Along the Marin Coast
Stinson Beach is the first small
town you reach when traveling along Highway 1 from the
San Francisco area. It's at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais and
is just north of the beach. The state beach is a day-use
park, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area. Anglers fish for ling cod, cabezone, and blenny
near the southern boundary of the park where it's rocky.
The park is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm. This is a quaint
little town, with several small cafes, and a bookstore.
Bolinas is off the highway via a
short (unsigned) sideroad that leads around the north
shore of Bolinas Bay. Bolinas people are a private bunch,
and tourism has not always been welcomed, but there are
accommodations here and the beach in front of the village
offers good sunbathing, surfing and tidepools to explore
during low-tide periods. There's usually good fishing for
striped bass at the mouth of the lagoon. The western
approach to the beach is close to Duxbury Reef. There are
cafes in the town plus a small historical and art museum.
Hikers will find the Palomarin Trail offers an
excellent walk from the trailhead at the end of Mesa
Road. Hike along the shore for 3.5 miles until you reach
Bass Lake, a small scenic lake with alders and
cattails along much of the shore.
A mile further is Pelican Lake,
where water falls down the rocky cliff to the ocean.
Another 1.5 miles is a secluded ocean beach via a short
side trail which leads down a bluff. From the foot of the
bluff, head south a quarter of a mile and you come to the
impressive Alamere Falls, which forms a pool on
the beach before running into the Pacific.
Where to Stay
For accommodation in Bolinas, try one of several
B and B homes, including One Fifty-Five Pine
(415-868-0263), a beach cottage overlooking the reef.
Thomas' White House Inn 118 Kale Rd (415-868-0279) is a
New-England style inn.
Stinson Beach is also a small community, and has only
a few places to stay. The Ocean Court Motel
(415-868-0212) has one-bedroom suites with kitchens and
is close to the beach, restaurants and stores. Casa Del
Mar (415-868-2124) is a bed & breakfast home, a 1925
Mediterranean villa overlooking a garden with good views.
And if you are needing a rental home for a few days, or a
week, there a beach house with a great view, three
bedrooms, two baths, 3 decks, hot tub, and the beach.
Call 415-383-7870. of go
For camping reservations at state park campgrounds in
the area, call 800-444-PARK, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
seven days a week.
© 1997/2005 - Fraser Bridges