“Just Visiting” is one of the sayings made familiar to anyone who has played the classic Parker Brothers board game, “Monopoly.” It is a great alternative to the other option of being incarcerated. The same can be said for Alcatraz Island. For many years it was one of the most famous prisons in the world. If it were still the same, we would prefer to be “just visiting” this place, nicknamed The Rock, a mile and a quarter from land in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
Are you looking to explore some of the scenic and historic Pacific Coast just north of San Francisco? From the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, head up the Shoreline Highway (California Route 1) through Stinson Beach. There are points where you would swear you had your toes in the water, the road really is “shoreline”. Take advantage of the pull offs that invite some out of car photography. You want to slow down and savor this drive. This is the San Andreas Fault zone, and the Olema Valley Trail parallels the road to your left. Pass Five Brooks and continue on to Olema. Olema is small and picturesque, with several shops, a couple of restaurants, a lodge, and some bed and breakfasts.