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A Perfect Day Trip: Visit Muir Woods and Sausalito
The National Park Service turned 100 in August 2016.
Wanna hear something embarrassing? I’m American, but still haven’t visited many National Parks in my lifetime. Like, at all. It took me, uh, quite awhile to embrace the outdoors. My trip to Western Canada changed me for the better. I love you, Mother Nature, even when I get dirt under my fingernails or a mosquito bite on my shoulder.
Now, of course, I want to reverse this trend and explore every single National Park in the United States. To begin achieving my goal, I made Muir Woods a priority on my California Spring Break. Baby steps, right?
Muir Woods is a top-notch national park, located only 30 minutes or so outside of San Fransisco. Theodore Roosevelt declared Muir Woods a national monument in 1908 – which effectively protected the beautiful redwoods from being hacked into splinters. The park is named after naturalist John Muir.
Unless you rent a car, there’s no easy way to reach Muir Woods, so I opted for booking a day tour with Incredible Adventures (not sponsored, haha). Our tour also stopped in Sausalito, a picturesque and artsy town located on the Bay, and a great place to devour Mexican food for lunch.
In this post, I included plenty of my favorite pictures on my visit to Muir Woods and Sausalito. Enjoy your photographic walk through the redwood trees!
Why Visit Muir Woods?
Muir Woods is one of the beautiful day trips you can take from San Francisco. Not to mention, this national park is very historically significant.
In 1908, President Roosevelt made Muir Woods a national monument, preventing any destruction in the area. The president was made aware of Muir Woods’s beauty by naturalist John Muir – whose support of the environment inspired the American National Park system. Pretty awesome.
Furthermore, Muir Woods is a great option for travelers who don’t have time to see the great Sequoia trees farther north. You can feel nature’s power not too far from San Francisco.
Ultimately, combining urban and natural beauty always makes for the best trips.
Should I Take a Tour to Muir Woods?
Honestly, as a solo traveler, I found that taking a tour to Muir Woods was the easiest option.
I’m not the most relaxed driver (UNDERSTATEMENT!) so I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of renting a car and finding parking near Muir Woods. Not to mention, since I went during Spring Break, the parking options were … let’s just say, limited.
If you don’t want to rent a car and group tours aren’t your thing, then another option is using a Muir Woods shuttle bus. For example, the Muir Woods shuttle leaves designated areas in Sausalito for the National Park.
Need more opinions? Dylan’s Tours has several suggestions for reaching Muir Woods without giving yourself a frustrated headache.
What should I Pack on my trip to Muir Woods?
Now let’s go to Sausalito! I nearly died at how gorgeous the Bay and San Francisco’s skyline are. I declared that I wanted to live here, but nearly died again once I saw the rents, haha. Still, it’s a great day trip.
What’s in Sausalito?
Located in Marin County, Sausalito is home to many artisan shops and restaurants. If you take a trip Labor Day weekend, you can enjoy Sausalito’s world famous Art and Music Festival. But, honestly, Sausalito is just a wonderful place to walk around in with little to no plans.
On my own visit, I took pictures of the San Francisco Bay and ate lunch at an incredible Mexican place: Copita.
And I want to apologize for not including pictures of my amazing burrito. I ate it within five seconds. My camera didn’t stand a chance against my ravenous hunger. I need to work on that…
Need more advice? Check out Lonely Planet’s Discover California Guide.
Do I Need A Tour to Sausalito?
Nope! No you don’t! Although Sausalito was a part of my tour package to Muir Woods, a tour is completely not necessary especially if you’re staying in San Francisco.
I promise you can visit Sausalito on your own without too much hassle, even as a solo traveler!
You can easily take the San Francisco Ferry to Sausalito. Visit Golden Gate Ferry for the most updated schedules. This ferry departs from the San Francisco Ferry Building, and arrives in Sausalito a mere 30 minutes later, making this scenic town a time efficient day trip.
Another option is to book a ticket with the Blue&Gold Fleet – which departs from Pier 41 near Fisherman’s Wharf. Again, it takes about 30 minutes to go to Sausalito. Not too bad, huh?
Whatever you decide to do, Sausalito is a real treat.
Do you plan on visiting Muir Woods? How about Sausalito? What photograph is your favorite? Be sure to check out my other photo essays for views of more amazing places!
Have a great time in Muir Woods and Sausalito!
Note: Some links are affiliate-based. If you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.