Driving south on Highway One, I can't help but scan the horizon every few minutes for signs of the lighthouse ahead. Yes, I'm excited to be spending the weekend at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, complete with its famous cliff-side hot tub and beach-house-like cottages.
With a name like Lands End, it isn't hard to imagine what San Francisco's westernmost tip is like -- Geary Street heads downhill through the Outer Richmond district toward the Cliff House, which clings to the edge of the continent, the often foggy horizon fading into nothingness beyond.
San Francisco has long been considered the crown jewel of the Bay Area for tourists, but 25 miles to the south the sleepy coastal town of Montara is an exquisite destination, and the journey to get there is equally breathtaking.
Visitors to San Francisco during summer are often surprised to find cool and foggy weather. Where's that famous California sunshine?
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.