muir woods/marin coast

Old Aug 28th, 2006, 07:03 PM
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muir woods/marin coast

I will be visiting San Francisco this Friday 9-1-06. Will spend one day in San Francisco and then head to Sonoma valley Saturday. We have a wedding on Sunday and then have Monday (Labor Day) free to tour another area. We want to go to the Muir Woods and are wondering what else we can do/see in this area. Any suggestions?....
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Old Aug 28th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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It's pretty easy to do Stinson Beach in conjunction with Muir Woods (1/2 hr. or less i think). Also, Bolinas near there is an interesting and quirky place. Mt. Tamalpais is there too and would be easy to work in. Lots of hiking trails. Then if you have time Sausalito and Tiberon are nice too (on the bay side).
Old Aug 28th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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I should say Mt. Tam is near Muir Woods.
Old Aug 29th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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You can do a nice little loop trip that will take you to Muir Woods, Stinson Beach and Mount Tam. Take the Shoreline/Highway 1 exit from 101 and continue all the way to Muir Beach. Slightly past the entrance to Muir Beach, there is an exit to the right for Muir Woods. After your time in the Woods, retrace your steps and re-join Highway 1, continue over the hills to Stinson Beach. If you want to go to Bolinas, it's just a little further. (Note to the unwary: The sign for the Bolinas turn-off is often removed by the locals, so quirky and iconoclastic are they!). Stinson Beach is the best bet coffee/lunch stops on your route. Coming back, once you leave Stinson Beach, take the left-turn road towards the flanks of Mt. Tam rather than going back on the coast road. You will be heading east along the road. There is a turn-off for the higher parts of the mountain (views are spectacular - a good detour), or you can just continue on your way across the mountain and then down Panoramic Drive, which rejoins Shoreline at the point where you earlier diverged for Muir Beach.

I've often taken visitors on this tour, and it gives a nice combo of mountain, woods, and beach. Of course, it could be done in reverse.
Sausalito could easily be worked into your way to San Francisco. I recommend stopping at the Cafe Trieste in Sausalito and ordering an "africano" - strong, strong coffee mixed with hot milk in a glass - sort of like an au lait times 20.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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Nice to have a coffee or lunch at the old depot/book store in Mill Valley. Also visit Peet's for some coffee beans while there.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Mmmmm - Peets Yes, definitely pick up some Peets beans while you are in the area. All the other suggestions look good as well.

Did anyone mention Point Reyes as a possibility? I've done Muir Woods and Point Reyes as a day trip from San Jose and it made for a very nice day.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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If it's a nice day, the road to Muir Woods and Stinson Beach will be very crowded. I would simply spend the day on Point Reyes and count on spending a long time on the highway for the return to SF.
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Old Aug 29th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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You bring up a very salient point, Michael. I must admit that I've tried to plan this drive for visitors on non-holiday weekends and weekdays. By the same token, a lot of the trailhead and beach parking lots at Point Reyes might also be crowded (esp. Heart's Desire Beach and the parking area around the Lighthouse). I'd just try to be on the road early (before noon) and avoid being on the return trip around 5 or 6 p.m.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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We are also planning on traveling from San Fran to Muir Woods/Point Reyes & then on to Sonoma to begin a 2 day tour of the Wine Country. Looks like the route we would take would to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, then head thru Sausalito, up Hwy 1 to Muir Woods, Mt Tamalpais park. Would like to drive up the coast for a distance then head to Sonoma. Any suggestions for best scenic route to Sonoma? Driving time? we'll be there the 1st week in November.
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