Monday, January 12, 2015

An amazing afternoon at the Point Bonita Lighthouse

For whatever reason the Marin Headlands were not high on my list of places to visit; however, at the urging of my sister, I decided to do a little research into one of her favorite spots, the Point Bonita Lighthouse.  I found that you had to walk through a tunnel to get to Point Bonita and that pretty much sealed the deal. My kids love tunnels! This was a fact I was not aware of until our recent visit to the Sutro Baths, but that was enough for me to pack the kids up and head out on our adventure.
Before heading to the lighthouse, we made a stop for lunch at one of my favorite spots for pizza. Located in the heart of Larkspur, Pizzeria Picco is our go-to spot for lunch with the kids when visiting the area. The prices are a little more than I typically like to spend on lunch, but the quality speaks for itself. Our favorite is the Specialized, which is topped with house made fennel sausage (some of the best I have ever had!) and pepperoni. If you are in the mood for a treat, try the Strauss organic soft serve ice cream topped with TCHO chocolate (or if you're feeling adventurous, try the olive oil and sea salt topping which is delicious as well!). The restaurant has limited seating, so if you have young kids, another option is to eat your pizza at nearby Dolliver Park, where the kids can stretch their legs and you can enjoy lunch at one of the picnic benches.

We ate our pizza at nearby Dolliver Park
After lunch we were off to the Lighthouse! It was a short drive to get to the Marin Headlands, and we had no problems finding parking near the trailhead. The hike down to the Lighthouse is about half a mile and is stroller friendly. The trail itself is very safe, but if you have young kids, there are several spots where you will want to hold their hands or keep them away from the edge of the trail where there are very steep drop-offs.

View from the parking lot, looking over an old pill box.
View from the top of the trail.

It's hard to start the hike when you have views like these!
And we are finally off!
The much anticipated tunnel did NOT disappoint!
View as you approach the lighthouse, shortly after exiting the tunnel
We made it to the lighthouse! (Hold on to your kids at this point!!)
View from the lighthouse
Time to head back!

The walk back is just as beautiful!

There were spots of bright color along the landscape. I want to come back in Spring when everything is in bloom!
Keep an eye out for seal rock!
After making it back to the top, it was time to take a break and enjoy the view some more!

Next stop was the Battery Mendel, which is across the road from the trail head down to the lighthouse. The kids had a blast climbing on what was left of the old land batteries, and the views from the top were really beautiful. You could easily make a whole day out of exploring the land batteries and bunkers in the Marin Headlands (and I plan to do that soon!).

Battery Mendel (Top Right picture is where the cannons used to be housed)
View from top of battery

View looking down to Rodeo Beach from stacks pictured above

Someone's ready for a nap!
Just as we were heading out, the sun began to peak out from behind the clouds. The light hitting the hillside was so beautiful! We couldn't stop taking pictures as we drove away.

It's like a painting! So beautiful.

Our day in the headlands was absolutely beautiful, and I was left wanting more. I look forward to returning!

Where are your favorite spots to visit in the Marin Headlands? 
Let me know by leaving a comment.
The details: The Point Bonita Lighthouse is about an hours drive from Berkeley. The hike down to the Lighthouse is stroller friendly and I highly recommend carrying small kids in a carrier or stroller if you are worried about the steep drop-offs along the path. The tunnel to the lighthouse is only open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 12:30-3:30.

The facts: Gas/toll: $10, lunch at Pizzeria Pico: $20, Marin Headlands are free!

No comments:

Post a Comment