Day Trips from San Francisco – Muir Woods and Sausalito
San Francisco offers everything you could want in a city, but if you’re looking for a break from the urban sites, then take one of these day trips from San Francisco. Visit Muir Woods, Sausalito, or both for some laid-back fun.
Sausalito and Muir Woods are just over the Golden Gate Bridge only 20-40 minutes from San Francisco. We picked up our rental car across the street from Hilton San Francisco Union Square where we stayed and made the quick drive to Muir Woods first.
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods is a 554-acre park that is part of the National Park Service. It is known for its long-standing Coast Redwood and Sequoia trees. Some of these trees have been around for 800 years and the tallest was 258 feet tall! Some trees had dead spots or openings where the kids could climb and stand inside them which made you realize just how enormous these trees have grown.
The trails at Muir Woods offer gorgeous walking paths appropriate for kids of all ages. Some are even paved and suitable for strollers. If you are interested in the children’s scavenger hunt, be sure to ask for a children’s booklet when you pay for admission.
During the busy season, parking is difficult to find and we parked almost a mile away. We told our kids we were starting our hike early and they were good sports, but if you have younger children you may want to drop off one parent with the kids while another adult parks the car to avoid extra walking. There is also a Muir Woods Shuttle that runs during the summer season that will drop you off at the entrance.
Read our article on Exploring Muir Woods National Monument with Kids for even more information.
After working up an appetite hiking all morning, we drove to the charming bayfront town of Sausalito. Because of its proximity to San Francisco, this picturesque town at the end of Golden Gate Bridge is a popular destination for visitors and residents of the city. There are many restaurants to choose from and we enjoyed an authentic Mexican lunch at Copita Restaurant in downtown Sausalito.
Sausalito is a great shopping town with local stores and art galleries, so leave some time for exploring this Mediterrean-inspired town and taking a walk along the bay. Then it’s only a 20-minute drive back to San Francisco.
For our family, these day trips from San Francisco to Muir Woods and Sausalito were fun breaks and a special part of our visit to the San Francisco area.
You may also enjoy:
- San Francisco Travel Tips
- Walk Across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge
- Must-See San Francisco Attractions – A Two-Day Itinerary
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Know Before You Go
- Golden Gate Park has many activities – there are countless trails to walk, lakes, ponds, fields for sports activities, and even a Conservatory for Flowers.
- Check out these spots for great photos: Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, Dolores Park, and Alamo Square.
- Always dress in layers for the weather. Even in the summer, it can be chilly!