Backyard Retreat: 48 Hours in the Marin Headlands

Just a few miles north of the city, the Marin Headlands is a superb spot to escape the hustle and bustle. As a bona fide urbanite, I was curious to find out what hikers, bikers, and bird-watchers have relished for years. In two days, I discovered that San Francisco's backyard offers much more to the intrepid visitor than iconic Golden Gate Bridge snapshots.

Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands re-opens to visitors on June 15

Based in the Marin Headlands, the Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research, and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals. Since 1975, the center has rescued and treated more than 14,000 marine mammals, including elephant seals, harbor seals, otters, and California sea lions.