Sausalito, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Muir Woods
Duration: 1/2 - full day
Distance: 15 miles/24 km
If you have time left to discover San Francisco’s surroundings I would recommend a trip to beautiful Marin County.
The area is incredibly scenic and opens great views toward the city. At the shore you have Sausalito that can be reached by car or bike over Golden Gate Bridge and by ferry from Ferry Building or Pier 41. In particular the waterfront is worth a visit since it opens stunning views towards the city.
1st stop: Sausalito
Sausalito is a picturesque small seacoast village with beautiful houses that are lined along rolling hills. Its center is packed with tiny souvenir shops, boutiques, and restaurants. From the long waterfront promenade visitors have stunning views towards San Francisco.
If you like extend your visit with an overnight stay here are some hotel and restaurant recommendations.
Accommodations in Sausalito
Inn Above the Tide, 30 El Portal, Sausalito
Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa, 801 Bridgeway, Sausalito
Restaurants in Sausalito:
Joinery, 300 Turney St, Sausalito
Napa Valley Burger Company, 670 Bridgeway, Sausalito
Fish, 350 Harbor Drive, Sausalito
2nd stop: Tiburon
Just a couple miles North follows Tiburon that is connected with Sausalito over a scenic bike trail and a passenger ferry.
The town was known as a railway hub in former times. The station was built close to the ferry terminal to connect passengers from San Francisco with the northern part of California. Besides, Tiburon was the home of several fish canneries that canned Alaskan cod after it was transported down the shore.
During World War II Tiburon’s harbor and Main Street were popular nightlife spots for the soldiers, cannery and railroad workers and fishermen. After World War II this area was abandoned for centuries until the turn of the century.
By then Main Street and Tiburon’s downtown area were re-vitalized and turned the town into a picturesque get-away. From the harbor and the Shoreline Path you have wonderful views towards San Francisco, Angel Island, and Golden Gate Bridge.
If you like pretty homes you have to bike or drive along the area of Belvedere that is located on a peninsula South of the harbor.
Along Main Street you have cute little shops and restaurants that continue up to the shore and the ferry terminal. Take the time to explore the shoreline path with beautiful views over Angel Island, Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.
If you are traveling by car I recommend taking the scenic Paradise Drive that starts North of the harbor and runs parallel to Shoreline Path. It opens great views over Angel Island and the Bay. At the end it merges into HWY 101 that gets you back towards Golden Gate Bridge and Mill Valley.
If you like to stay in Tiburon overnight here are some hotel and restaurant recommendations.
Accommodations in Tiburon:
Waters Edge Hotel, 25 Main Street, Tiburon
Restaurants in Tiburon:
Salt & Pepper, 38 Main St., Tiburon
3rd stop: Mill Valley
Mill Valley is sleepy but very quaint little town at the foothills of Mount Tamalpais. Broadleaved trees surround Mill Valley and together with the picturesque houses the downtown area gives you the impression to be in a little village in New England. During fall the trees have a beautiful foliage you shouldn’t miss.
Though the center of Mill Valley is very small you should take the time to walk along Miller Avenue and Throckmorton Avenue.
Enjoy a coffee at Depot Bookstore or La Coppa Coffee and explore The Tyler Florence Shop, Mill Valley Market, and all other stores around the town square.
Just a couple of minutes outside the downtown area you have Old Mill Park with a small redwood forest that is as impressing as Muir Woods National Park but far less crowded.
If you like to stay in the cute little town to visit Muir Woods National Park early in the morning and beat the crowds here are nice accommodations and restaurants to consider:
Accommodations in Mill Valley:
Mill Valley Inn, 165 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley
From $120 – 350 per night, depending the season and offer. This cute little hotel is tucked away in a redwood cove and just around the corner of the town center. The rate comes with breakfast, parking, and free WiFi.
Mountain Home Inn, 810 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley
From $195 – 395 per night. The inn is located off the town center but opens amazing views over the Bay from its elevated location. The rate comes with hot breakfast, parking, and free WiFi in public areas. Please note that the rooms do not have a TV.
Restaurants in Mill Valley:
Sol Food, 401 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley
Bootjack Wood Fired Pizza, 17 Madrona Street, Mill Valley
Bungalow 44, 44 E. Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley