San Francisco is home to the world's twistiest street, but back in the day Marin had the "crookedest railroad in the world," and from the top of Mt. Tam folks would take a stagecoach to the beach. Today, this juncture still exists as it has since 1904 as the West Point Inn. The trip is worth it for the bay views alone, but you'll also find picnic benches open to the public, where you can unpack your lunch after your two-mile hike from the Pan Toll Ranger Station. If you want to make a weekend of it, the inn offers snug rooms as low as $50 a night for non-members. Go (a little) off the grid and enjoy the natural scenery in just about the same way we did more than 100 years ago.


A hiker's destination by day and quiet lodge by night.
Staycations and getting outdoors don't have to be mutually exclusive.
100 Old Railroad Grade Fire Rd., Mill Valley, CA 94941. Park at Pan Toll Ranger Station, 3801 Panoramic Hwy. at Pan Toll Rd.
Mt. Tam State Park, daily, 7 a.m.-sunset. West Point Inn, Tues.-Sun.
See hiking/biking directions to West Point Inn & make a reservation.


By Mike Weiss

San Francisco-based marketer Mike Weiss has an undying love for sports, film photography and anything with gin. He's a firm believer that the West Coast is the best coast. Find him on Twitter @mikeini.