Day Tour around San Francisco - Muir Woods, Mt. Tamalpais, Twin Peaks & Golden Gate Bridge

We spent some time around Golden Gate Bridge and then one of my colleagues had to deal with some urgent office work. That made us take a little longer break here, so that we move ahead when we are sure that things are manageable. At this time, we were missing a laptop and unfortunately none of us had laptop with us. Fortunately we could manage the situation over phone and then headed forwarded. Jacek was super happy that he could drive peacefully now and so we were.    Related Blogpost - Santa Cruz Lighthouse Point Park and Surfing Museum - A good picnic spot

During recent visit to San Francisco Bay Area for business, my friend from Poland plans activities during the weekends. Jacek takes good care of people traveling with him from our Warsaw office and this time, he planned a day tour to Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpais & Twin Peaks through Golden Gate Bridge. Although I had been to all these places but it's usually a good opportunity to meet some of old & new office colleagues outside office, especially when we work from different geographies. And I always enjoyed exploring these places with Jacek. There are some links in this blogpost which were compiled around hikes/explorations done with Jacek Midgal in San Francisco Bay Area. During this day tour, I realised how productive day it was. We explored some of the best places around San Francisco city and did it in relaxed way. This blog would take you through some information which would be helpful to plan such Day Tour around San Francisco. 



Let me start with some details around commute. Forget about covering all this in a day if you would rely on public transportation or Big-Bus tours. Rent a car and drive around. That comes with a lot of freedom and much cost efficient. We started from Redwood city at 9am, which is not so early. We left our hotels after breakfast.     Related Blogpost - Mount Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway - Crookedest Railroad in the World

Let me start with some details around commute. Forget about covering all this in a day if you would rely on public transportation or Big-Bus tours. Rent a car and drive around. That comes with a lot of freedom and much cost efficient. We started from Redwood city at 9am, which is not so early. We left our hotels after breakfast. 


Above photograph shows a popular point to get photographs clicked with Golden Gate in the background.     Our first stop was Golden Gate North Vista Point. This place is on right side, just after crossing Golden Gate Bridge when you are going from San Francisco city to Muir Woods. During first half of the day, you are standing against the light if you want to see Golden Gate. We thought of walking a little on the bridge and went up to the middle of the gate. That way, we could click some of the photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge with direct sunlight on it.     Related Blogpost - An evening & some hiking around Ano Nuevo State Park, California (USA)

Above photograph shows a popular point to get photographs clicked with Golden Gate in the background. 

Our first stop was Golden Gate North Vista Point. This place is on right side, just after crossing Golden Gate Bridge when you are going from San Francisco city to Muir Woods. During first half of the day, you are standing against the light if you want to see Golden Gate. We thought of walking a little on the bridge and went up to the middle of the gate. That way, we could click some of the photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge with direct sunlight on it. 


While walking on Golden Gate Bridge, we touched some of the parts made up of iron and one can feel vibration in the bridge due to hundreds of vehicles crossing through it at any point of time. Above photograph shows shadows on the bridge. This is clicked on the side-path where tourists can walk comfortably on the bridge to appreciate this huge bridge along with action happening around the bay - ferries, kayaks, birds, waves, cyclists etc.

While walking on Golden Gate Bridge, we touched some of the parts made up of iron and one can feel vibration in the bridge due to hundreds of vehicles crossing through it at any point of time. Above photograph shows shadows on the bridge. This is clicked on the side-path where tourists can walk comfortably on the bridge to appreciate this huge bridge along with action happening around the bay - ferries, kayaks, birds, waves, cyclists etc. 

Above shows one of the views from Golden Gate Bridge North Vista point. It seems lot of people go to this part which is close to the ocean. Notice these small dots which are moving humans close to the coast line and enjoying closer views of waves, ferries and the grand Golden Gate bridge. If you see a little far, there was boats parked on other side. There seem to be some boat club but not sure. Overall these shapes around blue water of pacific ocean looked worth clicking with my travellingcamera :).

Above shows one of the views from Golden Gate Bridge North Vista point. It seems lot of people go to this part which is close to the ocean. Notice these small dots which are moving humans close to the coast line and enjoying closer views of waves, ferries and the grand Golden Gate bridge. If you see a little far, there was boats parked on other side. There seem to be some boat club but not sure. Overall these shapes around blue water of pacific ocean looked worth clicking with my travellingcamera :). 

You appreciate the grandness of Golden Gate Bridge when you walk on it. If you are around Golden Gate Bridge, I would highly recommend to walk on it and experience it better. Not only the grandness of Golden Gate bridge but you experience much more from the top of the bridge. You experience the bay in a very different way. Ferries in the water, kayaks and birds make this whole space so wonderful. And certainly a leisure walk makes you experience the space much better than just crossing in a car or looking at the bridge from a distance.

You appreciate the grandness of Golden Gate Bridge when you walk on it. If you are around Golden Gate Bridge, I would highly recommend to walk on it and experience it better. Not only the grandness of Golden Gate bridge but you experience much more from the top of the bridge. You experience the bay in a very different way. Ferries in the water, kayaks and birds make this whole space so wonderful. And certainly a leisure walk makes you experience the space much better than just crossing in a car or looking at the bridge from a distance.  

We spent some time around Golden Gate Bridge and then one of my colleagues had to deal with some urgent office work. That made us take a little longer break here, so that we move ahead when we are sure that things are manageable. At this time, we were missing a laptop and unfortunately none of us had laptop with us. Fortunately we could manage the situation over phone and then headed forwarded. Jacek was super happy that he could drive peacefully now and so we were.    Related Blogpost - Santa Cruz Lighthouse Point Park and Surfing Museum - A good picnic spot

We spent some time around Golden Gate Bridge and then one of my colleagues had to deal with some urgent office work. That made us take a little longer break here, so that we move ahead when we are sure that things are manageable. At this time, we were missing a laptop and unfortunately none of us had laptop with us. Fortunately we could manage the situation over phone and then headed forwarded. Jacek was super happy that he could drive peacefully now and so we were.


When you driving to Muir Woods, you need to reserve parking slot in advance as there are limited parking areas close to Muir Woods National Park. Jacek is awesome at it and he had already taken care of all that. And it seems we were supposed to reach there by a particular time and according to Jacek's plan, we were on time even when we had spend a little more time around Golden Gate Bridge.     Related Blogpost - Surfing around Lighthouse Field State beach, Santa Cruz, California

When you driving to Muir Woods, you need to reserve parking slot in advance as there are limited parking areas close to Muir Woods National Park. Jacek is awesome at it and he had already taken care of all that. And it seems we were supposed to reach there by a particular time and according to Jacek's plan, we were on time even when we had spend a little more time around Golden Gate Bridge. 


After parking the car, we moved towards the entry. We bought entry tickets and each ticket costed $15, which is valid for a day. And after entering into the gate, these you have chose a trail you want to follow and there are boards with details in terms of miles, approximate time to hike, elevation and what to expect on the trail.     There are some wooden bridges over the water stream which takes visitors to other side of the creek. There are multiple trails on both sides of the water stream and various bridges to cross through.     Related Blogpost - Main places to visit/explore around Redwood City in San Francisco Bay Area, California

After parking the car, we moved towards the entry. We bought entry tickets and each ticket costed $15, which is valid for a day. And after entering into the gate, these you have chose a trail you want to follow and there are boards with details in terms of miles, approximate time to hike, elevation and what to expect on the trail. 

There are some wooden bridges over the water stream which takes visitors to other side of the creek. There are multiple trails on both sides of the water stream and various bridges to cross through. 


There are some well defined trails which you can follow and explore Muir Woods. It's more about these high trees and some historical events associated with them. These trails are wheel-chair friendly, except some of the trails which are elevated and have steps. Above photograph is clicked at a spot from where guided tour starts almost every 30 mins, although I am not sure if it's daily thing or was happening during that week only. Since there was more time for next guided tour to start, we moved on.     Related blogpost - San Mateo History Museum - One of the main places to explore in Redwood City, CA

There are some well defined trails which you can follow and explore Muir Woods. It's more about these high trees and some historical events associated with them. These trails are wheel-chair friendly, except some of the trails which are elevated and have steps. Above photograph is clicked at a spot from where guided tour starts almost every 30 mins, although I am not sure if it's daily thing or was happening during that week only. Since there was more time for next guided tour to start, we moved on. 


Lighting around Muir Woods National Park offer great opportunities to click some interesting photographs. Above view in reality was much better than what you see in this photograph. High Sequoia trees of Muir Woods allows a very few light-rays to touch the ground. The leave in above photograph was lucky enough to see the sunlight and brighten up the day for Travellingcamera.     Related Blogpost - Half Moon Bay Brewing Company - Great Sea Food with Average Beers

Lighting around Muir Woods National Park offer great opportunities to click some interesting photographs. Above view in reality was much better than what you see in this photograph. High Sequoia trees of Muir Woods allows a very few light-rays to touch the ground. The leave in above photograph was lucky enough to see the sunlight and brighten up the day for Travellingcamera. 


Muir Woods National Monument is located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 19 km north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres , with 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests.    Related Blogpost - Hiking to Mori Point in Bay Area followed by drive around Half Moon Bay

Muir Woods National Monument is located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 19 km north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres , with 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests.

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Base of some of these trees at Muir Woods are huge. The one that you see n above photograph can accommodate a human being inside the tree.      Related Blogpost - Road Trip from San Jose Airport to Point Reyes Lighthouse in California, USA

Base of some of these trees at Muir Woods are huge. The one that you see n above photograph can accommodate a human being inside the tree.  


The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest in California. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. Although, there was no fog when we visited in the month of feb. Fog is usually seen in summers and I would love to visit the place again in summers. The fog is also vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during drought seasons.    Related Blogpost - Hiking the trails of Sunol Regional Wilderness Park in San Francisco Bay Area

The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest in California. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. Although, there was no fog when we visited in the month of feb. Fog is usually seen in summers and I would love to visit the place again in summers. The fog is also vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during drought seasons.


150 million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be found only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California, in the south to Oregon in the north. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest scontaining redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast.    Related Blogpost - Yosemite National Park - A brilliant place to explore for nature lovers and landscape photographers

150 million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be found only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California, in the south to Oregon in the north. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest scontaining redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast.


It was time to head back towards the parking lot and go to some place for lunch. Jacek had figured the place where we wanted to have lunch. We stopped at a restaurant on Panoramic Highway, which connects Muir Woods with Mount Tamalpais. We had great time over lunch and we desperately needed some rest after walk around Muir Woods National Park.       Related Blogpost - Main places to visit around San Francisco Downtown

It was time to head back towards the parking lot and go to some place for lunch. Jacek had figured the place where we wanted to have lunch. We stopped at a restaurant on Panoramic Highway, which connects Muir Woods with Mount Tamalpais. We had great time over lunch and we desperately needed some rest after walk around Muir Woods National Park.   


At the end of the road, close to Mount Tamalpais, we parked our car. There is a parking fees of $8 and you need to put it in a box placed around one of the corners of the parking lot. There is a small hike to the top and it was quite windy. Above photograph shows the view you see on left of that hike. There is also a beautiful lake on the left. Wind at this time was literally pushing us and at times there are dirt in the air, but it was lot of fun to hike up and then see even awesome views of the Bay & San Francisco city.      Related Blogpost - A visit to Santana Row and Winchester Mystery House, California

At the end of the road, close to Mount Tamalpais, we parked our car. There is a parking fees of $8 and you need to put it in a box placed around one of the corners of the parking lot. There is a small hike to the top and it was quite windy. Above photograph shows the view you see on left of that hike. There is also a beautiful lake on the left. Wind at this time was literally pushing us and at times there are dirt in the air, but it was lot of fun to hike up and then see even awesome views of the Bay & San Francisco city.  


Above photograph shows one of the point on the top form where you see Berkeley and the bridge connecting to other side of the bay. If you move the camera to little right from same viewpoint, you see San Francisco Skyline and tip of Golden Gate Bridge behind one of the mountains. This was one of the best places we explored during the day. The view was phenomenal from the top of Mount Tamalpais. This is second time I was visiting this place and even first time, Jacek drove me here.      Related Blogpost - Mount Tamalpais hike for brilliant views of San Francisco Bay Area

Above photograph shows one of the point on the top form where you see Berkeley and the bridge connecting to other side of the bay. If you move the camera to little right from same viewpoint, you see San Francisco Skyline and tip of Golden Gate Bridge behind one of the mountains. This was one of the best places we explored during the day. The view was phenomenal from the top of Mount Tamalpais. This is second time I was visiting this place and even first time, Jacek drove me here.  


Soon after we left from Mount Tamalpais and our next stop was Twin Peaks from where you get closer look at San Francisco city. Above photograph shows view from Twin Peaks. It's again a very windy place. It's highly recommended to carry a good jacket, a cap which can help you cover ears as well and gloves.     We spent some time around Twin Peaks and then headed back to Redwood City. We had great day exploring these 4 wonderful places around San Francisco and good company made a lot of difference. By now, you may have figured out that all these 4 places are doable in a day if you can drive around. Please leave your comments in section below.     Related Blogpost - Photo-Walk to Hakone Gardens & Stanford University, California

Soon after we left from Mount Tamalpais and our next stop was Twin Peaks from where you get closer look at San Francisco city. Above photograph shows view from Twin Peaks. It's again a very windy place. It's highly recommended to carry a good jacket, a cap which can help you cover ears as well and gloves. 

We spent some time around Twin Peaks and then headed back to Redwood City. We had great day exploring these 4 wonderful places around San Francisco and good company made a lot of difference. By now, you may have figured out that all these 4 places are doable in a day if you can drive around. Please leave your comments in section below. 

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