Day Trip – Marin County + SF

Sacramento is a fantastic city to live in! But since this is the great state of California and it is not on the coast, it sometimes gets a bad rap. I remember when I lived on the coast in LA I felt like I was making a real compromise moving to a valley town. Luckily one of the cliches that you hear about Sacramento all over the places is true: it’s such a short drive everywhere! The Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and Wine Country are all right in your back yard. Ten years after that big move, I really appreciate that this is completely true.

I’ve been taking advantage of this all summer long and last Saturday was no exception. We packed up some snacks and headed out with our Couples Besties (HA! still love that term) to have a fun day enjoying Marin County and San Francisco.

Our first agenda item: Hike Mt. Tamalpais. No big deal.

It was a nice leisurely, sunny drive to Mill Valley and we started our hike right next to a redwood shaded creek. The scenery was gorgeous and there are all sorts of neat homes in the area that look like modern (EXPENSIVE!) tree houses. It was kind of fun to imagine what it would be like to live there as we made our way into the woods.

Oddly enough the hardest part of the hike is basically right out of the gate. It’s 15 minutes of steady ascent, but it’s completely shaded and makes you feel like you are the only people on the trail. Katie kept saying Mt. Tam is the “air conditioned mountain” and I’ll tell you what, I was grateful because that first climb felt like a nice little Saturday WOD outside the CrossFit box. High intensity (and definitely constantly varied, HA!) When we got to the top I was basically a sweaty mess, but it felt great. Exercising outside is the best!

The rest of the hike was filled with tough hills mixed up with some mellower patches where we could visit and tell stories.

The hike took about 6 hours altogether but the views starting getting amazing in the first hour. Around every corner there was another peek of the ocean or the various bridges that cross the bay. And the entire time there was a cool breeze blowing.

Towards the top there is a paved path that leads to the summit trail and so Jeremy and I decided to run up it. I guess I was enjoying chatting too much though because I turned around to talk to Garrett and Katie behind us and ran right into a tree.

Awesome! Too bad I have no pictures of that. I’m sure the biker who was riding past me right as I did it (trying very hard not to laugh — nice of him) has a picture of that in his mind.

WHAT A KLUTZ! Sometimes I am a hazard to myself!

Once you hike (or drive) your way up to the top (CHEATERS!) the path to get to the summit is only about 1/3 of a mile. it’s a fun little trail through stairs and rocks and trees.

When we finally arrived, the view was TOTALLY worth it and we spent some time just relaxing and having a little snack and enjoying the fruits of our labor!

I, of course, had to climb some rocks and ham it up! And put on a jacket! Seriously, the mountain *IS* air conditioned. That is the way to hike, man.

It took a few more hours to make our way down the mountain, but once we did, there was only one thing on our mind: MEXICAN FOOD. We changed quickly and made our way to an adorable little taco place in town called Joe’s Taco Lounge where we regained our energy.

Marin county is just a hop, skip and jump from San Francisco so we took our full bellies across the Golden Gate and decided to have some tourist-y fun over in Ghirardelli Square. I can’t even remember the last time I crossed the Golden Gate! These two things are not particularly hip San Francisco things to do, but sometimes it is fun to be a tourist in your own backyard. And come on, Ghirardelli Square IS A PLAZA SURROUNDING A STORE FULL OF CHOCOLATE. I mean, after hiking all day, it was a no brainer!

Of course when we were done we had to grab an Irish Coffee (or two!) over at the Buena Vista, which is always a treat when we are in that area of the city. That place is always packed and overflowing with folks from out of town, but we managed to share a table with another couple who were also from Sacramento. Random!

All in all, it was such a great day!

And despite all of that coffee, we slept like babies that night. Weird. :)

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7 comments to Day Trip – Marin County + SF

  • Camels & Chocolate
    June 26, 2012 at 5:58 am

    So pretty! Next time you need to head down to Muir Beach and go to the Pelican Inn (our wedding site!) for beers post-hike.

  • San
    June 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Fun! I love that about Sacramento… that there are so many destinations all around us!

  • Kate
    June 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

    So jealous! I want to go to there!!! I spent six weeks in San Francisco several years ago and loved every minute of it, except paying for it. I had Burmese food there. Who knew? Such an amazing place.

  • sizzle
    June 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I think that after 6 hours of hiking no coffee could keep a person up. Sounds like a really fun time!

  • Kathryn
    June 27, 2012 at 6:43 am

    What a beautiful spot. It must have felt great getting to the top!!

  • noblepower
    June 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I agree heartily with Camels & Chocolate above, but also another fun day would be to do the Dipsea down to Stinson, and then poke around (lovely bookstore!) before heading all the way back (or stop/turn around when you hit Muir Woods). I feel so fortunate to live with all these great trails in my backyard . . .

  • Home Sweet Sarah
    June 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Oooh, I want to do that hike!

    Also, have I ever told you that the first time Chris and my parents met was at the Buena Vista and we had 18 Irish coffees between the six of us? INDEED.





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