The Bay Area offers a host of options. Choice is a premium luxury here. After all, there is a reason why the area remains one of the top ten worldwide destinations. It offers a breathtaking balance of natural beauty and unique monuments and urban hot-spots. While San Francisco is the destination of choice for the majority of the tourists making their way to the area, those in the know will head for more northern destinations.
Marin County is home to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty to be found anywhere in California. This includes the bird sanctuary near Mill Valley, as well as Mount Tamalpais and the verdant Muir Woods. Consequently, the region is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream — especially if that enthusiast is partial to hiking, biking, or jogging. After a long day jumping over fallen trees and babbling brooks, you can soak your bones in a lovely hot tub, which most Marin county hotels seem to come equipped with.
Is a day at the beach more your cup of tea? Fear not, you need look no further than Stinson Beach, approximately 10 miles north of Marin County. Though Northern California prides itself more on its rocky shoreline, it does have a number of sandy beaches on par with Southern California. While these beaches tend to be smaller — and therefore more crowded — they are generally cleaner than beaches in Los Angeles and Huntington Beach.
A ten-minute drive over the Golden Gate Bridge (traffic permitting) will deliver the dauntless tourist to San Francisco. Here one can do all that one is expected to do, namely, see North Beach (the Italian enclave), visit the Transamerica Pyramid, visit City Lights Bookstore, shop at Union Square, and then have dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf. Keep in mind there is no public transportation to and from the North Bay, so, unless you ferry in, you will have to provide your own transportation.
To be sure, San Francisco enjoys the veritable lion’s share of tourist traffic. However, it is worth reiterating that Marin County is as lovely a place as any you might find on the French Riviera. Except, of course, for the fact that it is far more verdant than the Riviera. Reserve your room in advance and be sure to allocate more money than you had initially budgeted.
When scouring the many Marin County hotels, be sure to consider the Larkspur chain. They have never done wrong by me.