Oysters, Surf, Sun, and Sand. 

West Marin has always been one of my favorite places to visit.  The jagged coastline leading to Stinson Beach and its neighboring town, Bolinas, gives you a front-row view of the best the Bay Area has to offer. The steep majestic Mount Tamalpais mountains, hiking trails, and wildlife are breathtaking. The laid-back surf culture of both towns can be seen and felt at each turn. The intimate community is used to visitors but maintains a true local scene. My family makes an annual trip up the coast to plunge in the cold water on New Year's Day but also takes a week-long vacation over the Fourth of July to spend swimming, paddle boarding, and participating in the legendary Tug of War between Bolinas and Stinson- not to be missed! 
Whether you take the windy ocean view road or the steep mountain road, the views from Stinson are epic and you feel whisked away from city life almost immediately. And the best part? This beach town is just 45 minutes from San Francisco.

There are a few not to miss restaurants just off the main road in Stinson. 

Parkside Cafe has it all a marketplace, a cafe, a coffee kiosk, and a snack bar. Their seafood platter hits all the right notes, and the snack bar is great for grabbing a picnic lunch on the way to the beach. It’s pretty easy to park in the lot just behind Parkside Cafe and then easily walk to the public beach there. Tacos from the Siren Canteen were always a favorite, but it’s temporarily closed. Also keep your eyes open for the reopening of The Seahorse, which seems straight out of a storybook. The current owners are quoted as saying, “The Sand Dollar is to Stinson, what Tadich Grill is to San Francisco,” with “locals, politicians and famous athletes among [his] loyal clientele.” Pop in to Live Water Surf Shop, the best place to shop for whatever you may need for the beach or to sign up for surf lessons and rent wetsuits, paddle boards, and surfboards. (You may notice San Francisco and Marin residents- including children!- wearing Live Water branded shirts in their hometowns.)

Now where to stay? 

Rentals are the jam on Stinson Beach. Oceanic Realty is a great resource and one I often work with for myself and my clients. The most expensive and private rentals are found in Seadrift, a private community with a private beach and lagoon. The homes fall into two categories- either “beachside” or “lagoon side”, but both offer heavenly opportunities to walk easily to the water and experience the beauty of west Marin at your fingertips.
Just north of Stinson is the town of Bolinas- a funky, eccentric, and artsy community that is less of a tourist malignant than Stinson (and that is by design!). But if you are looking for an epic surf spot with a legendary community, Bolinas is your spot. My team has this “surf shack” (which is anything but!) on the market now. 

Happy to help you with any questions about making Stinson or Bolinas your home away from home. Or just your home! 


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