Muir Beach is a small southern Marin "town" with just 150 homes of full-time occupants. Named for John Muir, the town is located only 2 miles from the entrance to Muir Woods National Monument. This quiet cove, beach and lagoon is a favorite spot among locals, and one of the best kept secrets of Northern California.
Redwood Creek at Muir Beach is home to numerous shorebirds, amphibians, salmon, and trout, making it the perfect place for some wildlife spotting. Work is currently being done to restore and increase the capacity of the creek and floodplain system to increase habitat conditions for the endangered coho salmon and threatened California red-legged frog.
Muir Beach has not just one, but two beaches. It's also surrounded by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Mount Tamalpais, nearby Muir Woods National Monument, and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. At the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, you can go for a hike, enjoy a vista, have a picnic, or learn about centuries of history from Spanish colonialism, the Mexican Republic, US military expansion and the growth of San Francisco. Mount Tamalpais, known locally as Mount Tam, is often considered to be the symbol of Marin County. It's the highest peak in the Marin Hills. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a selfie after a hike to the top! Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, also known as Green Dragon Temple, is a Buddhist practice center in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition. In addition to the temple program of zen and study, there's also an organic farm and garden, guest house, and conference center.
After relaxing on the beach, you can continue that laid back vibe in nearby Santa Cruz. This crunchy-cool university town and surfing mecca is about 90 minutes away from Muir Beach. Check out the Boardwalk, with the largest wooden roller coaster of its kind on the West Coast, and grab a bite to eat at the beloved Picnic Basket. Afterward hit one of the area’s great beaches. Steamer Lane for surfing, or Donny Boon, a famous nude beach. Also about 90 minutes away is Bodega Bay, the iconic setting for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. More stunning sites than horror movie, this tiny town of only 1000 people will give you spectacular views of Northern California's rocky and rugged coastline.
Majestically positioned in a valley in the center of the Golden Gate National Recreational Park is the "old" English pub, The Pelican Inn. While the restaurant does serve the public, it does stop service to the public at 2pm on certain days. This romantic escape will transport you to 16th century England. The Cottage at Muir Beach is another true gem. It's perfect for anyone looking to relax and unwind.
Heading north on Highway 101 from the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Beach is just 6 miles from the Highway 1 exit. Plenty of flight options are available through the San Francisco International Airport. Your best option is to travel in this area by car, and to explore some of the roads on a bike.
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