Summary:  My dad and I briefly explored the Marin Headlands, a beautiful mountainous area really close to downtown San Francisco.  Many people bike or hike here, but we only briefly explored it by car.  The views of the Golden Gate Bridge were nice, with the top tip hidden in fog but the rest still visible.  After Marin Headlands we ate lunch in Sausalito, a gorgeous sunny suburb situated on the San Francisco Bay.  

Time Spent Traveling: 7 hours (drove from suburbs, much less if you drive in from somewhere near the city)
Mode of Transportation: Driving
On weekends ONLY, the MUNI 76 bus runs to Marin Headlands but infrequently - every hour.  The area can also be accessed by bike.  
Activity Level: Light, mostly driving with some walking
Tour Operator: None

ITINERARY (times are very approximate and meant to only roughly illustrate the pace)
1.) Marin Headlands (10:50am-12:20pm)
We arrived at the Marin Headlands area (exit from highway to Conzelman Road) a little before 11am, and drove toward the Marin Headland's Visitor's Center.  Along the way there are several viewpoints, where parking can be hard to find on the weekends.  When we found a parking spot we hiked for a while, but it was still about 4 miles to the Visitor's Center, so we backtracked to the car and continued driving.  The coastline and mountainous terrain were rugged, making it hard to believe that downtown San Francisco was just on the other side of Golden Gate Bridge.  The fog was above us, partially concealing the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, giving the whole atmosphere a mysterious feel.
We drove on to the Marin Headland's Visitor's Center, which was not too noteworthy, but they hand out trail maps and other useful brochures about the area.  From there we drove on to the head of the Point Bonita Trail, which leads to Point Bonita Lighthouse.  The lighthouse is only open during specific hours, from 12:30pm-3:30pm.  It was around 12pm when we got there, so we chose to simply enjoy the hike.  There are definitely some nice views of Golden Gate Bridge from this trail, and we even saw some sea lions!  Unfortunately they were far away so it was difficult to get a good shot; my best attempt is enlarged below.  
Driving both to and from the Point Bonita trailhead, there were some viewpoints we chose to stop at, but we didn't really explore the area in detail.  Marin Headlands has several trails, and we only scratched the surface with our drive.
2.) Sausalito (12:40-2:40pm)
The Spinmaker is located at:  100 Spinnaker Drive     Sausalito, CA 94965    (415) 332-1572 
After exploring the Marin Headlands, it was a short drive over to the suburb of Sausalito.  It was nice and sunny here, a contrast to the foggy Marin Headlands.  The area was crowded but we found a pre-pay parking lot, which cost $6 for 2 hours.  The first thing we did was eat lunch at The Spinmaker, a nice restaurant with amazing views of San Francisco Bay.  One section of the restaurant only served an abridged menu - appetizers and sandwiches vs. full menu - and we chose to sit there because of the nice waterfront views.  Not surprisingly, all the window tables were taken in the full menu area.  The only downside was that no soups were served on the abridged menu, and I do love my clam chowder.  We ordered a crab cake appetizer and fresh salmon salad sandwich and I had a raspberry daiquiri, all super delicious.  For dessert we got a hot fudge sundae, which I didn't like as much as the meal.  The hot fudge wasn't all that warm, and it tasted a bit like vanilla ice cream with store-bought chocolate syrup.  I still highly recommend this restaurant though, pictured in the middle picture, middle row.  The other non-food pictures show the view of San Francisco Bay while dining.  
It was just before 2pm when we finished eating, and our parking expired at 2:40pm, so we walked around Sausalito until then.  It's definitely a beautiful suburb, with plenty of photo opportunities, shopping options, and food choices.  Around 2:30pm we went back to the car and drove home.  

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