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Hello!

Welcome to our blog. We're Marin Hotels, a collection of boutique hotels in Marin County California. Perched Bayside or nestled amongst the Redwoods, guests at our hotels immerse in Marin's famous natural environment at each of our properties.

Join us as we share our adventures, insights, and insider tips about this special place. We hope you find some inspiration for a wonderful visit to the county and of course we hope to see you at one of our hotels.

There's so much to do here. You're going to want to say awhile!

Photo by Sasha • Stories on Unsplash

International Orange Is Your New Favorite Color

International Orange Is Your New Favorite Color

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world’s most beautiful spans, so how lucky are we that from Marin, it’s our main way in to San Francisco. Anchored on one side in San Francisco, and the other side in Marin, the bridge is a (stunning) vital link between our two counties. If you are staying in Marin at Acqua Hotel, an easy 6 minute drive from the hotel puts you on the bridge in postcard perfect scenery. With the Pacific Ocean on one side, the San Francisco Bay on the other, and the towers of the bridge above, it’s an iconic Californian experience.

We suggest going deeper than just driving over the bridge, so we’ve put together a list of our favorite ways to get above, under, around, and on the Golden Gate Bridge. Some destinations are on the San Francisco side of the bridge and some are on the Marin side. Add them all up, and you have the Top 10 Best Views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Above It All

Sea Plane Tour. Seaplane Adventures offers a Golden Gate Tour that includes a flight over the bridge as well as all of the coastal and city areas surrounding the Golden Gate.

 Photo by  Denys Nevozhai  on  Unsplash

Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands. There are many reasons to explore the Marin Headlands and bridge viewing is among the best. Particularly from Battery Spencer, the first stop in the Headlands, and the spot with the best Golden Gate Bridge view. Josh, author of California Through My Lens has the full rundown of Battery Spencer here. (If you love California like we do, and want to explore the state, all of California Through My Lens is worth a read!)

 Fenced-in at Battery Spencer. Photo by  Jaredd Craig  on  Unsplash

Fenced-in at Battery Spencer. Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

Under The Span

Fort Point. On the San Francisco side, tucked just under the southernmost section of the Golden Gate Bridge sits Fort Point. There is (improbably) almost never a crowd there. We usually have the place to ourselves — the top floor of the place that is. It’s a ton of stairs to the top, but just gut it out. Trust. You’re going to feel tiny, the bridge is going to feel huge. And your photos are going to be amazing.

 Hanging out at Fort Point. Photo by  Ryan Spencer  on  Unsplash

Hanging out at Fort Point. Photo by Ryan Spencer on Unsplash

Fort Baker. There’s a fort on the Marin side too, naturally. Fort Baker is comprised over 300 acres of land ready for your exploration and bridge viewing. Park down at Horseshoe Cove for the close-up views of the bridge from below.

 Night Lights in Marin at Fort Baker. Photo by  Ian Simmonds  on  Unsplash

Night Lights in Marin at Fort Baker. Photo by Ian Simmonds on Unsplash

Bay Cruise. Getting out on the San Francisco Bay is a must-do! Make sure your excursion takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge for an only-in-San Francisco experience. In San Francisco, book the Red and White Fleet. They have been cruising under the bridge since 1939, when the bridge was only two years old. On the Marin Side the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry departs from Tiburon for a uniquely Marin spin.

The Side Perspective

Golden Gate Overlook. With a name like that, you know the views are going to be good at Golden Gate Overlook. Even though it’s called “Overlook”, at this spot you’ll feel more like you’re on the same plane as the bridge. Stunnnning first thing in the morning, when you’ll even have the chance to get a photo with not a single car on the bridge. Also: evening for some night lights.

 Golden Gate Overlook at night. Photo by  Simon Zhu  on  Unsplash

Golden Gate Overlook at night. Photo by Simon Zhu on Unsplash

Baker Beach. From Golden Gate Overlook, pop down the hill the Baker Beach. Walk a few steps onto the beach and look to your right. WOW! This is another of those inexplicably uncrowded vantage points, so enjoy the solitude and the unobstructed views of the bridge.

 At Baker Beach you may have the Golden Gate Bridge to yourself. Photo byPhoto by  Ivana Cajina  on  Unsplash

At Baker Beach you may have the Golden Gate Bridge to yourself. Photo byPhoto by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Crissy Field. Complete your “side views” tour by heading over to Crissy Field East Beach. Look to your left this time. WOW!

Let’s Get On It!

Biking. On two wheels, you’re going to get that free feeling of wheeling above the Pacific Ocean. If you’re staying at one of the Marin Hotels, it’s literally a free feeling because the bikes are complimentary for our guests. If you want an electric assist, consider renting an electric bike from Pedego in Tiburon located a few steps from Waters Edge Hotel. The ride from downtown Tiburon over the bridge and back is pretty stellar. However you do it, go early to avoid the crowds.

 Remember to stop and look up when you’re on the bridge! Photo by  Dan Calderwood  on  Unsplash

Remember to stop and look up when you’re on the bridge! Photo by Dan Calderwood on Unsplash

Walking. We suggest parking on the San Francisco side* of the bridge and walking to the Marin side and back. The roundtrip is a little over 3 miles; we like to plan a leisurely 90 minutes to 2 hours for this walk. You’ll walk over on the side that faces San Francisco and the Bay. Fair warning: you are going to have your “I’m the king of the world moment” at some point.

At the end of the bridge on the Marin side, you’ll arrive at Vista Point. As advertised, vistas, vistas, and more vistas. Make sure your camera is charged!

*Here’s an excellent map of where to park for access to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Want to learn some history and facts about the Golden Gate Bridge before you explore? Here you go.

Enjoy!

Marvelous Marin: Wouldn't it be great to live here?

Marvelous Marin: Wouldn't it be great to live here?

Step On Up: The Hidden Stairways of Mill Valley

Step On Up: The Hidden Stairways of Mill Valley