When my husband and I moved to the Bay Area and visited apartments in Marin County, we met with several owners and managers who enthused about their home’s or units’ “Mount Tam views.” We didn’t know about Mount Tamalpais, and so thought mountam was a strange regional pronunciation of mountain. Tamalpais comes from the Coast Miwok tribe’s word for “west hill.” (Folks in the North Bay pronounce mountain normally, but they do love a good Tamalpais pun – my favorite is a pizza place in Corte Madera called Tamal Pie.)

Mount Tam is a wonderful hike and view – you can make it very long, with a seventeen-mile trek from Stinson beach to the peak and back, or very short, with just a trip from the parking lot near the summit.