Above: Kirby Cove
Posted in Blogging Marin on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 by MCVB Staff
By Megan Eileen McDonough
If there was ever a place to release your inner child, Marin is it. The county has much to offer in terms of fascinating history, immersive culture and wind-in-your-hair water sports. Whether in town for the day or the entire week, here are five fun (and in some cases, free) ways to feel like a kid in Marin. Get ready; you’re in for a wild ride!
1. Swing like a kid at Kirby Cove.
Swings aren't just for kids, and Kirby Cove proves it. Located in the Marin Headlands, Kirby Cove has one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Even better, there's a swing there, too! Before living out your Instagram dreams, you'll need to first embark on a steep, mile-long trail leading to the cove. Once there, the tree swing and view are yours to enjoy. For photographs, plan for your visit to coincide with the famous “Golden Hour” and stay for the sunset. Speaking of which, there are four different campsites in the campground, should you decide to spend the night.
2. Learn a new sport at 101 Surf Sports.
Marin is the perfect place to try something new, and 101 Surf Sports has a slew of options. Choose among stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), windsurfing, kiting, kayaking and surfing. If you're eager to soak up the sun while enjoying Marin's exotic wildlife, opt for either SUP or kayaking, as both are challenging but slower-pace sports. First-time surfers should take a class to nail down the basics. Lessons take place year-round at either Stinson Beach or Bolinas based on the weather conditions. There's no need to stock up on gear—101 Surf Sports has wetsuits and surfboards at the ready.
3. Rope swing it at Bass Lake.
If the swing at Kirby Cove was the starting act, the rope swing at Bass Lake is the main event. From the Palomarin Trailhead, be prepared for a moderate 2.7-mile coastal hike to the water's edge. Don't worry, though; it's well worth the trek. Compared to the Pacific Ocean, Bass Lake is considerably warmer and cleaner, making for an epic afternoon of splashing, especially during the hot summer months. Plus, after a long hike, you'll be more than ready to cool off with a dip in the water. Fun fact: Bass Lake is the only lake in Marin that is open to swimmers.
4. Cross the swinging bridge in Point Bonita.
While the views from Point Bonita Lighthouse are truly breathtaking, it's the getting there that’s the real treat. The trail leading to the lighthouse is just as scenic, if not a little scary; wildflowers, pillow basalt rock formations and plenty of jaw-dropping heights await. The most thrilling part of your journey will undoubtedly be the swinging bridge that hovers 124 feet above the crashing waves below. If you're scared of heights, keep your eyes locked on the lighthouse. There's also a hand-carved narrow tunnel built through hard rock that you'll need to pass through.
5. Discover the world around you.
Marin is home to some pretty impressive museums and educational attractions, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly. The Aquarium of the Bay takes kids (and kids at heart) up close and personal with their favorite water buddies. Learn about the sharks of Alcatraz or watch a group of otters interact with their environment. The aquarium is also involved in animal conservation in the Bay Area; they've helped sharks, jellyfish and elasmobranchs. Alternatively, head to the Marine Mammal Center at Rodeo Beach. The center works to increase awareness about marine life through immersive, educational tours.
For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page, or download the mobile app.