(Photography by Sarah Chorey)

Pack a picnic and head for the bench with the best views in Marin


We all love our beautiful city, but sometimes we just need to get the hell out and breathe fresh air. Take a hike—but pack an awesome picnic first. First stop: Larkspur.

The newest addition to Marin Country Mart, Fisher's Cheese & Wine is basically an ode to the picnic, from Kiri Fisher, owner of The Cheese School of San Francisco. This small café, wine bar, and cheese shop has the whole package. The patio is a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of rosé and a cheese-centric dish such as pimento spread, a melty grilled cheese sandwich, or a charcuterie board. But, we'll save that for another visit—we are here for picnic supplies.

The grab-and-go case is stocked with picnic essentials, or you can ask Fisher and her team to help you select a few items from the cheese and meat cases. Tell them your wish—buttery, soft, sharp, goat, cow, you name it—and they'll put together a tantalizing spread for you to take away. Don't skimp on the accoutrements: There are plenty of jams, honey, crackers, and wines to complete your al fresco feast.

Picnic Time: Ring Mountain Open Space

Now that you've got your goodies, head south about 10 minutes to Ring Mountain. Drive to the end of Taylor Street, off of Paradise Drive, and park in front of the fancy houses in the cul-de-sac. (From here, you could creep up in the private landscape to take a selfie with a view—not that we've ever done that before, we swear—but hold your camera. There's better to come.)

Enter through the gate and head down the trail toward the giant stone formation known as Turtle Rock (popular for bouldering!), and hike past it and around the edge of the park hillside until you come across a picturesque bench beneath the welcoming shade of a large tree. You've made it to picnic nirvana.

Bust out your blanket and noms to enjoy while taking in the views—from here, you'll be able to see the city skylines of Oakland and San Francisco, the top of Twin Peaks, and even the Golden Gate Bridge peeking out from behind the hills.

Have extra energy? Spend the afternoon wandering around the various leisurely trails on Ring Mountain, taking in the different views from atop the Tiburon Peninsula.

// Fisher's Cheese + Wine, 2201 Larkspur Landing Circle (Marin Country Mart), fisherscheese.com

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