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Marin Headlands

Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge on the Marin side (so not San Francisco for all you non-locals), the Marin Headlands offer some of the most scenic trials, beaches, and historic sites to explore in the Bay Area. Spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge are everywhere on a clear day. The Headlands are easily reached by taking the last exit before the Golden Gate Bridge if you are coming from Marin.

Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge on the Marin side (so not San Francisco for all you non-locals), the Marin Headlands offer some of the most scenic trials, beaches, and historic sites to explore in the Bay Area. Spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge are everywhere on a clear day. The Headlands are easily reached by taking the last exit before the Golden Gate Bridge if you are coming from Marin.

Originally inhabited by the Native American Miwok tribe, the Marin Headlands are rich in resources in wildlife. Later, the area was used by Mexican ranchers to raise crops and livestock. Stables remain in the area today. The area is also rich in military history, and the Headlands house numerous bunkers, missile launch areas, and shelters built for use in WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. Visitors are free to explore these areas as well as visit the Nike Missile Silo which is still home to vintage weapons of mass destruction today. Other Structures of interest include a run down YMCA and the Point Bonita Lighthouse complete with an operational suspension bridge stretching across rocky outcrops and the Pacific Ocean.

It would be best to leave at least a full day to explore everything in the Headlands that I mentioned above. I would say the best way to spend the day would be to head to Rodeo Beach and Lagoon, in the heart of the Headlands, and then hike up the trial on the left of the beach to the Pt. Bonita Lighthouse (which can only be visited at certain times). Next, I would recommend walking or driving to any bunkers that look interesting to you.

Pt. Bonita Lighthouse Information: http://www.nps.gov/goga/pobo.htm
Nike Missile Site: http://www.nps.gov/goga/nike-missile-site.htm
Rodeo Beach & Hiking: http://www.bahiker.com/northbayhikes/rodeobeach.html
General Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_Headlands

Photos taken from Rodeo Beach and the surrounding hills and bunkers.

written by do-the-strand

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