The ultimate guide to Marin’s sunsets

Eliza Byck

Marin high schoolers’ Instagram feeds are filled with sunsets photos and beautiful views of the county. This leaves one question: what is the ultimate sunset-viewing location? Upon examination, four of Marin’s most iconic sunset viewing locations were compared and the best spot was found. 

The Marin Headlands are a large and popular area with many great places to watch the sunset. The main entrance is located near the Golden Gate Bridge and closes after sunset, so get there early enough to enjoy the full experience. Conzelman Road, on the coast of the ocean, will provide a panoramic view of the sunset on one side and a city view of San Francisco on the other. This spot can be hit or a miss due to the common fog, which blocks the view. On a clear day, the upper area of the headlands is a great area to watch the sunset. Although the spot can be semi-crowded, after some searching, there are usually secluded areas with fewer people. The temperature tends to lean towards the colder side, so make sure to dress warm and watch out for the wind.

The sunset from Rodeo Beach Courtesy of Hailey Thompson

Rodeo Beach, also known as Cronkite is another great sunset viewing location. Though the sunset view is great, it comes with a fair amount of negative aspects. The beach can get crowded quickly especially during the summer and weekends. Dogs are allowed, but only while on a leash. It can get cloudy, so a great sunset is not always guaranteed. It is about a 15-minute drive from Redwood with little to no traffic. There is a large parking lot right behind the beach, so spots are always easy to find. There are plenty of positives to this sunset viewing location and if all else fails, it’s a great place to spend the afternoon. 

Bolinas Ridge, also known as Bo Ridge, is the classic Marin sunset location. With miles of rolling green hills, it is the perfect spot for a day of hiking and sunset-watching. Bo Ridge is located near Fairfax and is approximately a half an hour drive from Redwood with several winding roads. The road is open from 8 am until half an hour after sunset. This not-so-secret gem has a 180-degree view of the ocean and a clear view of the sunset, because of its elevated location. There is more than enough room for everyone to have their own space which is perfect for social distancing. It’s a great place to bring a blanket and you can even take in the vast view from staying within the comfort of your car. There is a decent amount of parking on the sides of the road, along the ridge, and a few small parking lots near the enterence. Remember to dress warmly as it gets quite windy and cold but you won’t want to miss this sunset!

The Sunset from Bolinas Ridge (Eliza Byck) 

Horse Hill is another great sunset option if you are looking for something inward from the coast. It’s the perfect spot to picnic with many places to sit around the area. It is located in Mill Valley and is a 15-minute drive from Redwood. To reach the viewing area, a five-minute walk is required but it’s worth it. As the name suggests, the area is scattered with horses. The horses will come near you and are mostly friendly but keep an eye on your food and blankets. Parking is not always easy, but there is some street parking along with a small parking lot at the entrance. For interacting with some friendly wildlife and a view of the sunset this is a great location. 

After seeing all of these amazing areas it’s hard to choose what is the best. Each location has its positives and negatives, depending on the day. Despite Bolinas Ridge not being much of a secret, it is the best to settle down and watch the sunset. It’s no surprise that this spot has been gaining more traction in the past few years. The views are unmatched and give the feeling of being completely surrounded by nature. Despite having its downsides, after multiple visits and long contemplation, Bolinas Ridge is Marin’s ultimate sunset spot.