From the vantage point of Kirby Cove — a small, sandy shore on the southern edge of the Marin Headlands — day-trippers and campers can gaze at the topaz glow of the Golden Gate Bridge-framed city or look westward toward the infinite Pacific blue — maybe even China. Wave to the container ships — hello, Shan Hai, Evergreen, and Maersk Danang shipping lines! — from what feels like your own private beach. Just two warnings: plan ahead if you wanna pitch a tent — there are only four sites and reservations can fill up to three months in advance. And bring earplugs — sea dreams will likely be interrupted by the endearing but incessant sound of foghorns.
Battery Spencer, Conzelman Road, Sausalito. (415) 331-1540, www.parksconservancy.org