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Three Reasons to Cross the Golden Gate Bridge

An artist's rendering of the trash to be found on the coast. Image courtesy of US Army Corp of Engineers.

California Coastal Cleanup

Go alone or grab some friends and head to one of the 35+ sites along the coast where you can lend a hand at picking up the trash that gets deposited along our gorgeous seashore. Considered the largest marine-related volunteer event in the world, the Coastal Cleanup day occurs worldwide; last year, over 19,000 (!) pounds of trash were recovered. Just bring the signed waiver and a bucket to collect cigarette butts, plastic lids, and the like to one of your chosen spots. The Sausalito Lions Club and Friends of the Bay Model provide a free, “Thank You” BBQ for all participating volunteers following the cleanup at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito. For more info, click here. Sat. 9/21, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

The majestic redwood grove of Old Mill Park adjacent to downtown Mill Valley transforms into an art lover's paradise with over 140 California artists showcasing their work. Considered one of the state's most prestigious arts and crafts shows, the outdoor venue is reason enough to come, as well as the mix of jazz, americana, bluegrass, and blues music that will be performing at the festival. This is a family-friendly event (the "Blue Fairy" will MC in the Children's Grove). Once you've had enough culture, we recommend slipping into Mill Valley Beerworks for a pint. Sat & Sun, 9/21 - 22, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. $10 General admission, $5 for kids under 12

Sea Otter Spectacular

Name the furriest animal in the world. Stumped? Believe it or not, it's one of the world's cutest, the sea otter! The Marine Mammal Center kicks off "Sea Otter Awareness Week" with presentations on the amazing abilities of the threatened little guys and how, despite their teeny size, they have survived in the chilly waters of the California coast. An added bonus is admission is free! Not to mention, the Marine Mammal Center is a cool and fascinating place to visit in general. Sun, 9/22; classroom programs at 12 and 2 p.m.; docent led tours at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito.