Every city should be so lucky to have a national park in its own back yard. Emerging onto Tennessee Valley’s black-sand beach, you can’t believe you’re just 10 miles from San Francisco. The rugged beauty rivals anything on the Pacific Coast, with pounding surf and spring-green hillsides carpeted in wild mustard, lupines, and California poppies. Gulls squawk and pelicans fly in formation beneath golden afternoon sun as you continue towards your British-themed inn opposite lovely Muir Beach. Tonight your San Francisco walking tour features a home-cooked dinner, followed by darts and pints in the cozy pub downstairs. Tomorrow, an English breakfast and new adventures in the old-growth redwoods up the road. Just when you thought you left your heart in San Francisco, the Golden Gate’s wilder side is starting to work its wiles.
Sat, Mar 6 to Sun, Mar 28 - 2021
4 miles, easy, 100-ft. elevation gain and 300-ft. elevation loss
Upon arrival at your boutique hotel, ideally located near Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, you can set off for today’s optional walk. Weave your way through the city on a historical and cultural exploration, including well-known highlights such as Chinatown and Union Square. This fascinating route brings you through quieter neighborhoods and to hidden gems such as Maiden Lane and Telegraph Hill. You may shorten the walk as you wish, or, if you arrive later in the day, you may relax at your hotel or stroll along the waterfront, perhaps ride a historic cable car, or visit one of the local museums or art galleries. Complimentary bicycles are also available at your accommodation. Adjacent to your hotel is the Maritime National Historic Park’s Visitor Center and Interactive Museum, which provides an excellent introduction to the history of San Francisco and its surroundings. World-class restaurants abound at your doorstep (advance reservation of approximately two months recommended), or you may dine at the hotel’s casual seafood restaurant in Gold Rush-era ambiance.
Accommodation: Argonaut Hotel, San Francisco
Included Meals: None
8.5 miles, easy, 250-ft. elevation gain and loss
From vibrant San Francisco to the charming, historical village of Sausalito, this full day of walking is rich with natural scenery and culture. Leaving your hotel on foot, you walk along the San Francisco waterfront, passing Ghirardelli Square (of chocolate fame), historical Fort Mason Park, and the Palace of Fine Arts. On your way to cross the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, follow Marina Street, with views of the Bay on one side and lovely San Francisco homes on the other. At 1.7 miles long, the famous Golden Gate suspension bridge has a pedestrian lane where you can linger over views of the city, bay, and Alcatraz and Angel islands. Leaving the bridge, a quiet road passes a former fort and a museum before climbing slightly to a headland. The final few miles of walking follow a road leading to the Sausalito waterfront promenade, lined with cafés and art galleries.
Accommodation: The Inn Above Tide, Sausalito
Included Meals: Breakfast
5.5 miles, easy to moderate, 700-ft. elevation gain and loss
A short mid-morning transfer takes you to the Tennessee Valley and a wide, well-maintained trail. In just under two miles of walking, you reach the lovely Tennessee Valley Cove—nestled between bluffs on either side, the small beach cove is perfect for a break. As part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this protected region is home to over 1,200 plant and animal species and encompasses 59 miles of bay and ocean shoreline. A gradual climb takes you to a coastal plateau offering spectacular views of the ocean and, on a clear day, the San Francisco skyline. The trail then hugs the coast, with a short but steep descent into a lush gully before climbing back to the ridge. Soon you approach Muir Beach, with a beautiful cove home to one of the only swimmable beaches in the area. Here, you are also walking in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais—the highest peak in the Marin Hills, and whose flank is tomorrow’s destination.
Accommodation: Pelican Inn, Muir Beach
Included Meals: Breakfast
6.5 miles, moderate, 600-ft. elevation gain and 1,900-ft. elevation loss
Today’s walk combines open trails with sweeping panoramas and wooded paths as you leave the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and enter Mount Tamalpais State Park. You leave the inn with a short transfer to the trailhead and start a leisurely 15-minute walk to a stunning hilltop viewpoint before descending toward the Muir Woods. At the Muir Woods National Monument, you enter the cathedral-like setting of this ancient and magical redwood forest. The Muir Woods is the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area, and one of the last on the planet. John Muir described this area as “the best tree-lover’s monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.” The trail snakes through fern and redwood canyons, following gullies and streams before reaching the canyon floor. A final climb and descent takes you along the Dipsea Trail, the location of the famed annual Dipsea Race, the oldest cross-country trail running event and one of the oldest foot races of any kind in the United States. Your destination, and your home for the night, awaits in the picturesque town of Mill Valley. Boasting a superb natural setting on the flank of Mount Tamalpais, Mill Valley combines a rustic village flavor with a celebrated arts, culinary, and shopping scene.
Accommodation: Mill Valley Inn, Mill Valley
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
8.5 miles, moderate, 1,300-ft. elevation gain and 1,100-ft. elevation loss
After a scenic one-hour transfer along the ridge of Mount Tamalpais, you arrive at the Point Reyes Peninsula. This national seashore is known for its dramatic headlands, steep cliffs, white sand beaches, marine life, and tranquil bays. The walk begins along the coast at Limantour Beach, adjacent to an estuary and Drakes Bay, with intriguing tidal pools. With luck, you may spot harbor seals bobbing offshore or, in the spring, gray whales guiding their calves along the shoreline. Leaving the beach, you enter coastal scrub and eventually traverse the lush forest, slowly descending to the Bear Valley Visitor Center, where you may wish to learn more about the diverse ecosystems and cultural heritage of the park before continuing 15 minutes to your hotel. Dinner this evening is included next door at a historical upscale tavern featuring a seasonal, farm-to-fork menu.
Accommodation: Olema House, Olema
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast, a transfer takes you back to San Francisco or Oakland for onward travels.
Included Meals: Breakfast
The Argonaut Hotel is a deluxe boutique hotel ideally located between Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. The century-old renovated brick building blends authentic timber and brick with a theme reminiscent of the neighborhood’s seafaring past including a working astronomer’s clock, whimsical décor inspired by ocean liners, and nautical print fabrics. The hotel’s environmental program demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainable practices while guests enjoy spacious, air conditioned rooms with WiFi, a fitness center, spa services, and complimentary bicycles.
Mill Valley Inn
Set in a classic Northern California village, this charming historical boutique property is comprised of a cluster of dwellings nestled amongst the redwoods just steps from town. Each air conditioned guest room is a cozy sanctuary, with a unique layout—some have soaking tubs, others fireplaces or sofas. All feature WiFi and are located within steps of the Sun Terrace Lounge, where an abundant breakfast is served each morning and a wine and cheese reception is hosted each evening.
From a family of British innkeepers, Charles Felix drew his inspiration from Sir Francis Drake when he created this charming accommodation in 16th-century English West Country-style. The seven-room hotel, in the quiet cove of Muir Beach, features un-air conditioned rooms with WiFi, antique furniture, a cozy salon with an inglenook fireplace, and a covered garden patio. Typical English fare of locally sourced ingredients is served at a full country breakfast, and for dinner, guests may choose to dine either al fresco or family-style at the dining room’s refectory table. Of course, fine ales are available at the lively pub.
In the charming town of Olema, set in five acres of landscaped grounds and flower beds along the Olema Creek, this comfortable lodge is adjacent to the Point Reyes National Seashore. Spacious, air conditioned suites feature WiFi, fireplaces, and private balconies. Adirondack chairs in the garden and a well-stocked library and game room offer plenty of opportunities to relax. Please note: this accommodation is available on limited departures.
The Inn Above Tide
Panoramic San Francisco Bay views are the signature of The Inn Above Tide. This intimate Sausalito waterfront hotel offers 31 chic and understated rooms, each with air conditioning, WiFi, and mesmerizing views from oversized windows or private furnished room decks. Sited directly on San Francisco Bay, every room has sweeping views of the bay, city skyline, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and Marin. Intimately connected to the village of Sausalito, yet magically separated due to its bayfront setting, The Inn Above Tide is a minute’s stroll to galleries, shops, and restaurants ranging from casual alfresco bistros to a Michelin-recognized restaurant (some requiring advance reservations). A complimentary wine and cheese reception is also included each evening. Please note: this accommodation is available on limited departures.
|9 meals: 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner|
|Detailed water- and tear-resistant Route Notes and maps|
|Orientation phone call with a Country Walkers representative|
|Local representative available 24/7|
|Scheduled taxi and luggage transfers (Please note: If unable to walk, it is possible to transfer with your luggage from one accommodation to the next; there may be an additional charge.)|
|Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz Global Assistance|
Dates & Prices
|2021 Dates||Number of Travelers||Pre Hotel Night||Post Hotel Night|
|2-3||4+||Single Supplement||Solo Surcharge||2+||Single Supplement||2+||Single Supplement|
|Mar 6 - Mar 28||$2,648||$2,648||$1,148||$598||Call for Pricing||Call for Pricing||Call for Pricing||Call for Pricing|
|Apr 3 - Nov 28||$2,798||$2,798||$1,348||$598||Call for Pricing||Call for Pricing||Call for Pricing||Call for Pricing|
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