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San Rafael, California

San Rafael, California is a true of natural beauty and endless opportunities for exploration. From rustic trails to immersive experiences, the area provides every traveler with a sense of adventure. Its attractions, such as the Marin Headlands, Muir Woods National Monument, and the Point Reyes National Seashore, offer sights that both challenge and reward. Here, magnificent landscapes and a variety of outdoor activities meet to provide a memorable and unique retreat. With so many choices, San Rafael is a must-visit destination for nature-lovers of all kinds.

Top Spots in and near San Rafael

  • Vacaville, California

    Bike the Lake Berryessa Loop

    55.82 mi / 1007 ft gain
    Begin your ride in Vacaville, California out of Alamo Creek Park (street parking is available and free). Head north on Alamo Drive and veer left onto Foothill Drive, then left (South) onto Pleasants Valley Road. After two miles, veer left onto Cherry Glen Road. Stay to the right when you reach th...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike the Crystal Springs Trail Loop

    5.6 mi / 1300 ft gain
    This is a great hike for any season of the year, with rushing streams during the winter, wildflowers in the spring, and cool, shaded canyons during the summer. Starting from near the Zwierlein Picnic area, take the Crystal Springs to the left into the redwood forest. Stay straight at the next tra...
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  • Sonoma County, California

    Salmon Creek State Beach

    4.0
    Salmon Creek State Beach located is located just off Highway 1, north of Bodega, California. This beach has a parking lot and restroom on the cliff side, just a short walk down to the beach. DogsBoth North and South Salmon Creek sections of the state beach are not dog friendly due to the Federa...
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  • Occidental, California

    Watershed View Trail

    4.0
    1.54 mi / 174 ft gain
    The Watershed View Trail is located off of Coleman Valley Road and shares a trailhead with the Hunters Camp and Creekside Loop. This trail is a 1.5-mile out-and-back, which makes for a great trail to get the family out on to get some energy out. Be prepared for a muddy trail if there has been rec...
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  • Occidental, California

    Hunters Camp and Creekside Loop

    5.36 mi / 853 ft gain
    Hunters Camp and Creekside Loop is an almost 6-mile loop off of Coleman Valley Road in Occidental, California. This trail can get pretty muddy during the rainy season, but as an added bonus, it makes the waterfall along the Creekside Trail that much better.  Dogs are not permitted on this trail. 
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  • Pleasanton, California

    Courdet Trail and Schuhart Trail

    5.24 mi / 1122 ft gain
    This is a 5+ mile out and back trail through the hills in the South Bay. The beginning of the hike has a steeper incline and then becomes more gradual later on. There is a beautiful views of the South Bay that are enjoyable in the day, but are fantastic in the evening. Some areas of the trail hav...
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  • Calistoga, California

    Camp at Bothe-Napa Valley SP

    4.5
    Looking for a romantic getaway but you’d prefer to spend your nights around a campfire? This adventure is for you. This beautiful Napa Valley campground has it all – 10 miles of hiking trails, 1,900 acres to explore, and…new yurts! Yurts are basically cool circular tents that allow you enjoy the ...
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  • Larkfield-Wikiup, California

    Creekside Trail to Canyon Trail to Ridge Trail Loop

    4.0
    4.46 mi / 850 ft gain
    Creekside Trail to Canyon Trail to Ridge Trail Loop is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Santa Rosa, California.
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike the Methuselah and El Corte De Madera Creek Loop

    6.2 mi / 1800 ft gain
    This loop hike will provide people with the opportunity to experience the tranquility of the lower canyons of the preserve, which tend to be more isolated than the heavier-trafficked trails that are closer to the main highway. Be warned that this hike is fairly strenuous because of the large amou...
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  • Forestville, California

    Canoe the Russian River via Forestville

    5.0
    Starting at Burke's Canoe in Forestville, CA this is a 10-mile self-guided canoe trip down the Russian River.  You can rent your canoe from Burke's and launch from their beach.  Burke's will also pick you up 10 miles down-river and shuttle you back to their parking lot.This canoe trip features lo...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike or Bike the Old Growth Redwood Loop at El Corte de Madera

    4.4
    8.8 mi / 1900 ft gain
    This hike starts at the middle parking lot of the El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve. The middle lot is located roughly a mile south on Skyline Boulevard from the Skeggs Point Vista. From the parking lot, take the Methuselah Trail for 0.3 miles until you reach the Timberview Trail. Take this ...
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  • Livermore, California

    Condor, Volvan, Stone Corral, Coyote Loop

    4.5
    4.38 mi / 620 ft gain
    This regional preserve is perfect for day hikes. There are also designated campsites and even a backpack campsite. Horses and dogs are welcome in the preserve. There are many different clearly marked trails that one can choose from. A good 4.5 mile loop is to start at the Park Residence entrance...
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  • Forestville, California

    Steelhead Beach

    Steelhead Beach offers two great spots to access the river. There's a small beach on the right-hand side of the beach (south end) and a launch site on the left (north end) of the beach. The launch point makes for a great spot to start your float down the river. Make sure you have a shuttle car or...
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  • Woodside, California

    Hike through Wunderlich County Park

    5.0
    4.5 mi / 1400 ft gain
    Located in the iconic Silicon Valley town of Woodside, Wunderlich County Park offers a number of hiking trails as well as some horseback riding trails through the wilderness.  Once in the parking lot, you will see a number of stables, riding ring, as well as a beautiful historic stable that was o...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Watch the Sunset at Martin's Beach

    4.5
    Martin's Beach is a beach about 7 miles south of Half Moon Bay. It features a large, very cool looking rock formation right off the coast. This beach is accessible via Martin's Beach Road, which is a small turn off on your right when southbound on Highway 1, though sometimes the road is only open...
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  • Bodega Bay, California

    Camp at Wright's Beach Campground

    / 32 ft gain
    This campground is defined by the scenery: rugged headlands, craggy coastlines, natural arches, and quiet coves.Wright's Beach Campground features primitive camping - basic tent sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and amazing ocean views. This is a great location for Bay Area campers who want t...
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