Bay Area — California
— Marin Headlands Scenic Vista Points
— NIKE Missile Site (SF-88)
— Point Bonita Lighthouse
- Marin Headlands
Scenic Vista Points
- Marin Headlands Visitor Center
- NIKE Missile Site (SF-88)
- Point Bonita Lighthouse
The Marin Headlands is one of our favorite vantage
points of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline — the
views from the top are absolutely spectacular, especially on a
Scenic Vista Points
Follow the windy
road up to the top of the Marin Headlands. Parking is available
at several Scenic Vista Points along the way — you can get some great pictures. There's also an area where you can walk out to the tip of the Marin Headlands — it's the first major parking area on your way up the windy road. Be prepared for crowds and limited parking during weekends, holidays and peak tourist season.
The Marin Headlands is one of our favorite places to bring out-of-town visitors on a sunny day — you just can't beat the views!
The Marine Headlands Visitor Center
The Marine Headlands Visitor Center is located in the historic Fort Barry Chapel, at the intersection of Field and Bunker Roads (3 miles from either entrance to the Marin Headland. Open daily 9:30am-4:30pm (closed Thanksgiving and Xmas Day); park lands are open from sunrise to sunset.
Point Bonita Lighthouse
The 150+ year-old Point Bonita Lighthouse stands 124 feet above the Pacific Ocean at the northern edge of the Golden Gate. It's still an active lighthouse — lights flash for four seconds and can be seen from 18 miles out to sea, a foghorn blasts every 30 seconds when it's foggy, and there's also a radio beacon.
Point Bonita Lighthouse can be reached via a scenic but steep half-mile trail along a narrow ridge, through a rock tunnel, and over a 132-ft-long suspension bridge that leads across the cliffs and rugged rocks below to the lighthouse.
The views from the lighthouse are absolutely spectacular — rugged Marin coast to the north, Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Golden Gate Bridge and famous San Francisco Bay and skyline to the east.
Tunnel, bridge and lighthouse are open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 12:30-3:30pm.
Be prepared for crowds and limited parking (there's only room for five cars at Point Bonita parking area). Note: If you don't like heights you may want to see the lighthouse from a distance.
Directions to Point Bonita Lighthouse
NIKE Missile Site (SF-88)
While visiting the Marin Headlands, stop by the Nike Missile Site (SF-88), an educational Cold War museum in the heart of Golden Gate National Recreation Area — it's the only restored Nike Missile Site in the U.S. SF-88 is open to the public on Wed-Fri at 12:30-3:30pm. Site is closed during wet rainy days. Periodic tours of the RADAR vans fueling area and the missile magazine are offered during the week. Open House during the first Saturday of every month. Closed on all Federal Holidays.
Directions to NIKE Missile Site
National Park Service on Marin Headlands