If you've been following along with the Wedding Wednesday series, we are going to take a short break from it for Wanderlust Wednesday's!
As many of you know from my Instagram, I've spent the last two weeks traveling across the United States!
So for the next few weeks on the blog, I'll be doing Wanderlusting Wednesday's and share my travels and tips with you!
I remember going to Muir Woods as a kid and thought it was the most magical place ever! I remember the thick forest, the dewiness in the air, and the majestic presence of the red woods.
When we recently visited San Francisco I decided to go back to Muir Woods with my fiancee who had never been. Muir Woods is a National Park on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It protects 240 acres of old growth coast redwood (Sequoia) forests.
Muir Woods is about a 40 minute drive from San Francisco and many tourists do a bus tour to Muir Woods, Sausalito, and sometime Alcatraz is included in it. I didn't plan any of this trip in advance, so by the time I was shuffling through the interwebs Alcatraz was booked, and at $60 per person, on average, for the tourist bus trip to Muir Woods and Sausalito, I decided to look at some other options:
- Uber & Ferry: We decided to Uber from SF to Muir Woods, which cost us $40, then $19 from Mt. Tamalpais to Sausalito, then $20 for ferry tickets ($10 each) back to SF. It cost us $80 all together, not bad compared to the $120 for the tourist bus passes.
- Even cheaper would've been to Uber to a Marin Transit bus pick up location, then take the local bus to Muir Woods. If you only take the bus to Muir Woods it's free (they don't collect round trip payment until the return ride), and if you do end up taking it back, its only $5.00 round trip per person. This is probably the best option, since it looks like it goes to Muir Woods, the Sausalito Ferry, and SF ferry. But I felt totally confused and overwhelmed by my last minute planning and trying to navigate the bus stops and destinations, so I didn't mind paying a little extra for convenience.
Entering the woods cost us $10.00 per person, this is something we could've avoided, especially if you are taking Uber in... a little tougher if you are taking the bus. Basically, what a lot of locals do, is they park at Mt. Tamalpais and walk down into Muir Woods. We did the opposite. We started in Muir Woods and hiked our way right out of the woods by accident. It wasn't until we started talking to two women that were going into the woods about the entrance fee I realized that you can visit the park for free if you go in the back door so to speak!
So if you Uber there , I would recommend getting dropped off or parking at the lot right by 810 Panoramic Hwy, Mill Valley, and you can actually walk straight into the woods from there (just follow the signs).
When we got to the park there are a few different routes you can take ranging from 30 minutes to 3+ hours! We decided to do more of the advanced trail that would take us to the Dipsea trail loop, where we could catch a mix of coastal views and the forest. But we got lost and ended up on the Panamoric Highway in Mt. Tamalpais. So if you are planning a visit to Muir Woods I would definitely recommend checking out this break down of all the trails and saving these directions of where to turn at which signs.
After we accidentally hiked our way out of the woods and more into Mt. Tamalpais we met a couple of women who pointed us in the direction of the Dipsea Trail and ocean, where we realized it was too foggy to get any good views of the ocean. Then we met a really nice biker who showed us where we could get great views of the Bay via Gravity Car Road.
Finally we called an Uber to come pick us up. He was there relatively quick, although I was a little nervous because the first Uber driver that accepted the request called and cancelled on me because it was too far for him. Luckily we had literally the coolest guy ever pick us up and take us to Sausalito.
Sausalito is a San Francisco Bay Area city in Marin County, California. Sausalito was developed as a shipbuilding center in World War II. Post war the city has grown a picturesque residential community with a large number of houseboats, and a tourist destination.
We grabbed pizza and a sandwich at Venice Gourmet in Sausalito then walked around for a while before catching the Ferry back to SF.
The ferry ride was awesome! We got to see Alacratraz a little closer and it was so nice being out on the water.
I would definitely recommend setting aside a day to do this trip and explore, you could do it in a half day if you don't spend as much time hiking and exploring nature as we did, but I would recommend it for sure!