walking trail surrounded by trees

BlogStaff Picks

  • The Original "Marin"

    April 06, 2020

    While travel is more distant on the horizon, get to know the places you’d like to visit—like naturally beautiful Marin County—from the comfort of your home. All it takes is a little history lesson to spark ideas for a future itinerary. Marin County is one of the original 27 counties of California designated in 1850, just months before the state was admitted to the Union. As one story goes, the county was named for "Marin", a great chief of the Licatiut tribe of the Huimen people. His original name was Huicmuse, but he was baptized as Marino by the Spaniards when he was about 20 years old. The Huimen people were a Coast Miwok tribe of Native Americans who lived around present-day San Rafael. In 1821, Marino served as an expedition guide for the Spanish for a couple of years before escaping and hiding out for some months in the tiny Marin Islands (also named after him). He was eventually captured and returned to the Mission San Rafael. A plaque commemorates Chief Marin in Mill Valley. In one story alone, you can find inspiration to visit sites that are important to Native American history in Marin County.

  • March Melodies

    March 02, 2020

    March is the perfect time to serenade your way into spring. Marin County is replete with talented musicians, and this month two talented orchestra groups will perform. On March 8, witness the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra at the Marin Center Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael. The 3 pm show will be wonderful for listeners of all ages. Later in the month, Marin-based conductor Orli Shaham will put on a show at the same auditorium in San Rafael. Listen to the Latin American Dances by Gabriela Lena Frank, a Schumann concerto, and a Prokofiev symphony all in one sitting. Catch the show on Saturday, March 21 at 8 pm or Sunday, March 22 at 3 pm.

  • Crafts in a County Landmark

    February 03, 2020

    The Marin Civic Center in San Rafael is host to fascinating events and shows on a regular basis. About 10 minutes from Marin Suites on the 101, it’s also a destination of its own. The sculptural, extraordinary building was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last major commission and is now a historic landmark. Reserve for a tour of the building on Wednesdays or Fridays at 10:30 am. Beyond the architectural specimen, the grounds include an 11-acre lagoon, a 20-acre park, and an auditorium and exhibition hall. At the end of this month, peruse the bounty of local arts and crafts at the Marin Arts & Crafts Show, Friday, February 28 to Sunday, March 1. Shop jewelry, artwork, woodwork, ceramics, clothing, and support independent artisans from our crafty county.

  • Gems and Lion Dances

    January 06, 2020

    Start the New Year off with a bit of glitz at the Gem Faire, taking place at the Marin Center's Exhibit Hall on the weekend of January 17-19. Featuring over 70 exhibitors from around the world, you can shop for fine jewelry, precious and semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, crystals, gold, silver, minerals, and much more—all at manufacturer's prices. If you’re not looking to shop, you can bring your existing jewels and accessories for repair and cleaning. There will also be free hourly door prizes. If you bring a can of food to donate to the SF-Marin Food Bank, admission to the fair is free. With the approach of the Lunar New Year, Marin County its own fair share of celebrations. Witness a Lion Dance on the Town Hall lawn in San Anselmo on Saturday, January 25 at 1 pm, brought to you by the Marin Chinese Cultural Association.

  • Evergreen Spirit

    December 02, 2019

    There’s no place quite like Marin County to feel that warm holiday glow. Explore the county's seasonal festivities to illuminate your stay. Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks: This annual event will take place on Saturday, December 14 at 6 pm at Gabrielson Park. The parade of dozens of brightly lit, decorated boats along the scenic shoreline is followed by fireworks, a dance party, food trucks, and libations. Throughout the month, head to Petaluma or Sebastopol, which are brimming with Christmas tree lots. Some offer every variety: pine, redwood, cypress, Noble, and Douglas fir. You can cut your own, or just savor the fresh scent. Of course, you also have the option to wander some of Marin County’s own redwood forests for that evergreen ambiance that transcends the seasons.

  • Seasonal Fun in San Rafael

    November 01, 2019

    Of all the months of the year, November is the month of anticipation. As the days grow shorter and we approach the longest night of the year, we also can expect vacation time, festive food, and celebrations with family and friends. Marin County has no shortage of festivities, and a few favorites can be found in the county seat of San Rafael, just 4 miles north of Marin Suites. On the weekend of November 15-17, you’ll find a unique opportunity for holiday shopping at the Marin County Civic Center. The Marin Arts & Crafts Show will celebrate the handcraft of design by presenting traditional techniques, natural colors, and sustainable materials. This carefully-curated show rejects the mass-produced products that are often disguised as artisanal at craft fairs. Expect truly handmade textiles, stained glass, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, clothing, photography, paintings, sculpture, and more. Downtown San Rafael will also close out the month with its annual Holiday Parade & Winter Wonderland. You’ll have another chance to shop at the Holiday Marketplace, or just enjoy live entertainment, snow sledding, and one of the largest holiday parades in the Bay Area. The event starts at noon on Friday, November 29, and the parade kicks off at 5:30 pm. The festivities will continue with activities for the kids on Saturday, November 30.

  • A Boo Bash on the Bay

    October 07, 2019

    When you’re on the coast, in a city known for its bay, how else do you celebrate holidays but on the waters? Especially one like Halloween, where it’s about going all-out! If any holiday is worth going all-out for—from decorations to themed treats and drinks, costumes and makeup—it’s Halloween. When we go that far, why not take it to the next level and move your party from the bar to the Bay’s waters. Whether you choose the Hornblower’s Costumes and Cocktails, a Speakeasy Halloween Party or a Masquerade Yacht Party (mask required) you’re guaranteed to fully live out the life of your alter-ego. Channel your inner creep and go as a witch or vampire, or live your best life as a superhero or pop culture icon. Either way, it’ll be a boo bash and city views you’ll always remember!

  • Feel the Beat at The Bay Area's Best Festival

    September 02, 2019

    The Bay Area has maintained a reputation of being one of the most forward-thinking melting pots in the country, so it fits that it would also play host to one of the biggest free festivals around. What do you get when you have 500,000 fans listening to 80 of their favorite acts on six stages across the span of three days in a corner in Golden Gate Park? That would be the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival—gift of the late investment banker Warren Hellman to the people of San Francisco. The family-friendly event has maintained its mood over the years as a mellow, laid-back occasion for locals and music lovers. Event organizers build up anticipation by dropping medleys featuring the artists on the year’s lineup for listeners to recognize and decode for themselves. So far this year, the artists recognized in the medleys include Iron & Wine, the Milk Carton Kids, and Robert Plant. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and kick back for some good tunes

  • An Anniversary Tour of Alcatraz Island

    August 05, 2019

    From Al Capone to George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Mickey Cohen, Alcatraz Island has housed some notable criminals, and this August marks the 85th anniversary of our nation’s most notorious penitentiary. Tour the cell house on Alcatraz Island and you’ll see the rec yard where inmates played softball to pass the time, Sunset Strip where the isolation “Dark Cells” were held, and hear the stories that made the island famous from the inmates and guards who lived through it. One story, in particular, is a big draw for visitors—the 1962 breakout by Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers. Still an open case with the US Marshal Service, the famous jailbreak led to films, rumors, and intrigue with the prison, which officially closed the following year. Stop by John Anglin’s cell along your audio tour route to see an up-close and detailed look at what guards saw the morning after the escape.

  • Independence Day on the Bay

    July 01, 2019

    As a city on a bay, San Francisco has an abundance of vantage points and a variety of perspectives—perfect for switching things up this Independence Day. From the hills overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio’s Palace of Fine Arts to the piers of Fisherman’s Wharf, the options for catching the annual fireworks show on land are seemingly endless. But this year, take your patriotic spirit to the bay’s waters on a Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise. Celebrate in the style of days past and embrace your inner flapper on the ‘20s themed Speak Easy Fourth of July Cruise. Of course, no true celebration of our nation’s birthday would be complete without the ship’s buffet of hot dogs, brats, brownies, and an open bar. Take your party to Wylie Charters’ private yacht and cruise along the bay with unbeatable views of San Fran’s skyline. As the rockets shoot into the night sky, you’ll be rocking to your own personal playlist, champagne, and finger food in hand, for an all-American birthday party to remember.

  • San Fran's Pacific Island Influences

    June 03, 2019

    Experience the Land of the Rising Sun without even leaving the country, right here in the heart of San Francisco. San Francisco has long been a convergence of different cultures—its deep history and close ties with Japan, in particular, are reflected in the culture of the city itself. Start by sipping sake—with more than 2,000 breweries in the island nation, you could say it’s a staple at Sequoia Sake, run by two true connoisseurs who were inspired by the craft while living in Japan. Then, slip into Onsen, the aptly named bathhouse where you’ll find seasonal food, Japanese tea service, and a sauna and steam room alongside the traditional soaking pool (swimsuits optional, naturally). Take your state of zen to the next level at Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden. Designed for the 1894 San Francisco World’s Fair, the garden is the oldest public garden of its kind in the States. With green tea in hand, let the manicured walkways lead you into a meditation of the moment.

  • The Ferry Building: A Golden City Mainstay

    May 06, 2019

    In 1898, San Francisco’s most iconic landmark opened as a hub for travelers, and although its draw has changed over the years, its steady call remains. From its central location to its history as a primary port, and its clock tower overlooking the city’s waterfront, San Francisco’s Ferry Building stands as a visual representation of the hopes, dreams, and challenges the settlers of the city’s early years faced. The years have changed the face of the area — from the surge of the Gold Rush to the fall of the 1906 earthquake and the high of Haight’s hippie years — but the Ferry Building has seen it all, endured it all, and will continue its call for years to come. Today, the famous landmark is home to a lively market of vendors who personify the prosperity and vitality of the city. The baked goods, produce selection, and coffee stops are the taste of the Golden City — the place where the spirit of hope is still alive.

  • Earth Day as Seen Through Art

    April 01, 2019

    The changing seasons mark a turn in mindset from winter to a surge of new life. What better time to celebrate Earth’s wonders than in the midst of spring. April brings Earth Day and a chance to acknowledge the natural world we live in in a slightly different way. The Bay Area’s artists have always embraced the connection between their mediums and the areas where they live. Renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy invested in a study of San Francisco’s Presidio with a series of works. His second work, nestled just steps away from Lovers’ Lane, winds its way through the thick woods. Wood Line, completed in 2011, invites visitors to take a moment to look down and remember where the life of a tree begins. Explore all four pieces—Spire, Wood Line, Tree Fall, and Earth Wall—on a 3-mile hiking loop. Other artists in the area include Richard and Judith Selby Lang who have walked the Point Reyes National Seashore since 1999 collecting washed up plastic to transform into something new and beautiful.

  • San Francisco's Fabulous Parks

    March 04, 2019

    Slowly but surely the days are getting longer, the sun is shining brighter and the temperature is turning up enough to enjoy the Bay Area’s beautiful parks. Of course, when it comes to the Bay Area’s parks there’s one that stands out above them all: Golden Gate Park. It’s clear to see why though when you visit and walk around. With plenty of plants from across the globe—not to mention the Botanical Garden, Japanese Tea Garden or Conservatory of Flowers—scattered throughout the park, art museums, the California Academy of Sciences, free festivals and music, and an abundance of space to toss Frisbees and bask in the sun, there’s enough here to keep you occupied for at least a few days. For a different perspective of the city’s parks head over to Dolores Park. Here, you’ll find perfectly framed palm tree views of downtown, a Mayan pyramid playground, free movie nights and even the gold painted fire hydrant that saved the Mission from the San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake and fire.

  • Set the Scene at San Fran's Wineries

    February 01, 2019

    Love is in the air and all around. Whether you have a special someone to share it with or you're choosing to fly solo, when it comes to setting the mood, few things do it as well as an urban winery tour. With Napa Valley just to the north, the Bay Area is a stone’s throw from some of the country’s best vintages. Even still, before the 1906 earthquake and prohibition, early San Franciscans were more likely to frequent wineries within the city limits—the true birthplace of California wines. Today, that scene is blossoming once again. Head to SOMA (South of the Slot, as it was known in its early days) to experience the original San Fran wine scene. Sip on a flight at Bluxome Street Winery while peeking through the expansive windows to watch the crafters at work. Tank 18 lives by the motto “Eat, Drink, Play,” and with a full menu, fresh wines and fun events, they live up to their word.

  • Inside San Fran's Storied History

    January 01, 2019

    San Francisco is the birthplace and landmark of many movements, American mainstays, and cultural icons. Get a closer look at some of the city’s most important moments at these museums. When people think of the Golden City, it’s likely the image of cable cars comes to mind. With antique cable cars, photographs and more, the Cable Car Museum gives a look at the heritage and inner workings of the city’s iconic transportation system. From Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” the Beat Generation revolutionized the literary world. See original manuscripts, letters, and memorabilia at the Beat Museum—a modern-day tribute to the creative minds of the mid-century. One neighborhood in San Fran has been particularly overlooked, yet a major player in the city’s highlights. From jazz clubs where greats like Miles Davis and Billie Holiday played to hosting important protests, the Tenderloin holds a rich history in the city’s big picture. Learn all about it and even take a tour at the Tenderloin Museum.

  • A San Francisco Christmas

    December 03, 2018

    With a crisp in the air and streets that are less crowded than other cities, San Francisco is an ideal place to explore on Christmas Day. Head to one of the four downtown skating rinks — Yerba Buena, the Embarcadero, Civic Center and Union Square — for a twirl on the ice. With the shoppers done for the season and the holiday tree still lit, Union Square is especially festive. Learn about the animal that makes the season possible at the San Francisco Zoo’s Reindeer Romp. Get up close with them at Playfield Lawn. The perfectly manicured plants at Golden Gate Park’s Botanical Gardens are open and free to the public on Christmas Day. Explore the 55 acres of succulents, magnolias, redwoods and more. Start the day off right at the Palace Hotel’s Christmas Day brunch. Enjoy your yuletide buffet in the Grand Ballroom or the Garden Court. Then later, join in on a Jewish tradition at Kung Pao Kosher Comedy. Laugh the night away as you savor your Chinese Christmas meal.

  • See History Through its Homes

    November 05, 2018

    The Bay Area is full of famous homes, from “The Painted Ladies” to the Hell’s Angels Headquarters. Here are some of our favorite historic (and haunted) houses you probably haven’t heard of! Octagonal homes were once the rage, but the fad faded and so did most of the 8-sided abodes. A few remain, including the aptly named Octagon House. Built in 1861, the house now serves as an architectural treasure and art museum. Take the historic home experience to the next level by spending a night at Victorian icon turned bed and breakfast, The Chateau Tivoli. The home, residence to the owner of the renowned Tivoli Opera House, was frequented by famous turn of the century opera stars. In 1886 Sarah Winchester moved into a simple farmhouse near San Jose. Haunted by the victims of the Winchester Repeating Arms company, Sarah continuously built onto the house until her death in 1922. Today, Winchester Mystery Mansion stands as a massive maze ready to confuse ghosts and visitors alike!

  • The Bay Area's Best Roasters

    October 01, 2018

    The Bay Area has no shortage of that precious bean that brings beauty to life—coffee. There are enough roasters in the region to try a new one each week, but here are some of the top ones to start with. As a pioneer in new brew methods, Ritual Coffee samples each batch multiple times to make sure every sip you get is perfection because coffee isn’t just for caffeine. Chromatic Coffee Co. has consistently ranked as one of the best roasters in the Bay Area. The ethically focused company, with beans sourced from diverse countries like Ethiopia and Brazil, offers a subscription option so you never have to run out. Four Barrel Coffee isn’t afraid to push boundaries to bring its customers the best brew around. From a tight-knit team spirit to international red-eye flights to pick up vintage equipment, Four Barrel takes its roasting role above and beyond. Kick off SF Coffee Week and sip samples from all these and more at the 3rd annual San Francisco Coffee Festival!

  • Embrace the Bay Area's Natural Beauty

    September 03, 2018

    With more than a handful of national parks and monuments in the Bay Area, it isn’t hard to escape when you need a break from the bustle of the city. Begin in the deep Redwood Forest at the Muir Woods National Monument. As protected land since 1908, Muir Woods is the perfect sanctuary to stroll along its six miles of trails or sign up for a workshop intensive. Take to the beaches in Tennessee Valley, part of the greater Marin Headlands. Pack a picnic for the cove, hike the Tennessee Valley Trail and keep an eye out for the wild inhabitants—like deer, coyote, and bobcats—who call the area home. Make your way to the top of Mount Tamalpais for top-mark views of the San Francisco Bay, Marin Country Hills, East Bay and occasionally the Sierra Nevada. Attend the astronomy program and stay in a rustic cabin to star-gaze through the night.

  • Plant-Based Dishes Bring Diner's Delight

    August 06, 2018

    Food trends are tracing their way across the country right now, but some cities cater more to customized cuisine choices than others. San Francisco, the base of the Bay Area where 40% of the land is dedicated to farming, serves up a strong plant-based food scene. For vegans or those vested in the fruits and veggies life, check out these top restaurants in the San Fran area. Indulge in desserts—such as cardamom rose cake or gluten-free chocolate peanut butter crinkles—at Ananda Fuara, meaning “fountain of delight.” Savor some of the best Buddhist and kosher-based Chinese food in the states—according to CNN Travel’s Best American Chinese Restaurants of 2017—at Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant. Or, get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Fran Bay as you dig into classic vegetarian creations at Greens Restaurant—named one of the top 25 restaurants in the Bay Area!

  • Summer Streets Bring Festivals and Fairs

    July 02, 2018

    Summertime in the city is the best time to set out and explore all the festivals and fairs filling up the streets. Embrace ethnicity at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival where traditional dancers from more than 20 countries—such as Cambodia, Egypt, and Haiti—showcase their cultures. Support a good while imbibing in life’s simple pleasures at the Breastfest Beer Festival. All proceeds go toward helping women fight breast cancer. Hit the pavement of the Mission for Sunday Streets and take in community bonding with live music, family-friendly activities and closed streets so you can wander at will. Join the French in celebrating Bastille Day at the free festival, which features all things French—food, wine, and entertainment. Get to the Renegade Craft Fair where you can buy carefully crafted furniture, jewelry, clothing and more from hand-picked creatives. Slow down as you walk the city’s streets to see what other fairs you may stumble across!

  • Bring in Summer with Local Brews and BBQ

    June 04, 2018

    When the cravings for hops strikes, head into the city to celebrate summer with the refreshing tastes of locally brewed beer. Family owned Original Pattern Brewing Company offers tastings and collaborations with local food vendors almost every night of the summer. Each Sunday through July, Sticky Business Barbeque will hold pop-ups to bring the classic combination of BBQ and beer. Savor salmon wraps and fried shrimp from Culinary Cruiser Food Truck while listening to DJ Melody spin vinyl. Food nights also include tacos, sliders, and dumplings. For other beer opportunities, check out State Room Brewery and bar for weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas or try their fully loaded house burger. Find Indian Valley Brewing served up in restaurants and bars around the area, such as Toast, Green Chile Kitchen or Creekside Pizza and Taproom. Or, make your way to the award-winning Marin Brewing Company.

  • Jazz Meets Art at The SFJazz Center

    May 07, 2018

    Are you planning a trip to see us in June? If so, you’re in luck! Next month, from June 6 to June 17, the 36th San Francisco Jazz Festival will feature dozens of celebrated jazz greats over two full weeks. The SFJazz Center, the city’s 36,000-square-foot, $64-million-dollar center at Fell and Franklin streets, will serve as home base for the festivities, putting you right in the heart of San Francisco’s cultural corridor. While you’re there, head to the building’s second floor where a (not-so) secret mural installation lives. Comprised of three works, the tiled murals are by artists Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet. A jazz fan favorite, “Jazz and the City,” represents the story of our city’s famous music clubs, including Jimbo’s Bop City and the Keystone Korner. Insider’s tip: you can check out the installations any time the building is open during normal business hours. Purchase your San Francisco Jazz Festival tickets and get more information on The SFJazz Center here.

  • Environmental Intensive at Muir Woods

    April 02, 2018

    The Redwoods are a must-see on the bucket list and we’re located within 8 miles of Muir Woods, a national monument and primeval forest that is a natural refuge to explore and an educational laboratory with a number of trails and incentives, dedicated to preserving the beauty of redwoods along our coast. Celebrate Earth Day next month with a visit to Muir Woods and participate in an Environmental Intensive focused on ensuring the survival of the forest through an expert-led community conversation. Get your hiking shoes laced up and embark on a 90-minute conversation in the heart of the woods. Engage with fellow hikers and discuss the modern-day threats to the redwoods, what has changed the forest climate over the years, and what can be done to help protect the area from ongoing climate change that is affecting the natural landscape. This interactive experience is great for groups ranging from 8 to 25 people, so grab some fellow travelers and get into the conversation. And, don’t forget to soak up the natural beauty and intrigue amongst the redwoods. Learn more here.

  • A Visit to the Farmer's Market

    March 05, 2018

    Connecting with the outdoors is one of the things we love most about our Northern California location. With ample space to prepare meals outside at our BBQ pits during your stay, a visit to the local Farmer’s Market is a must. Every Wednesday, the Bounty of Marin Farmer’s Market takes center stage at the Town Center of Core Madera. Peruse fresh ingredients, including fruits, veggies, produce, sauces, florals and more at this outdoor venue that runs rain or shine from noon to 5 p.m. Spend the day at the market and sample local favorites before bringing your fresh treasures home to Marin Suites. Insider’s tip: fresh flowers are a great way to settle into your suite, especially if your staying with us for an extended time. Grab a handmade vase at the market by a local artist to complete the look. See our current extended rates here and we’ll see you around the BBQ pit!

  • Carousel Hop in the Bay Area

    February 05, 2018

    Planning a west coast getaway with the kids this year? One of our favorite things about the Bay Area is the abundance of iconic carousels around town. These classic merry-go-rounds can make for the perfect day out with the entire family. Stop along the way for local eats and drinks as you carousel hop to create a day of memories.  You will not want to forget your camera for this one! Our top three picks start with the Looff Carousel at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This historic ride, dating all the way back to 1911, features music along the ride thanks to an antique mechanical band organ. Carousel with a beach view? Yes, please. Next stop is the Howarth Park Carousel in Santa Rosa. The area is great for a scenic afternoon and this crowd-pleaser has more than 1,000 lights, adding to the unique design. Not yet ready to stop spinning? Take it to San Fran’s Pier 39 and hop on a two-level creation that was made in Italy.  A mix of lights, music and an artistic depiction of the city’s most famous scenes take this ride to the next level. Not traveling with the kids this time around? We still recommend going on this throw-back adventure. We’re sure you’ll feel like a kid again!

  • Love is in the Air

    January 08, 2018

    Love is in the air all year long in San Francisco and with Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s no better place to celebrate! With a collection of the area’s largest suites, find yourself in a total sense of relaxation after a romantic day out on the town. Not sure where to start? We’ve picked our top three romantic spots in San Francisco: A stop at Choux Bakery. Serving as a sweet, hidden gem, go for the French cream puffs. You can taste how these sweet and savory creations were made with love. Experience Napa without the drive. Forego time in the car and head to Press Club, a downtown wine bar that is subterranean. Try a Napa wine flight for a taste of the valley’s best varietals. Love doesn’t have to cost a thing. What we love most about San Francisco is the abundance of beautiful views available around town. Take a walk across the famous Golden Gate Bridge and soak in the splendor of natural beauty that will surround you. Ready to fall in even more love with our city? Book your stay now for Valentine’s Day.

  • A Day at Point Reyes National Seashore

    December 04, 2017

    It’s easy to do good and feel good at the same time! Spend a day at Point Reyes National Seashore and choose from a few of our favorite things. With a rotating variety of activities available year-round, the National Park is a must-see and experience while visiting us in Marin County. Whether you have a few hours or a full day, check out the top ways to take in the natural beauty of our local seashore. Yoga and Dune Restoration: Explore the scenic Abbotts Lagoon at Point Reyes, where a number of dune plants are in bloom. Start the day with the restoration team to help remove an invasive plant, the European sea rocket that is currently threatening a federally endangered species, the Tidestrom lupine. Take time to give back to the earth, then find center for yourself during a 30-45 minute yoga session with a certified instructor. The perfect way to relax and recharge after a morning of work on the seashore. More details on dates, times and how to sign up can be found right here.    Elephant Seal Watching: December through March, get in on elephant seal watching from the overlook area at Point Reyes Park. Witness the amazing behavior of these special animals, including the interactions of mothers and pups, birthing of pups, the powerful trumpeting of adult males and the distinctive vocals of the females (which you can hear from up to a mile away!) A highly trained staff offers binoculars, spotting scopes, and a wealth of knowledge during the weekends and holidays. Check out all details and the full schedule of weekly elephant seal updates to help plan your trip. Interested in learning more about Point Reyes National Seashore? A number of activities and unique experiences are available 365 days a year. Learn more about all of the options now.

  • The Marin County Civic Center: An Architectural Masterpiece

    November 08, 2017

    Just a ten-minute drive from our hotel, the Marin County Civic Center is a national landmark that features two performance spaces, a garden, a library, art galleries, and more. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Civic Center was the renowned architect’s most ambitious public project, conceived as an organic extension of the natural landscape: decorative exterior arches compliment the gentle contours of the surrounding hills, the azure blue of the roof blends with the dome of the sky, and the building’s foundation comprises materials mined in abundance from the earth beneath. At the same time, the gold spheres along the perimeter bespeak an Oriental aesthetic that lends the entire complex a subtly exotic air. Regular guided tours are available every Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 A.M., though other arrangements can be made for groups of ten or more by calling ahead.   Address: 3501 Civic Center Drive San Rafael, CA 94903-4176

  • Golden Gate Park: A Garden of Multi-Cultural Delights

    October 08, 2017

    One of the most spectacular series of gardens anywhere in North America, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park occupies over 1000 acres and delights more than 13 million visitors each year with its lush greenery, exotic and variegated flora, extensive walking trails, play grounds, picnic areas, and more. The oldest structure on the grounds, the Conservatory of Flowers, is an ornate Victorian greenhouse that’s home to 1700 unique specimens of water-dwelling and warm-weather plants, including an internationally renowned orchid collection, a massive Imperial philodendron that’s lived more than 100 years, and an assortment of bizarre and carnivorous plants. You’ll marvel at the Japanese Tea Garden, where a multi-level pagoda presides over meticulously manicured Japanese maples, cherry trees, koi ponds, and azaleas. Though the park’s two windmills no longer power the irrigation system that makes these majestic gardens thrive year-round, they do still lend an Old Europe charm to the eclectic aesthetic of this urban paradise. These are just a few of the wonders that await you at Golden Gate Park, where world cultures are cultivated as tenderly as the flowers.

  • The Aquarium of the Bay: Home to Octavio and Other Aquatic Wonders

    September 05, 2017

    A scenic half-hour’s drive from our hotel, the Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco’s premier aquatic attraction. It’s mission is to educate the public about the overwhelming variety of underwater flora and fauna that makeup the unique, thriving ecology of the Bay Area waterways. As a visitor, you’ll explore 300 feet of crystalline viewing tunnels teeming with some 20,000 marine animals. Laugh at inquisitive and energetic river otters at play, marvel at the unexpected grace of the 13-foot white sturgeon, and be entranced by the harmonious undulations of the jellies. The newest member of the aquarium crew is Octavio. Like most Giant Pacific Octopi, Octavio is very strong. When he decides to use all eight arms, he can move as much as 700 pounds. He is also very intelligent and would get bored easily without the puzzles provided to him. Plus, even though he’s quite big, he can squeeze through just about any space, as long as his beak fits. Plan a day at the aquarium to get to know Octavio and all his aquatic pals. You’ll be glad you did. Address: 2 The Embarcadero & Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133

  • 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-board 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 guests.

Your well-being is our top priority.
Learn More about our Peace of Mind Promise
Learn More