Around the island
McDonogh encourages people to get out and explore beyond Ayala Cove, where the ferry lands. "Too many people just shuttle back and forth between the cove and the immigration station (now a visitor center)," she says.
To rent bikes, head to Cove Café (at Ayala Cove, near park headquarters; 415/435-3392), a small snack shop that also handles rentals ($10 an hour). Perimeter Rd. is about 5 miles long; bike or hike along the route's rolling hills (there are a few steep stretches). The more strenuous but worthwhile summit hike to 788-foot Mt. Livermore takes about four hours round-trip, with time for a picnic at the top.
Where to eat
In Tiburon, just steps from the ferry landing, the outdoor deck at Sam's Anchor Cafe is always packed. The deck overlooks sailboats at the Corinthian Yacht Club, and the seafood's top-notch ― McDonogh recommends the seared ahi sandwich and local steamed clams. $$; 27 Main St., Tiburon; 415/435-4527.