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Things to do in Marin County

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Bridge
“San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge serves as the iconic symbol of the "City by the Bay." It is one of the most visited attractions and visitors love photographing it, walking across it, and learning about Golden Gate Bridge history. It's one of the world's most beautiful spans. The real "Golden Gate" is the strait that the bridge spans. It was first named "Chrysopylae," meaning "golden gate," by Captain John C. Fremont in 1846. Golden Gate Bridge Vista Points These are the two spots most Golden Gate Bridge visitors like to go the most: South (San Francisco Side) Vista Point: Parking spaces are almost always full, spaces are metered and if you let the meter expire, you'll pay a fine that could cost as much as a meal in a very nice restaurant. You'll find restrooms, a gift shop, cafe, and an exhibit showing the cross-section of a bridge cable. If you find this parking lot full or if you want to spend more time than the meters will allow, try these options: Drive away from the metered lot and turn left out onto Lincoln. You will find a gravel lot a short distance away on your left. If you are approaching from the Presidio on Lincoln, the lot is just across from the two-story houses that were once the Presidio officer's quarters. Weekends and holidays ONLY, you'll find more paid parking in a nearby satellite lot on the southwest side of the bridge. From there, walk toward the bridge and through the underpass to get to the vista point. North (Marin Side) Vista Point: Parking is free for up to four hours and there are restrooms. This lot is accessible only from northbound US 101 and if you drive across the bridge and plan to go back into San Francisco afterward, you'll pay a toll. The toll booths are all-electronic, so it isn't quite so easy as pulling out some cash. Find out how to pay in the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Guide, which is written with an out-of-town visitor in mind. ”
  • 382 locals recommend
Park
“Connect with nature to enjoy the redwood trees and scenery. There are different walking and hiking trails you can choose. Handicap friendly. Lots of people, reservations only, no cell service or wifi at the park or visitors center and traffic is crazy during the weekend and holiday season. ”
  • 265 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States but became a federal penitentiary from 1934-1963, housing famous convicts such as Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Now, this once infamous prison island is part of the Bay Area’s 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Located one-and-a-half miles from Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz is one of the city's most popular attractions. A visit to the island includes a tour of the cell house where visitors can see where the prisoners lived. Although the last inmates were transferred off the island in 1963, the main prison block with its steel bars, claustrophobic (9 x 5-foot) cells, mess hall, library and "dark holes," where recalcitrant languished in inky blackness, is still structurally intact.”
  • 197 locals recommend
Park
“A visit to this pristine national sanctuary is 18 miles away, about a 40 minute drive.”
  • 122 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Mt. Tam. The Sleeping Lady (see the photo). Marin's highest peak and a Bay Area favorite for mountain biking, hiking, and fishing. In summer, you can catch the Mountain Play in a 4,000-seat open-air amphitheater constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.”
  • 122 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“If you have a car, the best views of the GG Bridge and some awesome hikes can be found in the Marin Headlands. Highly recommend making the trip over the bridge.”
  • 98 locals recommend
Concert Hall
$$
“Famous intimate music venue. Regularly hosting famous top international and local talent. The café and restaurant is dependably very good as well.”
  • 88 locals recommend
National Park
“Not far from SF and great National Park with ancient redwood trees. Scavenger hunt list for kids and get a batch sworn in by the park rangers is a high light for kids visiting:)”
  • 65 locals recommend
French Restaurant
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“Recommend reservations on weekends, this place is really good, we tend to visit this place every Brunch when were in town. ”
  • 82 locals recommend
American Restaurant
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“Great place for music, free and ticketed shows, great out door space for kids ”
  • 81 locals recommend
Brewery
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“I love Lagunitas! So much so, I don't mind making the extra trek to Petaluma to visit every so often. Besides their delicious beer, they have a fun outdoor patio where you can enjoy live music (but be sure to check their calendar) as well as a very entertaining and informative tour, where they provide plenty of beer samples!”
  • 73 locals recommend
Pizza Place
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“One of our favorites - great pizzas, and can sit outside around their huge fire ring, or play a game of bocce!”
  • 80 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
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“Fish has wonderful seafood. The restaurant if very casual (picnic tables). The food is great, but expensive!”
  • 80 locals recommend
Japanese Restaurant
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“This is a top three sushi restaurant in San Francisco and on a lot of U.S. top 10 lists. If you love sushi it is a must-try.”
  • 69 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
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“By far the best Mexican restaurant in the area, and arguably one of the best in California. Extremely casual but also extremely good!”
  • 66 locals recommend
Historic Site
“Interesting history of Richmond and the war, plus a beautiful walking path and gorgeous views! ”
  • 23 locals recommend

Top restaurants

French Restaurant
“Recommend reservations on weekends, this place is really good, we tend to visit this place every Brunch when were in town. ”
  • 82 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“Great place for music, free and ticketed shows, great out door space for kids ”
  • 81 locals recommend
Pizza Place
“One of our favorites - great pizzas, and can sit outside around their huge fire ring, or play a game of bocce!”
  • 80 locals recommend
Seafood Restaurant
“Fish has wonderful seafood. The restaurant if very casual (picnic tables). The food is great, but expensive!”
  • 80 locals recommend
Japanese Restaurant
“This is a top three sushi restaurant in San Francisco and on a lot of U.S. top 10 lists. If you love sushi it is a must-try.”
  • 69 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
“By far the best Mexican restaurant in the area, and arguably one of the best in California. Extremely casual but also extremely good!”
  • 66 locals recommend
Latin American Restaurant
“Awesome Puerto Rican food where people line up around the corner, so if the line isn’t out the door, then it’s probably the quickest wait time you’ll get!”
  • 60 locals recommend
American Restaurant
“A great place to stop after a trip--to the Wine Country, Muir Woods, Mount Tam or Sausalito--for a great cocktail and fabulous food. 1/3 of the seating is NOT reserved, so if you're willing to wait, you can always get a table. Not cheap.”
  • 55 locals recommend

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