It’s easy to drive right by one of coastal Marin’s most magnificent places without even realizing it. That’s because Slide Ranch, located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, has a very popular neighbor in the Muir Beach overlook. But don’t overlook—or underestimate—Slide! This open-to-the-public nonprofit organization sits on 134 acres of coastline and is filled with animals (goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, deer) and fabulous Pacific scenery.
Stroll the grounds, and be in awe. In 2017, Slide opened the newly built Farm to Table Teaching Center, a marvel of modernism, with a living roof of native plants, a large outdoor deck overlooking the Pacific, and furnishings from Restoration Hardware (fancy!). But the premier picnic spot is just past the chicken coop by the large traditional Mongolian yurt (used for weddings and events, and not open to the public, though you can peek in!). Two tables perched here let you picnic while gazing out to unobstructed views of the ocean. Enjoy, and keep an eye out for whales (this is a prime place for sightings).
Wanna stretch your legs? Hike the Owl Trail from Slide Ranch, Marin’s swooping seashore tramp, and an opportunity to spy migrating gray whales offshore. The 2-mile round-trip trek—not for those with a fear of heights—parallels Highway 1 between Slide Ranch and the Muir Beach Overlook. Or meander the trail leading out from the Mongolian yurt and down to the boulder-strewn black-sand beach, where you can explore abundant tide pools. Now that’s a good Slide show!