Marin Headlands Visitor Center
Down the road from the Marin Headlands Hostel is the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, housed in the old Fort Barry chapel. The center has information and exhibits on the Headlands' flora and fauna, its Native American history, and the numerous nonprofit organizations located in the park. Staff can recommend hiking trails and other nearby attractions. Maps, guidebooks, postcards, and other items are available for sale.
The visitor center is open daily, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Guests visit the Marin Headlands to experience the beauty of the surrounding National Park, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Hiking is a popular activity, and miles of trails wind through the Marin Headlands, from forested mountains to crashing surf. The hostel is also a convenient base for exploring nearby Mount Tamalpais State Park and Muir Woods National Monument.
Free trail maps are available at our front desk. Recommended excursions include the short 15-minute hike from the visitor center, along the south shore of the lagoon and out to the beach, and for bird watchers, the trail near Hawk Hill, which is a prime spot for observation.
Point Bonita Lighthouse
Join a docent-led tour of the nearby Point Bonita Lighthouse and learn about famous shipwrecks and the difficult lives of its keepers. Point Bonita began operating in 1855 with a second-order lens that reaches 18 miles across the water -- the most powerful in San Francisco Bay.
The tunnel to the lighthouse suspension bridge is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Nike Missile Site
During the tense years from 1953 to 1979, the United States Army built and operated a total of 280 Nike missile firing batteries in the United States, placed as the last line of defense against Soviet bombers. Today, site SF-88 in the Marin Headlands has been turned into a museum, and is the only restored Nike Missile Site in the country.
Visit SF-88 and see the tools of the Cold War up close. The site is open Wednesday through Friday (plus the first Sunday of the month), 12:30 - 3:30 p.m., with guided walks beginning every half-hour.