Most people find it hard to believe that such a place of beauty is located so close to the city, but Marin Headlands certainly offers a paradise appeal that most do not expect. Someone exploring San Francisco real estate rarely learns that such a natural wonder exists right down the road. This hilly peninsula is often one that residents and visitors stumble upon purely by accident, but those who have been there agree that it is a highlight of the Golden Gate National Parks.
The Marin Headlands are more than picture-worthy. This peninsula, nestled in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, connects two counties together. The area is known for the unparalleled views that it offers as well as its own unique climate.
Warm Pacific Ocean breezes are often pushed upward to colder air, which causes cloud cover, fog and rain. This is one of the rainiest areas in the state and the gaps in the valley help to increase wind speed. Therefore, even on a hot summer day, it is important to pack a light jacket and be prepared for weather.
On a clear day, the Marin Headlands awards panoramic views of San Francisco, Angel Island, Farollon Islands, the Golden Gate Bridge, East Bay and Oakland Bay Bridge.
It is surprising that the area has not been awarded a Natural Wonder of the World status yet. The road cuts and sea cliffs provide some of the best examples of radiolarian chert and pillow basalt that you will find.
What your San Francisco real estate book will not tell you about this area is that millions of years ago, rocks formed at the sea floor, thousands of miles from the coast. As lava spewed from vents, black pillow basalt was formed. At the same time, formation of red and brown radiolarian chert was also forming and creating layers.
As the sea floor slowly moves east, it slides beneath North America and leaves behind scrapings, such as these Headlands.
- Hawk Hill – Bird enthusiasts come from far and wide to the Headlands to see the largest flight of diurnal raptors known of in the Pacific states. Kites, hawks, vultures, falcons, eagles, harriers and osprey can be seen from August to December.
- Wildlife – Visiting Marin Headlands demands a camera to be available, as you are nearly guaranteed to see some wildlife. River otters, coyotes, bobcats, deer, rabbits, brown pelicans, egrets, grebes, Harbor seals, Surf scoters and Great Blue herons inhibit the area and grey whales can be spotted in the surrounding water.
- Military Sites – A number of historic military sites can be seen at Marin Headlands, including Fort Barry, Fort Crinkhite, base end stations, bunkers and batters. Point Bonita Lighthouse is also here.
- Beaches – Rodeo Beach, Kirby Cover, Tennessee Beach, Pirates’ Cove and Muir Beach Overlook can be enjoyed here.
If you are looking at San Francisco real estate and thinking that you are not sure if you really want to live in such a busy metropolis, it should put your mind at ease that you can visit such a breathtaking place. The Marin Headlands is a preferred area to hike and bicycle, as miles of trails are available that travel through diverse landscapes.
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