Shoreline Highway, Marin County, California
Executive summary by darmansjah
Shoreline Highway—Marin County’s winding, two-lane stretch of Highway 1 from Sausalito to the Sonoma County line—snakes through the Marin Headlands, hugs stunning coastal bluffs, and passes through Stinson Beach, a classic California beach community. Off-road mountain biking was born here—and on-road cyclists are ubiquitous—so take it slow, preferably in a hybrid vehicle to limit emissions and avoid running out of gas. Temps can be 10-to-15 degrees cooler than in nearby San Francisco, so bring a jacket, even on hot days. To enjoy the most expansive Pacific views, wait until the morning fog clears before making the drive north from the Golden Gate Bridge. Fuel up in Sausalito, and then stop at Muir Woods National Monument to walk among thousands of giant, old-growth redwoods. Before nightfall—since the scenic curves can be deadly in the dark—check-in at the Inn at Roundstone Farm, located within Point Reyes National Seashore. Spend a day exploring the seashore’s dramatic rocky headlands, 150 miles of hiking trails, and 2,600-acre tule elk reserve, where the fall rut (the late-summer to early-fall breeding season) inspires magnificent bull elks to bugle, battle, and butt antlers for affection.