Muir Woods is one of my favorite national parks. It’s readily accessible – just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge – and stunningly beautiful. The first mile or two into the woods consists of paved paths, which allow families and even individuals in wheelchairs to wander through the redwoods with ease, but deeper in the park there are natural trails that provide a more conventional hiking experience. AK and I took advantage of the long weekend to visit the park on this warm Sunday. What we did not count on was the massive crowds of people (long weekend in the Bay Area = packed outdoors). Even taking the shuttle up to the mountain involved an hour wait! With our late start, traffic on the bridge, wait time for the shuttle and the slow slog up the long and winding mountain roads, by the time we reached the park it was past 2 p.m. Undaunted, we made a beeline for the cafe for lunch and ordered up chef Tyler Florence’s favorite sandwich – the “Marin Melt” grilled cheese sandwich (made with Mt. Tam cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, Toma Cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Creamery and sunflower loaf bread from Rustic Bakery in Larkspur), with a side of tomato bisque. The power combo was delicious as usual. I also love how the cafe uses locally-sourced, fresh and seasonal produce.
The redwoods inside the park were simply awe-inspiring. How I wish I had the skills of Ansel Adams to truly capture the majesty!
Even the regular forest foliage is just gorgeous.
Just being close to nature was a rejuvenating experience. At the end of our day, we decided to trade in our tickets ($6 each) for an annual pass ($20 for each party) so that we can make a repeat visit soon, perhaps when the park is not so crowded. Personally, I thought $20 was a fantastic bargain for AK and I to return unlimited number of times in the next year. I know we will be back.