Marin Headlands Tours

When outdoorsy San Franciscans need a nature fix, they head to the Marin Headlands, a wildlife haven on the coast known for its hiking trails, Pacific Ocean views, and historic sites. Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the headlands sit just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
 
The Basics
The Marin Headlands make a great destination for a half-day trip or as part of a longer day trip to Muir Woods or Sonoma County. Go for a few hours to hike on the Tennessee Valley Trail, visit dog-friendly Rodeo Beach, or enjoy exceptional photo ops of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Golden Gate View Point on Conzelman Road. Bay cruises and helicopter tours give you the chance to admire the wild headlands from afar.
 
The southwest end of the headlands is home to the Point Bonita Lighthouse, Headlands Center for the Arts, and military attractions such as the Cold War–era Nike missile sites, gun batteries, Fort Barry, and Fort Cronkhite.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Marin Headlands are ideal for nature lovers and history buffs.
  • The visitor center is located at Fort Barry, on the way to Rodeo Beach.
  • Bring your own water and food; there are a few picnic sites, including at Battery Wallace.
  • Accessible restrooms can be found near Rodeo Beach and at the visitor center.
 
How to Get There
From San Francisco, drive north over the Golden Gate Bridge and take the Alexander Avenue exit off US 101 to reach the Marin Headlands. If you’re feeling active, you can bike there.
 
When to Get There
If you wake up to a sunny day, go early to avoid the traffic, especially on weekend mornings when locals take the bridge out of the city. Photo and wildlife enthusiasts will want to visit in the early morning or evening for the best light and prime chances to see wildlife.
 
Marine Mammal Center
Near Rodeo Beach and Fort Cronkhite, the Marine Mammal Center works to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals who have been injured, caught in nets, or a variety of other conditions. Educational programs and tours are open to the public.  
Location
Address: San Francisco, San Francisco Bay, USA
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16 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Self-Guided Bike Rentals from San Francisco

Experience one of San Francisco’s most popular activities—biking across the Golden Gate Bridge—with this bike rental from the Marina District, conveniently located near Crissy Field and the route to the bridge. A bike, map, helmet and lock are provided with this rental, plus you’ll receive tips on the best ways to bike to the bridge and around the city. On the other side of the bridge, you can explore the waterfront town of Sausalito before returning to the city. Rental period is 24 hours.
  • Duration: 1 day
From
USD32.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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USD32.00

San Francisco Bay Twilight and Sunset Cruise

This 2-hour sunset cruise takes you across San Francisco Bay with outstanding views of the city skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Sausalito. Enjoy a light appetizer buffet while you sip a complimentary glass of wine, beer or soda from the full bar. Relax as you listen to the captain’s live commentary while background music sets the tone. Watch the sunset or select a twilight cruise during winter months.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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USD70.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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USD70.00

San Francisco Seaplane Flight and Alcatraz Tour

See Alcatraz from above and explore the island prison on foot with this seaplane flight and Alcatraz combo tour. On a 30-minute aerial tour from Sausalito, you’ll see San Francisco landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Trans-America Pyramid. Then take the Alcatraz Island ferry across San Francisco Bay, where you’ll tour the cellblock via the included audio tour. Choose the time of your Alcatraz tour when booking, and take the seaplane tour in the morning of the same day.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
USD193.75
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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USD193.75

San Francisco Vista Grande Helicopter Tour

Fly in a helicopter over San Francisco's most famous landmarks on this 30-minute tour. Fly over some of the city's neighborhoods, then head for Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. Continue towards Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island and the Marin Headlands while you enjoy choreographed musical accompaniment and informative commentary from your expert pilot. 
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From
USD265.00
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  • Duration: 30 minutes
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USD265.00

San Francisco Golden Gate Seaplane Tour

Admire San Francisco from the air on this seaplane adventure from Sausalito. Aboard a 6-passenger plane, you’ll fly over the bay, taking in views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Muir Woods and more. See downtown San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf, and soar past Angel Island. Everyone gets a window seat on this 30-minute flight, and transportation is available from Pier 39.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From
USD189.00
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  • Duration: 30 minutes
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USD189.00

Small Group Tour of San Francisco

See San Francisco’s top attractions on a 3.5-hour tour by deluxe minivan. Led by a local guide, this small-group tour will take you through the famous neighborhoods of North Beach and Haight-Ashbury for a more personal sightseeing experience. You’ll also pass attractions like Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks and Fisherman’s Wharf, stopping to admire the views along the way.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
USD79.00
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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USD79.00

SPECIAL OFFER

Vine to Wine Napa and Sonoma Day Trip with Tastings and Organic Winery Tour

Visit an organic winery in Sonoma County and a second winery in Napa County on this day trip from San Francisco. With a guide, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and look out on the vineyard-covered hills that make up this famed California wine region. Take an open-air tour of Benziger Family Winery to taste award-winning wine, learn about its biodynamic winemaking operation, and have a picnic lunch. Then enjoy another wine tasting in Napa Valley before returning the city.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD124.00
USD149.00  USD25.00 savings
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  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD124.00
USD149.00  USD25.00 savings

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Explore one of California's most iconic settings from the beauty of San Francisco Bay. This hour-long, narrated Golden Gate Bay cruise journeys alongside Alcatraz and Angel Island State Park, past the shores of Sausalito and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. You can choose to view the sights from inside your boat or out on deck.
  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD31.00
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  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD31.00

The Perfect Blend: Napa and Sonoma Combo Wine Tour from San Francisco

Get a taste of Northern California wine country on this full-day tour of Napa and Sonoma County. Led by an expert guide, you’ll stop at three boutique wineries to sample delicious reds and whites. As you travel through the countryside, you’ll learn the history and viticulture of this world-class region. Your tour will conclude with drop-off at your hotel in San Francisco.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD139.00
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  • Duration: 9 hours
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USD139.00

The Ultimate Day in the Bay Including Muir Woods

Enjoy an introduction to San Francisco on this 6-hour tour that includes a trip across San Francisco Bay to Muir Woods National Monument. You'll be driven around the city to see its diverse neighborhoods and geography, stopping several times for photo ops. At Muir Woods, admire the towering redwood trees, and visit the waterfront town of Sausalito for lunch (own expense).
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
USD109.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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USD109.00

Skip the Line: San Francisco Ferry to Angel Island

Discover the history and scenery of Angel Island on this ferry trip from San Francisco. Cross the San Francisco bay, catching up-close views of Alcatraz and the city’s monumental bridges. Disembark at Angel Island State Park and explore the island’s offerings at your own pace. Learn about the area’s history as an immigration point, hike Mount Livermore, and look out on 360-degree views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin Headlands, and Mt Tamalpais. This ticket allows you to skip the box office line and go straight to the gate.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
USD9.75
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  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD9.75

NEW TO VIATOR

Redwoods, California Coast & Sausalito Day Trip from San Francisco

Escape the city and explore San Francisco’s North Bay, on this guided tour. See massive redwood trees that are over 1,400 years old in a magical redwood forest. Stop for lunch in the quaint town of Guerneville before cruising down the coast for a walk on the beach, and a visit to Bodega Bay. Enjoy views of the city from the Marin Headlands and Sausalito where you have the option to take the ferry back.
  • Duration: 10 hours
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USD89.00
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  • Duration: 10 hours
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USD89.00

NEW TO VIATOR

Redwoods and Wine Country Day Trip from San Francisco

Combine gorgeous scenery, and wine tasting on the ultimate Bay Area / Wine Country tour. Visit little-known Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve - home to some of the oldest and largest Sequoia Redwoods in the world. Stop at three wineries where you can explore the vineyards, be treated to lunch, and taste a number of locally produced wines. Leave the hassles of driving and navigating to your guide and enjoy the day.
  • Duration: 10 hours
From
USD139.00
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  • Duration: 10 hours
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USD139.00

San Francisco 1-Hour Seaplane Tour with Shuttle Transport

On this San Francisco seaplane tour, treat yourself to aerial views of the Bay Area’s top sights, both natural and man-made. You’ll take off from Sausalito, soaring over the California shoreline up to Tomales Bay and Point Reyes. Then fly over the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, AT&T Park and more before landing on the water. Transportation from Pier 39 is available for easy access to Sausalito.
  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD289.00
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  • Duration: 1 hour
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USD289.00

Sunday Morning Eco Sail on the San Francisco Bay

Cruise the bay and find yourself beneath the Golden Gate Bridge on a 2.5-hour Sunday morning eco sailing tour from Sausalito. Take in fantastic views of San Francisco and Alcatraz while gliding through the bay, and look for native marine life like porpoises and seals with the help of an onboard naturalist.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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USD69.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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USD69.00

Walking Tour of the Sausalito Waterfront and Golden Gate Bridge Overlook

Stroll along the wide footpaths of the Sausalito waterfront to the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond on this scenic 4-hour walking tour. You'll also explore the Marin Headlands and Battery Spencer, and get great views of Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, Tiburon, and the San Francisco skyline.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
USD55.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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USD55.00


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