Outdoor Activities

Hiking, nature walks, beaches, and more.

Fall Camping in Marin and the Bay Area

August 27, 2017

Slide Ranch Family CampIntroduce the kids to camping at Slide Ranch's Family Campouts at their spectacular seaside location. Photo: Slide Ranch

Fall in the Bay Area, especially at the coast, can have some of our best weather of the year, making it a perfect time to dust off your gear, pack up the kiddos and head out for a weekend camping trip. No tent? No problem! Some of these campgrounds even have cozy cabins you can rent. Here are our picks for great fall camping spots in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area.

California State Parks have an all-new platform for camping and lodging reservations—visit www.reservecalifornia.com or call 1-800-444-PARK to reserve your camping spot at any of the state parks listed below.

Hiking with Kids in Marin: Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds

August 19, 2017

Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds

I know it sounds a little strange, but a great hike that's perfect for kids can be found on the grounds of the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District in northern San Rafael, at the complex of trails and fire roads near the district's treatment plants off of Smith Ranch Road, near McInnis Park. The gravel trails here are wide and flat, and are perfect for off-road strollers and bikes. The paths wind atop levees through the wetlands bordering San Pablo Bay, and offer amazing views of Marin.

Family Hike at Phoenix Lake

August 15, 2017

Phoenix Lake

Like Tennessee Valley further to the south, Phoenix Lake is one of Marin's most popular spots for outdoor recreation. Located on Marin Municipal Water District watershed lands, Phoenix Lake sits at the base of Mt. Tamalpais near the town of Ross. It's a great place for a family hike or bike ride with small children, as the trails that lead to the lake and ring it have gentle slopes and relatively short distances that are manageable by most.

There are also numerous more challenging trails accessible from Phoenix lake that are sure to please more advanced hikers or mountain bikers. You'll see a lot of people running and walking dogs (on-leash dogs are allowed on trails) as well as hiking and mountain biking.

Squaw Valley Is the Place to Go for Summer Family Fun in Tahoe

August 1, 2017

Squaw Valley bike trail

It's been a while since I've spent some time in Squaw Valley, the famous resort located west of Lake Tahoe, so when my family and I went there this summer, I found myself wondering why it's been so long since I last visited! There's so much for families to do here—it's the perfect destination for a summer family getaway in the mountains.

Bat Night Returns to Olompali State Historic Park in Novato

July 31, 2017

Bat Night

This Saturday, August 5, 2017, Bat Night returns to Olompali State Park in Novato. This fun family event features an evening of bat-related crafts and activities and a chance to meet live bats in person. You'll also get to see bats exiting the park's old barn at night. It's a lot of fun, and you'll learn about the vital role bats play in our ecosystem.

Bat Night starts at 6 pm with bat snacks, bat mask decorating, bat info, a raffle, bat houses, and a chance to meet real live bats. A presentation by NorCal Bats follows at 8:30, and bats will emerge from the barn at dusk. Bring a flashlight and chairs or blankets to sit on while observing bats.

7 Sensational Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer

July 20, 2017

Cool off at Spring Lake Water Park

When the summer temperatures start to heat up, then it's time to find a place to cool off with the kiddos. Here are our favorite ways to beat the heat with the family on hot day in Marin and the Bay Area.

Take a ferry ride to Angel Island

Hop on the ferry in Tiburon and take a refreshing ferry ride over the Bay to Angel Island State Park. Explore historic sites, splash on the beach in Ayala Cove, have a picnic, or just relax.

Family Adventure in the Marin Headlands

July 18, 2017

Located at the very south end of Marin County, the Marin Headlands has much to offer for families and is one of our favorite destinations for a day of outdoor adventure. The Marine Mammal Center, wildlife, beaches, history, natural beauty, sweeping vistas of the Pacific and San Francisco—the Headlands has all that and more.

Adventure Awaits at Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Marin Headlands

July 18, 2017

Point Bonita Lighthouse Marin Headlands

Point Bonita Lighthouse stands sentinel over the Golden Gate, where it's warned ships of the hazards of the Marin's rugged coastline for over 150 years. A trip to the lighthouse is a fun family outing and a highlight of a visit to the Marin Headlands. It's also far easier to get to than Marin's other famous lighthouse in the Point Reyes National Seashore, but the trip is almost as dramatic.

It's also a great place to take out-of-town guests to check out a piece of San Francisco Bay Area history and take in some breathtaking views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. You might even see some humpback whales as the swim in and out of the Golden Gate! It's a must-do outdoor adventure for families in Marin and the Bay Area.

Our 5 Favorite Family Hikes in Marin

July 16, 2017

Tennessee Valley Family Hike Marin

We often get asked what our favorite hikes for families are in Marin. To be honest there are so many amazing hikes that sometimes it's hard to narrow them down, so we sat down and compiled a list of our top 5 family hikes in Marin.

We chose these particular hikes because they're easy for everyone in the family, relatively short, and are just a short drive from anywhere in Marin.

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