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Golden Gate National Recreation Area: Redwoods, Beaches, and the California Coast

Wrapping your head around the Golden Gate National Recreation Area can be difficult for travelers. It’s a non-contiguous park that covers 80,000 acres (including parts of three counties) in the San Francisco Bay Area. You’ll find it on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge and up the northern coastline to Muir Beach and beyond. It includes Alcatraz and Fort Mason, then stretches south past Land’s End to Fort Funston. From the redwood forests of Marin County’s Muir Woods to the beaches of San Mateo – this is one massive playground.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is also unique for its hybrid urban-rural personality. You can tour the marina at Fort Baker and the historic charms of the Presidio – and then head out for horseback riding, mountain biking, and beachcombing. It’s also one of the most dog-friendly National Parks. Explore the ruins of Sutro Baths, visit a Cold War-era missile site, and watch whales on their winter migration along the coast of California. Discover one of America’s most diverse and beloved parks.