Perched on sea cliffs overlooking the San Francisco Bay, the Marin Headlands are made up of hills, coves and coastline filled with natural beauty and wildlife. The area is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area, one of the largest urban national park in the world, and is home to more than 1,200 unique species of plants and animals. Multiple hiking trails and campgrounds allow visitors to experience the hilly scenery and coastal habitat, while the Point Bonita Lighthouse and Rodeo Beach are popular places to stop and enjoy the scenery.
The Marin Headlands also contains some of California’s richest history, from the Miwok Native Americans to the Spanish conquistadores to Cold War-era NIKE missile sites. Historic military settlements here, including Fort Barry and Fort Cronkite, remain open to visitors. The headlands are just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco on the edge of the Marin peninsula, allowing for some of the best views of the bridge and the city from atop its hills.
From U.S. 101, take the Alexander Ave exit to reach Marin Headlands. From San Francisco, it's a quick drive north across the Golden Gate Bridge. For information, visit the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, open year-round from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.