Sometimes, you need to get out of the city. We all love the hustle and bustle of renting a room in San Francisco, but every now and then, you crave some fresh air, sunshine, and tall trees. Luckily, your housing is in San Francisco , a city surrounded by a number of unique little towns on the Bay. Today, we are going to introduce you to Mount Tamalpais in Marin, a beautiful spot to schedule a date night, a sunset picnic, a day hike, or your next photo adventure.
Mount Tam is located in Marin County, just across the Bay Bridge. For your day-staycation, start your morning by exploring Mill Valley, the cute little town right at the base of the mountain. The Mill Valley cuisine scene is largely local, which makes every quaint dining experience feel extra personal and unique. There are a number of delicious breakfast spots, diners, and cafes located right in Downtown. If you are a coffee connoisseur, then stop by Equator Coffee for a latte that is sure to suit your expert tastes. Alternatively, you can grab something from the locally owned and operated Mill Valley Market, and take it to go sit in the sunny town square, where you can watch some lovely old men play chess or go dog-spotting. After your meal, you should go explore! There are a number of cute little boutiques that make for great window shopping, or you can catch a film at the old theatre. If you are on a date, do not forget to stop and smell the flowers at the charming outdoor flower stand -and maybe even purchase a pretty present for your partner! Once you have had your small-town fill, grab a meal to-go from Sol Food – trust us, do not skip the Sol Food – hop in your car, and head on up to Mount Tam.
This Mountain will take your breath away. As you drive up the curving hills towards the entry gate to the park, you are met with groves upon groves of towering redwood trees, a viridescent forest spanning your eyesight. The light beams through the leaves just so, and the whole forest looks like it is bathed in gold. Now is your time: crank the windows down, and breathe in the crisp air.
If you are exploring Mount Tam early and on a clear day, the view is unbeatable. You can see all the way down to Stinson Beach, and watch the boats floating in from afar. In the other direction is a magnificent view of San Francisco, the skyscrapers rising up to sparkle in the sunshine. If you look just hard enough, maybe you could even spot your San Francisco housing!
But, believe it or not, the best days to go to Mount Tam are the foggy ones. On foggy days, if you are lucky, you are perched directly above the clouds. Miles of cotton candy fluff stretch for as far as you can see, making you feel like a verifiable angel from above. It also makes for some absolutely heavenly photographs.
But the best view comes at sunset, when the entire sky lights on fire. The setting sun brushes the vast sea of rolling clouds and transforms them into a prism of red, pink, orange, and yellow.
This is when you should lay out your picnic blanket, break out your Sol Food or a bottle of wine, and enjoy. Mount Tam is the perfect place to escape from the city, a great spot to take a first date you want to impress, a must-see for photographers or creative-types, but also just a lovely haven to explore with friends.
So next time you need a get away, you don’t need to book a flight to Hawaii! Just hop on your car, cross the Bay Bridge, and aim for Mill Valley. Fresh air, unbeatable views, and adventure awaits.
You can check out more blog posts on where to explore beyond your SF housing right here.
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