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The City of San Francisco is beautiful, that goes without question. But once in awhile, it’s nice to explore the surrounding areas as well. I thought this trip might be nice to do a stark contrast of nature and city by taking a trip over the bridge to Muir Woods. Muir Woods is located 12 miles north of San Francisco, in Marin County and is technically a National Monument.

DSC01972It’s not easily accessible if you don’t have your own vehicle, since you have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, but there are plenty of tours that will take you. I signed up through Extranomical Tours and it cost about $60 per person for a 3 hour tour. (Includes travel time from the hotel to Muir Woods, an hour and a half in Muir Woods and the remainder of the time in Sausalito.)

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Having only an hour and half to explore Muir Woods, I chose to stay on the main trail. It’s a very straight forward experience. The path takes you from the visitor center right into the woods.

IMG_20150128_230625You can see the tall redwoods reaching up to touch the sky and the bright green undergrowth.

Muir Woods 8Although there are many visitors you share the path with, the experience is very peaceful. It seems that all the visitors do a great job of “being seen but not heard”.

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Muir Woods is very photogenic and is a nice change from the desert that I’m used to in Las Vegas. The trees are so tall they block out most of the sun, (be sure to bring a jacket) but at some points you can see the sun shining through the trees and it really does look like a place time has forgotten.

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IMG_20150128_230830You can easily spend more than an hour and a half at Muir Woods, but if you are on a time restraint, I think that you can still accomplish plenty of photos and self reflection in that time period.

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Since you are in the area already, or if you are on a tour like I was, Sausalito should be the next stop. It’s a sleepy little town that makes you feel like you are in middle America.

View of Sausalito

View of Sausalito

It’s completely different from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. Although it is a cute place, I particularly am not the biggest fan. Maybe if I had more time, I would appreciate a day of doing nothing in Sausalito, however, since I only had a few days, I would rather have spent my time in the madness of the city.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Ferry

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Ferry

The best part of my brief time in Sausalito is taking the Ferry back to San Francisco.

Passing by Alcatraz on the Ferry

Passing by Alcatraz on the Ferry

I love ferry rides and I enjoy passing by Alcatraz and viewing the skyline. It’s great to be able to view San Francisco from all angles.

Bay Bridge and the San Francisco Skyline

Bay Bridge and the San Francisco Skyline

I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for only Sausalito, but I do recommend Muir Woods! And I’m not saying you should skip Sausalito all together, but I am saying that taking a ferry back home is always a great idea. 😉

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