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BlogStaff Picks

  • The Enchanting Gardens of UC Berkeley

    August 10, 2017

    During your stay at the Marin Suites Hotel, you will probably want to see the sights in San Francisco, the West Coast’s number 1 city (in our humble opinion), as well as its trendy neighbor across the water, Berkeley, home of the prestigious University of California at Berkeley. While touring the campus, we recommend that you set aside time to see the Botanical Garden at Berkeley, which comprises 34 beautiful acres of plant life representing almost every continent on earth. Renowned for their extensive collection of endangered plants, the various gardens within the Berkeley Botanical Garden are arranged according to geography of plant origin, with particularly impressive displays from the Mediterranean Basin, primarily representing Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, and Syria. You also find California’s famous giant sequoia trees in the lush and enchanting Redwood Grove. It’s a very popular spot for summertime weddings, though, so you’ll want to make sure it’s open to the public on the day you plan to visit. Address: 200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720

  • Fort Point: From Civil War to Silver Screen

    July 03, 2017

    When you think of classic film, you probably conjure up images of Hollywood, with its larger than life stars. But San Francisco has also inspired brilliant filmmakers, particularly Alfred Hitchcock, who chose the Bay Area for what is often cited as the greatest movie of all time, the 1958 thriller Vertigo. Head to the southern entrance of San Francisco Bay, just a short drive from our hotel, and you’ll discover Fort Point under an arch of the Golden Gate Bridge. This iconic locale is the site of Vertigo’s gripping sequence in which Madeline Elster (Kim Novak) pretends to commit suicide by hurling herself into the bay, and the intrepid Scottie Ferguson (James Stewart) leaps to her rescue. But that’s not all. Fort Point is also a fascinating Civil War stronghold erected in 1861 to ward off the ferocious Confederate invasion (which never came, by the way). Opt for a self-guided or park-ranger-guided tour to get an up-close look at the soldiers’ daily life. A true gem of American and Hollywood history, Fort Point is one Bay Area attraction you won’t want to miss.   Address: Presidio of San Francisco, Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 

  • California Shakespeare Theater: A Modern Take on Classic Tales

    June 04, 2017

    If you’re in the mood for the perfect mix of nature, culture, and spectacular communal experience, we highly recommend an evening with the California Shakespeare Theater. This cutting-edge company, affectionately known as Cal Shakes, stands at the forefront of theatrical possibility, merging tried-and-true repertoire with groundbreaking methods that shift paradigms and shatter stereotypes. The scenic drive out to beautiful Siesta Valley will take you to the Lt. G.H. Bruns III Memorial Amphitheater, a 545-seat, open-air performance venue that utilizes the latest wireless technology to make every actor sound as though they’re standing right beside you. If you act fast, you can still see Shakespeare’s madcap comedy As You Like It, on stage through June 18. Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie will tug at your heartstrings from July 5 through July 30. Marcus Gardley’s Black Odyssey reimagines the Greek epic in twentieth-century Oakland from August 9 through September 3. Rounding out the season, Shakespeare is back with a tale of corruption and purity in scheming Vienna from September 13 through October 8. Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way (formerly 100 Gateway Blvd.), Orinda, CA 94563

  • Go Organic at the Marin Country Mart Farmer's Market

    May 01, 2017

    In Marin County, we’re continually inspired by the beauty and bounty of nature. In addition to excursions into the mountains or along the shore, we love making the weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market at Marin Country Mart. Every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M., the Farmer’s Market offers the finest local and organic farm-fresh produce available in this part of the country. Vendors include Bliss Family Avocados, Capay Organic, Farmer Joy’s Eggs, Leap Frog Farm, Old Dog Ranch, and more. Ask about the catch of the day from Anna’s Seafood, or select among the finest cuts of beef from Fallon Hills Ranch. And if you want something to munch on-site, you’ll love the food trucks: try the organic chicken and ribs from the Country Grill truck or the delicious handmade desserts from Johnny Doughnuts. Plus, there’s plenty to entertain the kids, including face painting, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Address: 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA 94939

  • From the Redwood Forests to the Coastal Waters

    April 03, 2017

    A bastion of natural beauty and outdoor adventure, Marin County boasts not one but two national parks. Muir Woods National Monument, a “primeval forest” that’s “both refuge and laboratory,” is home to a breathtaking array of flora and fauna. Entire ecosystems thrive below along the forest floor and high above in the canopy of leaves. The most impressive members of Muir Woods, however, are the ancient sequoias, which are among oldest living things on earth. Self-directed tours are available daily, and guided tours are offered as staffing permits. The other national park, Point Reyes National Seashore, promises visitors not only lush forest, but also rolling hills, grassy plains, and majestic beaches. As the site of many different pre-colonial cultures over millennia, Point Reyes truly is “a tapestry of stories,” some of which are told through the authentic replicas of native American villages. So whether you’re in the mood for forest or ocean, these two sprawling national parks are just a short drive from our Marin Suites Hotel.

  • Sail Away in the Bay

    March 06, 2017

    Combine Marin County’s placid waters with those of San Francisco Bay, and you have the perfect setting for a day of water sports and leisure activities. The following are some of our favorites, just a short drive from our hotel. 101 Surf Sports 115 Third Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 Named the “3rd Best Water Sports Shop in the Country,” 101 Surf Sports offers year-round Stand Up Paddle and Kayak Tours. If you visit in Spring, you can also take advantage of the windsurfing and kite boarding downwind runs.   Barbary Ghost Loch Lomond Marina, San Rafael, CA 94901 Barbary Ghost is a mini-yacht that accommodates parties of six. You and your guests will love the unique experience of sailing on the waters immortalized in Jack London’s Tales of the Fish Patrol. Individual opportunities for paddle boarding and kayaking are also available.   SF Bay Adventures 1001 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965 SF Bay Adventures offers a full range of services, including corporate team building, weddings, sunset cruises, Bay Lights tours, and more! The flagship vessel, Schooner Freda B, is an 80-foot classic tall skip schooner that can accommodate up to 49 people.

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