Bolinas, CA

Bolinas is about an hours drive north of San Francisco. It is close to Stinson Beach which is a popular place to go to the beach for both Marin and San Francisco residents - just separated by a stretch of water pouring into Bolinas Lagoon. The community is known for its reclusive residents. The road is unmarked. Road signs along State Route 1 that points into town has been torn down by local residents and they seem to prefer it like that. On a Thursday morning it certainly seemed very quiet. The weather was great again after some days of rain and wind, so I went for a drive to Bolinas with my husband. The drive over Mt. Tam along W Ridgecrest Blvd has spectacular views. A photographers paradise especially at sunset.


First stop was Agate Beach with Duxbury Reef. Its a great place for tidepooling, but we arrived midway between low and high tide, so we could not walk very far along the beach and there were no tidepools. Instead we spent time enjoying the view from above. It was a clear day, so we could see all the way to Point Reyes.


Downtown Bolinas have a few shops, supermarket, Bolinas People’s Stor - a local food co-op, a museum, a cafe, a bakery, a liquor store, a bookstore and an expensive gas station and a few artist galleries and other places. It has a really relaxed feeling. This morning many places where not open and there were very few people around. The cafe was open for coffee and pastries though. We have eaten there before and it is good. Only about 1600 people live in Bolinas, so I think they have a lot going on for such a small place, but I guess in spite of the missing signs to town tourists are still finding their way here. Today some people walked past speaking german. We walked down wharf road to the beach and enjoyed the sun. Its a very charming little town on a day like this.

After the beach we walked back past downtown and towards the other end of town. We walked by a few different places of worship - all very interesting in their own way…

Some beautiful and interesting victorian homes line the left side of the street leading from downtown towards the surfers preferred spot. The grand hotel actually is a tiny hotel with 2 rooms. On the other side of the street people were living in old campers.


In the other end of town the parking lot is full of cars with surfboards, but we only see a few surfers in the ocean. There is a surfshop in town where you can learn to surf and its the most popular passtime around here it seems. This morning we see mostly older folks carrying their boards to their cars after a morning surf. On weekends there will probably be busy if the weather is good.


Bolinas seems like a town of happily relaxed seaside living where time has slowed down. Its a nice place to stroll around, to start a hike, go surfing or go to the beach. We definitely had a relaxing and enjoyable time.