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Marin offers sunrise spots even Monet couldn’t paint



As is tradition after Grad Night, seniors may gather together to admire a beautiful sunrise as the dawn of a new beginning. Although these spots have been picked specifically for the seniors, anyone who enjoys an early rise or a short hike can enjoy.

Ring Mountain: 4 Stars

Ring Mountain offers an abundance of clear views and hidden benches that make for a good sunrise experience.

The sunrise from the right of the Richmond Bridge seems straight off a postcard, and the reflection across the water makes for a view even Monet couldn’t paint. Aside from the spectacular view of the sunrise, one can also spot San Quentin and a bird’s-eye view of Corte Madera and Larkspur. A sure downside of this viewpoint is the long trek, which entails a five-minute hike through tick-infested grass and swarms of mosquitos as well. Ring Mountain is an 11-minute drive from Redwood. Although it offers limited street parking, its proximity to Redwood makes it one of the most convenient locations.

Richmond Bridge Lookout: 3 Stars

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One who has never been to this hideaway would never expect its presence. Located just beside the Richmond Bridge entrance, this lookout point is the least aesthetically pleasing, but its view of the sunrise compensates. In fact, multiple passers-by admire the sunrise on their way to work or school, or just in their spare time.

Nestled between San Quentin and the quasi-dilapidated Marin Rod and Gun Club pier, the Richmond Bridge Lookout is a common ground between the two landmarks. This location is relatively inconvenient as it’s an 18-minute drive from Redwood and there are under 10 parking spots. (Parking at the Marin Rod and Gun Club is prohibited).

Marin Headlands: 5 Stars

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The Marin Headlands offer a spectacular vantage point to oversee Marin’s beauty. Although traditionally the West is known for its sunsets rather than its eastern sunrises, the Marin Headlands proves to be a fantastic, spacious area to watch a wholly exposed sunrise. With views overlooking San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the Headlands sunrise is a must-see for anyone who enjoys natural beauty.

The short two-minute walk from the car seems effortless with the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge below, on the left-hand side. As an added bonus, one can appreciate Californian history via the old military bunkers along the path. At the lookout point, there are a variety of viewing options including benches and natural clearings from trampled shrubbery. The sun seems to always cheat to the bridge, illuminating its peaks, as the it rises from one side of the bridge and sets on the other.

Because of its location along a windy road, there are only two parking options for visitors. The first viewing point along the Headlands’ scenic drive offers the closest accessibility to the lookout. The next stop is about a minute up the road, and is no more than a two-minute walk. The Headlands is a 15- to 20-minute drive from Redwood, and it is the last exit before San Francisco, just off the freeway.

The Shorebird Marsh Vista Point: 3.5 Stars

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On a cloudy day, the sunrise from the Shorebird Marsh Vista Point is unrivaled as there is an excellent view of the clouds rolling over the mountains. No matter the weather,, it is a peaceful spot for anyone who wants to enjoy the sunrise with a few close friends or even alone. There is a family of geese and their four goslings as well as other wildlife that may provide visual and auditory excitement while one waits for the sun to rise above the Berkeley hills.

Unfortunately the Shorebird Marsh Vista Point parking lot is very limited, with only six designated spots. However, it is a convenient five-minute walk from The Village Shopping Center, which provides plenty of parking. There are several benches located directly in front of the parking lot that provide clear visibility of both the sunrise and the many species of birds. Unlike the Headlands and Ring Mountain, this sunrise spot allows viewers to watch the sun rise from their cars.

The Shorebird Marsh Vista Point is a five-minute drive from Redwood.


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Kayla Aldridge, Author