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Chase the sunset at The Strand. http://www.thestrandmarin.com
Consider Marin and its surrounding counties a must for amazing outdoor rec. Granted, fall’s cooler weather, changing foliage and sparser crowds also offer the perfect excuse to get outside and really explore. Marin’s varied natural habitats are managed and protected to enhance their unique character, making them go-to destinations on a year-round basis. Still, the area is arguably at its peak in autumn.
Two parks, Muir Woods National Monument and Point Reyes National Seashore, are pristine, peaceful environments—the kinds you wouldn’t mind getting lost in. At Muir Woods, enjoy the scenic forested park’s giant redwood trees, long hiking trails, diverse flora and fauna and more. Following your visit to Muir Woods, head over to Point Reyes, where you’re bound to marvel at the unspoiled coastline and endless wildlife.
Need more options? Let’s just say that Golden Gate National Recreation Area isn’t lacking for awesome things to do. It’s also not your run-of-the-mill park, made up of multiple land tracts spread over various counties. When you do go, take in a little bird watching, as raptors soar above Marin Headlands on Hawk Hill, or try and spot red-legged frogs in the ponds at Mori Point. Walk around the restored wetlands at Chrissy Field or, if you have at least half a day to spare, hike, bike or ride a horse to the beach on the Tennessee Trail.
While it may be too chilly to dip a toe in the water, you can still glimpse some unparalleled ocean views. Head to Lands End, scenically located at San Francisco’s northwestern-most corner. Walk the Coastal Trail (and the city’s edge) and explore the ruins of the historic Sutro Heights Baths and Sutro Heights Park, formerly home to the city’s mayor and Park namesake. When it’s finally time to head inside, cap off your visit with a stop at Cliff House, a San Francisco institution restored to its circa-1909 neoclassical splendor in 2005.
Of course, if you love the great outdoors, you’ll feel right at home living at The Strand, where nature is just beyond your door and made to be enjoyed as often as possible.