posted along the route.
keep in mind it is a steep and winding road down to the woods and the beach.

it is best to get to the woods early as the parking lots fill up quickly. but if you have to wait, it is generally not very long.
i love to stop at the pelican inn for beers after muir beach.

there are also many lovely coastal towns to explore along that road.

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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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here is the official muir woods web site
http://www.nps.gov/muwo/
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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Thanks so much. Is it difficult to navigate through the city TO the Golden Gate Bridge? Are there places to pull over for photos on the other side of the bridge? I appreciate your help!
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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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San Francisco is a pretty easy city to drive in. It is particularly easy to drive from Fisherman's Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge, but even if you are elsewhere in the city, it isn't hard. There is a "vista spot" on the north side of the bridge with parking -- if that parking lot is full, you can go under the freeway to a spillover parking lot and walk back to the vista spot. Be sure you get a parking "ticket" and put it on your dashboard -- I'm not sure if that applies to both sides or only to the spillover lot, but there are signs.

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Feb 8th, 2009, 04:29 PM
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Here are directions from your hotel to Muir Woods:

1. From you hotel get on Bay Street and stay in the RIGHT Lane.

2. At Laguna St, being in the right lane on Bay St will take you automatically onto Laguna.

3. Follow Laguna as it curves around onto Marina Blvd.

4. Once you are on Marina Blvd, change to the LEFT lane.

5. The left lane will automatically take you onto the onramp for the Golden Gate Bridge via Highway 101.

6. Stay in the right lane. The first exit after you have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge will take you to the VISTA POINT (mentioned by sf707).

7. As you exit the Vista Point,you will be on Highway 101 northbound. Stay with Highway 101 (Save Sausalito for the return trip) and exit as abranz had suggested.

8. Your exit for Muir Woods would be clearly marked. It will be labelled "Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, Highway 1"

9. Because it's a bit of a winding road from here, follow the signs for Muir Woods.

Here are the more detailed instructions from the Muir Woods site itself:

"From San Francisco, Peninsula, or South Bay to Muir Woods

* Take Highway 101 North across the Golden Gate Bridge.
* Exit Highway 1/Stinson Beach (there will be a sign for Muir Woods at this exit)
* Drive about .5 miles. At the stoplight, turn left.
* Drive about 2.7 miles. At the top of the hill, turn right towards Muir Woods/Mount Tamalpais.
* Drive about 0.8 miles. At the 4-way intersection, turn left towards Muir Woods (oncoming traffic has the right of way!).
* Continue down the hill about 1.6 miles. The Muir Woods parking lot will be at the bottom of the hill, on a sharp turn, on your right."

Good luck and have a great time! This is such a wonderful trip!



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Feb 8th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Don't forget to take in the great viewpoints of SF and the GGB from the Marin Headlands on your way to Sausalito provided the weather is conducive.

Stu Dudley gives concise directions here:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=35129049

Look for his posting: North of San Francisco

Muir Woods is great but also usually very crowded. If you want to search out redwoods in other parks in the Bay Area, a drive towards Santa Cruz will lead you to a number of beautiful groves. Here is an article published today in the Chronicle about a recommended drive.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...SP0K15NE2F.DTL
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Feb 8th, 2009, 04:57 PM
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driving through the marina to the bridge is beautiful in itself.
if you have the time, you may want to stop at the palace of fine arts / exploratorium which will be to your left as you leave the marina and approach doyle drive to the bridge.
it is the site of the 1915 exposition and has some beautiful architecture.
you may encounter some wedding parties as it is a very popular spot to take wedding pictures.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 03:28 AM
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Seconding two of abranz's points:

1. it is a steep and winding road down to the woods. Allow more time than you would for the same distance elsewhere, esp if you are not used to steep and winding roads.

2. the Pelican Inn is more like an English country pub than most English country pubs. It makes a nice lunch/beer stop, esp if you can sit in the garden.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 05:43 AM
  #10
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You guys are awesome. I REALLY appreciate your help. I'm confident that we will rent a car now instead of sitting on a stuffy bus.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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If it is a clear day and you have a little time after Muir woods, very near there is Mt. Tamalpais state park. You can drive up to the top of it and take the 1 mile hike around the top and have the most fantastic views of the area possible. Watch for signs on rt. 1.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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twobluecats:

From the Holiday Inn the signage is really good to the GG Bridge. Although the directions are daunting and there are many turns, most are marked to your destination.

Everything you say about doing the woods on your own is correct. Enjoy it on your own schedule and pace. Don't let the trek turn you off.
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