Along the coastline of California is the expansive Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is among the biggest urban national parks in the world as well as one of the largest attractions in San Francisco. The different sites making up the park are a great attraction to both domestic and international tourists. To make it better for the visitors, the park lies within a very easy reach from the city. This means that people can go for exciting hikes and still get back to the comfort of there hotel rooms. In this article, we will look at some of the best features found in this park.
The Monument at Muir Woods is among the last redwood coastal forests in the world. The average age of these forests is 700 years with the oldest being about 1,200 years old. According to John Muir, to whose name the forest was dedicated, it is the best monument for tree lovers. With the beauty that is witnessed, huge crowds visit the site, especially during weekends. You can escape the crowds by venturing on the Ocean View Trail which stretches about 1.2 miles. The trail runs from the valley floor through the extended redwoods. The loop then turns onto Lost trail, then to Fern Creek Trail, and goes back to the entrance.
To the North of San Francisco, lies Marin Headlands where the valley is located. Although it is not a very heavily forested feature, it is a great opportunity for visitors to view wildlife and flowers. These range from California poppies to lupines, red-tailed hawks, and bobcats. The area is a favorite for families due to the trails there. The most famous trail is the Tennessee Valley Trail which runs to the Pacific Ocean and Tennessee Cove through the valley. Add this to your list if you want great views of the sunset.
Lying on the North-western part of the city is one of the city’s best lookouts. The sceneries you can view from this point include the Pacific Ocean, Marin Headlands, Farallon Islands, ruins of the Sutro Baths and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Lands End Trail follows the California Coastal Trail which lies between China Beach and Lands End. The lookout at Lands End gives visitors the opportunity to view the exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area.
To the south of the city, is the Sweeney Ridge. It offers an all-around view of the Bay Area mountains. In addition, it has the Discovery Site of the bay. This is the point where the Portola expedition became the first European explorer to view the San Francisco Bay.
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To read about some more things to do in the Golden Gate area, like California Academy of Sciences San Francisco, click on that link for great information on tourist items.
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