Lace up those hiking boots and get your gear together... it's time to hit the trail! Marin County is a paradise for families who love the outdoors, with over 50% of the county's land dedicated as protected open space. The Point Reyes National Seashore, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and the Golden Gate National Recreation area are only a few of the outstanding natural resources that we have right in out own backyard. It's a great way to both educate children about nature and the environment and to get some exercise.

On this page, we've collected all our posts on family-friendly hikes, walks, beaches, and other outdoor activities and resources. If you have a favorite hike or place you'd like to share, or if you'd like to submit an outdoors-related post as a guest contributor, please contact us.

10 Fun Family Outing Ideas for Spring Break

April 14, 2014

Drum bridge at Japanese Tea GardenWhat are you doing on your week off from school? Here are a few of our picks for fun things to do with the family around Marin, the Bay Area, and Northern California during Spring Break. Enjoy!

Family Fun at Marin County Beaches

April 5, 2014

Chicken Ranch BeachMy family loves to go to the beach, and there are plenty of places to do this in and around Marin. While many of the beaches along the Pacific Ocean are unsuitable for swimming, there are also many beaches that are ideal spots for swimming, wading, and splashing in the water, especially on warm spring, summer, and fall days. Here are some of our favorites. Click on the links for more info.

Abbotts Lagoon Beach

A one-and-a-half mile hike takes you over bridges and sand dunes to this beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore. It's home to many shorebirds, including the endangered snowy plover. A great beach for playing in the sand, but not for swimming due to dangerous surf and rip currents.

Six Spectacular Spring Hikes for Families in Marin

March 20, 2014

Ring Mountain WildflowersSpring in California is spectacular, with an abundance of wildflowers, waterfalls (provided it rains), and wildlife. Before the summer heat bakes the new hillside green grass brown, get the family out on the trail at one of these great Marin hiking spots.

These hikes are perfect for a family outing at almost any time of year, but are especially nice during the spring. All the trails mentioned here are easy enough for everyone in the family to tackle, too

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon is home to spring wildflowers and spectacular views of San Francisco Bay and Mt. Tam. The trails here are great for kids of all ages and even offroad strollers. Best of all, it's located right near Tiburon and Corte Madera.

Family Hike and Picnic at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen

March 18, 2014

Jack London State Historic ParkLast weekend, we visited one of our favorite outdoors spots in the Bay Area, Jack London State Historic Park. Located in the small Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen, it's about a 45-minute drive north from Marin, and it's a great destination for a family outing.

The park is made up of land that was at one time the Beauty Ranch owned by renowned writer, social reformer, early sustainable agriculture advocate, and rabble-rouser Jack London (1876–1916), author of classic adventure tales like The Sea Wolf, The Call of the Wild, and White Fang. Jack London State Historic Park is always a destination for us in early spring—the wildflowers are in bloom, the weather is cool and clear, and it's breathtakingly beautiful.

Nestled at the foot of Sonoma Mountain, the park is full of stunning scenery, historic buildings, and short easy hikes that are perfect for families. There are also longer treks available for those who don't have kids in tow.

Cool Camps for Spring Break in Marin and Beyond

March 11, 2014

Looking for something fun for the kids to do over the upcoming spring break? Check out some of the great spring break day camps here in Marin and San Francisco. Schools have different spring break schedules, so camp dates vary. See our list below:

  • Studio 4 Art
    1133 Grant Avenue
    Novato

    (415) 596-5546
    Campers will have the choice of many different projects each day. Explore clay, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media, mosaics and wheel throwing! The camps are March 31–April 4 from 9:30 am-–12:30 pm ($65 daily; $255 weekly for 5 day camp) for ages 4–14, or 9:30 am–3:30 pm ($105 daily; $435 weekly for 5-day camp) for ages 7–14. A sibling discount is offered. For more info, visit www.studio4art.net.
  • Ark Row Spring Break Camp
    122 Main Street, Tiburon
    (415) 435-2200

    Ark Row Center for Enrichment in Tiburon offers a spring break camp April 14–18 for ages 2–7. Camp includes: arts and crafts, music, cooking, games, and more. Camp cost is $45 per day, 9 am–noon and $60 per day 9 am–1 pm, extended hours available, sibling discounts. For more info, visit their website.

Spectacular Views and Spring Wildflowers Await at Ring Mountain

March 10, 2014

Ring MountainEarly spring is a perfect time to take a family hike at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon. The preserve's renowned wildflower display will soon be in full swing (it's simply stunning), and the views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the entire Bay Area are spectacular.

We took a family hike there this week, and spotted California poppies, yellow bush lupines, buttercups, and other colorful flowers coming into bloom.. If you haven't been to Ring Mountain, it's definitely worth a visit. Make sure you bring a camera—it's a great place for a family photo.

This preserve on a hill above Tiburon and east Corte Madera was saved from development back in the 1990s, and is home to a number of rare plants like the Tiburon Mariposa Lilly, which is found nowhere else in the world. Large boulders and rocks are scattered throughout the hillside, giving it an otherworldly appearance. You'll even find remnants of Native American settlements here in the way of petroglyphs and a grinding rock.

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