Marin Headlands, Marin County
Concierge.com's insider take:
A 30-minute drive directly north of San Francisco, the rolling hills and dramatic cliffs of the Marin Headlands offer the perfect respite from city bustle. The wildflower-covered hillsides bear the occasional ruin of an Army gun emplacement, and the sea breeze may bring the bleat of foghorns, each with its own distinctive pattern. Lizards dart across the path, and you may be lucky enough to see a deer. Pack a picnic and sunscreen, drive to Rodeo Beach/Fort Cronkhite, then follow the trail up from the beach to explore the headlands.