The 10 Best Things to Do in Mill Valley, United States

November 7, 2017 Karren Gelb

Mill Valley is a city in Marin County, California, United States, located about 14 miles (23 km) north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. The population was 13,903 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Mill Valley

1. Marin Headlands

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA 94965 +1 415-331-1540
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Marin Headlands

Located at the Point Bonita Lighthouse, these headlands offer a suspension bridge and hiking trail.

Reviewed By chuttipen - central coast

Have you ever seen those car commercials where they are driving on a cliff near the Golden Gate Bridge? THAT's this place.
You can view the cliffs looking at the bridge, or go to the end of the road and enjoy the protected beach.
I spent likely wAAy too much time as a teenager running around up to no good in the old underground tunnels and bunkers left from WWII. Only a few are open these days, but definitely worth checking out.
It's hard to imagine some poor young draftee waiting alone in his little concrete box looking out at the ocean waiting for the bombers to come so he can sound the alert....creepy.
Other awesome things to see at the Headlands: Nike Missile Battery...they have the real deal, but no longer armed. Every once in a while they start em up, put them into position and parade the guard dogs. If that doesn't give you chills I don't know what will.
Marine Mammal Sanctuary is where they care for stranded and hurt animals....sometimes open for visits.
I've only gotten to stay there once, but if you plan waaay ahead, there is a spectacular campsite looking out over the bay to SF that's a real winner.
Great to do with kids on a long trip who need to run around and get rid of excess energy.
No other place like it!

2. Golden Gate Bridge

Lincoln Boulevard, near Doyle Drive and Fort Point, San Francisco, CA 94129 +1 415-921-5858
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Golden Gate Bridge

Stretching 4,200 feet and towering as high as a 65-story building, this well-known bridge is the gateway to San Francisco.

Reviewed By Michele S - Phoenix, Arizona

The Golden Gate Bridge is definitely worth seeing but I didn't find it spectacular. It is a very well known landmark of San Francisco, so if you are visiting San Francisco, it is worth seeing to say that you have been there and done that.

3. Mount Tamalpais State Park

801 Panoramic Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941-1788 +1 415-388-2070
Excellent
83%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 374 reviews

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Beautiful state park north of San Francisco.

Reviewed By Yanchun Z

We live in the bay area and took us about 1.5 hour to drive there. It's a great place to visit, especially the East Peak, around the Fire Lookout. The view is spectacular at the highest point 2571 ft, 784 meter. Wear good sports shoes for hiking on the trails. The 0.7 mile rocky road to the highest peak is quite uneven you need to walk through it. You can easily find parking around there and need self registration payment. about $8. I shared the details in youishare.

4. Golden Gate Ferry

101 E Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Larkspur, CA 94939-1803 +1 415-455-2000
Excellent
62%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 199 reviews

Golden Gate Ferry

Reviewed By bill s - San Francisco, California

30 minutes dock-to-dock between Marin County/Larkspur and AT&T Park in San Francisco, Cocktail lounge on board. 40 minutes dock-to-dock. Very pleasant ride and avoid the traffic, expensive ballpark parking and hassles. Not to mention views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Sausalito, Downtown San Francisco and the 3 most famous bridges in the world. $26.00 each for the round trip....Spectacular!

5. Bennett Western Juniper

Eagle Meadows, Strawberry, CA
Excellent
50%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

Bennett Western Juniper

Reviewed By MarshBruce - Chicago, Illinois

Be sure to get careful driving instructions and then take a scenic journey through the Sierra to this out of the way, not much visited, very old tree. Ponder why this tree has lived so long at this very site. If around, chat with the caretaker, an interesting man.

6. Muir Beach Overlook

Muir Beach, CA 94965 +1 415-561-4700
Excellent
75%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 177 reviews

Muir Beach Overlook

Reviewed By nimi111 - Pune, India

Definitely on the top, in my head when anyone will ask me about my best viewpoints.
You can get amazing views of ocean at many places but this was just special.
Perfect weather, perfect company, cool breeze, no crowd, just went ahead with the wind. Stood there a long time and just enjoyed the silence.

The place is well maintained, proper path given to reach the main overlook point and when you stand there, it takes your breath away!

7. Stinson Beach

1 Calle Del Resaca, Stinson Beach, CA 94970-9706 +1 415-868-1922
Excellent
60%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 143 reviews

Stinson Beach

Reviewed By VWriter - Los Gatos, California

Taking a day trip we drove along Highway 1 across the Golden Gate Bridge into the north bay area. About half an hour north was a beautiful, long stretch of sand and sea called Stinson Beach. It was one made for walking on and enjoying a day with Nature. It's part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and it's near Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods, all perfect for hiking and picnicking. We were lucky because the day was sunny; people we met there said that it can be foggy a lot.

8. Battery Spencer

Conzelman Road, Sausalito, CA 94965 +1 415-561-4700
Excellent
82%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 127 reviews

Battery Spencer

Reviewed By Audrey L

We hiked over here from Vista Point. We were out right at sunrise and got some amazing views of the bridge. Its a climb from Vista Point, but it just made us appreciate pastries and coffee at the Warming Hut across the bridge even more.

9. Muir Beach

Muir Beach, CA 94965
Excellent
53%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 187 reviews

Muir Beach

Located in Marin County, this is the perfect beach for a picnic with spectacular ocean views.

Reviewed By fancypants2014 - Chicago, Illinois

Beach was small and intimate. Outhouse at parking lot. Also there is a trail with several difficulty options. We ended up here to hike because there wasn't any parking at Muir woods. Some trails were quite difficult, up up up without switchbacks. If I have to hike up and down I prefer switchbacks. Beautiful views.

10. Muir Woods National Monument

1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941-4205 +1 415-561-2850
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods has a rich and varied history, from its use by the Coast Miwok people, to its early days of tourism and the Mount Tamalpais Mill Valley Scenic Railway, to an era of conservation, to modern preservation. In each era, the forest has been affected by the actions of humans, for better or for worse. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this coastal redwood preserve features majestic redwoods and scenic hiking trails that draw more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

Reviewed By Bill B - Baton Rouge

Parking reservations REQUIRED! It's very strict. They even have a flashing road sign way back in SF that tells you that, which I found humorous.

We made reservations the night before without a problem.

We rented a car for the day in SF and drove out. Not a bad drive, and quite pretty. Gets you out of the city. Probably a good 40 minute drive.

The trees are amazing. It's really impossible to capture in pictures. In March the weather was cool and damp, foggy in the groves. The atmosphere is really fantastic. Probably bring a jacket, especially due to the dampness in the air.

The trees are not always as thick at the bottom as I had imagined, but they grow so tall and straight with no branches until to top. There is some good information on plaques to read. Some of the oldest trees are indeed very thick, but I am from Louisiana and most are not as thick as a large oak tree. They are much taller, of course.

There is a walk of probably 1.5 miles that is well maintained. It runs parallel to a stream and is built up a little off the ground like a short deck. Almost feels like walking on the ground, so no problem for people with fear of heights (unless very severe). There are four bridges across the stream, with the fourth being end if of the trail. If you choose to cross the fourth bridge, the trail back is dirt, not decked. It is more elevated and would not be good for people with a fear of heights. But it is well maintained and not dangerous, usually wide enough for 3 people to walk abreast. This trail connects back to the main one at the first bridge. If you like, you can walk back the way you came on the decked trail. You can turn around at any time, and the walk is very easy, even handicapped accessible. No elevation change at all. They have really made it accessible to everyone to enjoy the beautiful trees.

There are much more challenging trails that branch off. We didn't take them, but I wish we'd had the time. They require 1-3 hours to walk, and I think they are far less developed than the main trails. They are supposed to be a lot more strenuous too. Maybe next time!

The gift shop is pretty nice. Small and not full of crappy stuff. We found a small 100 piece puzzle and some stuffed animals to bring back for our kids (2 and 4 years old).

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