The picturesque Marin Headlands, located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, is an ideal destination for wildlife watching. As part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the entirety of the Headlands, including the historic Marin Headlands Hostel, reside within federally protected lands, and enfold an astounding richness of biological diversity.
A national parkland and wildlife sanctuary, the Marin Headlands is home to a variety of important species, from the delicate Mission blue butterfly to the wily and adaptable coyote. Encountering these animals in their natural habitat is a highlight of any visit to the Headlands.
Hailing from Washington D.C., Hostel Assistant Kate Reese is a newbie Northern Californian with a passion for the great outdoors. On her days off, you'll find her nose-deep in a good book, wandering around a Bay Area flea market, or lost in the wilderness with her trusty pair of hiking boots.
Pulling in to Old Sacramento, I feel like I've just stepped out of a time machine. The Old West really comes alive in this bustling neighborhood, paved in cobblestone and adorned with vintage-esque signs and window fronts. I can almost hear the "clack" of horseshoes and the "swish" of hoopskirts.
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.