Weekend Exploration: Bolinas, CA

This Saturday was an incredibly clear day and we had no plans, so Mike and I decided to explore the coast north of San Francisco along Highway 1. I grew up going to the Oregon coast, so obviously stunning shoreline views are not exactly new to me, but this particular area has a barren, rugged beauty that I adore.

We tried to go to Muir Beach, but with no parking for miles, we kept going up 1 until we came to the Muir Beach Overlook. It was such a clear day, we could see the Farallon Islands about 20 miles off the coast. Apparently they’re really popular with elephant seals and Great White sharks.

Still wanting to set foot on a beach, we kept going up through the town of Stinson Beach (totally packed, just like Muir Beach had been) and followed the road as it circled a huge, shallow bay. Mike decided to turn down an unmarked road, and it ended up leading us to the unusual town of Bolinas.

Apparently the locals don’t like all the tourists from the city and Marin taking over on weekends, so they routinely take down any sign to the town that’s put up along the highway (kind of a bummer for them that most people now have GPS, though). It’s a cute town with some beautiful old buildings, lots of unique artwork, and a great beach.

There definitely did seem to be a kind of strange mix of wealthy Marin people, aging hippies, and surfers.
We wanted a snack so we stopped in at the Coast Cafe and sat on their front patio.

Their coleslaw, grilled zucchini, and garlic bread were perfect, but I didn’t take a picture because I felt like I’d already been awkward camera girl enough. I’m pretty sure someone will revoke my food blogging privileges for that.
On the way home, Highway 1 was closed so we had to detour through Mt. Tamalpais State Park. I really wished I’d brought my running stuff with me because it looked like epic trail running, but I know I’ll be back! This is looking down over Stinson Beach and Bolinas.

I can’t wait to explore more of the Northern California coast!

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2 Responses to “Weekend Exploration: Bolinas, CA”


  1. 1 Marilee September 27, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    There is a beautiful hike right past Bolinas, to a little lake called Bass Lake. You hike about an hour in, along the coastline and through this cool eucalyptis (sp?) grove…once you get to the lake you can take a swim, or keep hiking about a half hour past. The trail leads to a small cliff overlooking the ocean and there is a lovely waterfall that falls down onto the sand below. Just gorgeous. No signs in Bolinas though, so its like “drive to the end of town and keep going” for directions. šŸ˜‰

  2. 2 Kira September 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Gorgeous! I love California and wish it wasn’t so far away from where the rest of my friends and family live. Pictures like this make me want to pick up and move there!


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