Muir Beach & Muir Woods2018-10-16T20:38:17+00:00

Muir Beach & Muir Woods, California

California’s Highway One sneaks over the last coastal ridge west of Mill Valley and descends like a falling ribbon to Marin County’s Muir Beach, a small hamlet that shares a zip code with Sausalito but it is more typical of the towns and villages that dot Highway 1 from there north. (Indeed, the next truly urban area on the coast road is along the Puget Sound).

The beach at Muir Beach is not vast; well-tended, oceanview homes flank one side while a couple of hundred feet south, trails climb up along the bluffs of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The signature business in town is the Pelican Inn, a Tudor-style lodge plus eatery that often has live music and always offers fine imports on tap.

About two miles inland lies Muir Woods National Monument, a 550-acre gift to the federal government in 1907 by Marin’s prominent Kent family. There’s a store and a snack bar but the draw is imposing coast redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, many of them 20 stories tall and some as old as the Magna Carta. The main groves have been likened to cathedrals but they’re more impressive than that; when you’re standing in the cool, muffled shadows, it seems that even sound and light have paused to show respect.

Quick Links

Lodging & Restaurant
Pelican Inn

Real Estate
Debra Allen, Realtor

Muir Woods 
Park Information

"The national seashore begins 25 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, and it must drive developers crazy to see it just lying there, virtually empty. Its natural state is a tribute to former President John F. Kennedy, who declared that the peninsula should be saved as a national treasure. He set aside nearly 80,000 acres for public use. The largest town at the edge of the park, Point Reyes Station, consists of a couple of dozen buildings that line both sides of Route 1."

- Washington Post

"Take the roads less traveled on this coastal road trip. From San Francisco, head north to discover secret wine country, driftwood strewn beaches and romantic coastal hamlets like Mendocino. Escape to cosy B&Bs and exclusive inns, paddle along a secret river, watch the horizon for spouting whales and watch the fog roll in at sunset."

- Visit California

"Making the world your oyster in Marshall (www.pointreyes.org/marshall-marin-county.html)
West Marin's coastal landscape, dominated by grazing land, dairy farms and the vast Point Reyes National Seashore, is the antithesis of the county's affluent inland cities. Marshall, at the north end of Tomales Bay, is where Marin's dairy industry started. Today, though, its fortunes rest with mollusks – about half the state's shellfish producers grow oysters, clams and mussels on the bay floor here. Buy them along the road to take home or rent a picnic spot to shuck and grill them yourself (shucking lessons available on request). Or splurge on a night or two in one of the impeccable stilted cottages over the bay water at Nick's Cove, which includes oysters upon arrival and has an oyster bar in the restaurant."

- SF Chronicle

" Stinson Beach, California - As with most West Coast shores, the hunting on Stinson Beach doesn't compare with that along the Gulf. Still, this beach just north of San Francisco does supply limpet shells and sand dollars―plus lots of surfers, a couple of nice seafood restaurants nearby, rugged natural beauty, and endearing small-town quirkiness."

- Coastal Living

From Travel & Leisure Magazine

Sun worshippers ready to escape San Francisco’s foggy wrath tend to fall back on familiar options, like the lovable but insanely crowded Stinson Beach to the north, or Santa Cruz’s classic boardwalk to the south. This Memorial Day, veer ever-so-slightly from the beaten track for these alluring, under-the-radar beach town alternatives:

Marshall

Just 10 miles up the coast from its touristy neighbor Point Reyes Station, Marshall lures locals for its water-to-table fare and panoramic views of Tomales Bay. Watch fisherman haul in buckets of fresh shellfish from your perch on the sprawling deck at Nick’s Cove restaurant, or buy a sack of buttery-briny kumamoto oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co. and shuck them yourself at their bayside BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) tables.

Bolinas

Notoriously reclusive residents and unmarked roads deter the masses from Bolinas, leaving its enchanting beach and meandering coastal trails pleasantly void of Memorial Day crowds. Two Mile Surf Shop provides surfboard rentals for cruising the beach break, or trek one of Northern California’s most photogenic coastal hikes by following the Palomarin Trailhead at the end of Mesa Road to the remote and swimmable Bass Lake.