In the North Bay of the Bay Area on the southern edge of Point Reyes National Seashore. Technically an "unincorporated township." It has two restaurants, two grocery stores, and a post office. There are great hiking and trails to the north, especially where it connects to Point Reyes.
On Google Maps, Bolinas is labeled as, "Bolinas Quail Refuge." It's an inside joke referring to the town not allowing hunting. Apparently, back in the day, folks posted metal signs on barbed wire fences stating as much.
The "downtown" is basically a tiny section of Wharf Street. Highly recommend the Bolinas Museum for local lore and Keith Hansen Wildlife Gallery and Studio, which is behind the museum. A little ways from downtown is Bolinas Beach.
Beyond this stretch of town, there is lots of great hiking and other interesting places to explore:
- Larner Seeds sells native plant seeds and also has a garden you can explore
- Tidepooling at Agate Beach Park
- Bolinas Lagoon
- There are many interesting places along Mesa Road. Commonweal Retreat Center has places where the public can walk. Further up, there's a trailhead to Ridge Trail. Beyond that, the public can watch bird-banding at Point Reyes Bird Observatory from May to Thanksgiving. They also have a short nature trail that meanders through a fern-filled canyon. At the end of Mesa Road is the Palomarin Trailhead leading into Point Reyes National Seashore, from which you can hike to Palomarin Beach, Bass Lake, and Alameres Falls.
- Olema Valley Trailhead is just north of Bolinas along Highway 1. The trail ends up at Five Brooks Trailhead.
To Eat / Drink
- Coast Cafe
- Smiley's Saloon. Claims to be the oldest, continuously operating bar (since 1851) in California. Also sells Mexican food.
- Gospel Flat Farm is a 24-hour stand on the honor system. In the winter, they often sell crab from 4-5pm.
January 3-7, 2023
EJ and I stayed at an AirBnB here and had a wonderful time.
- 15 Best Things to Do in Bolinas, California | Travel Lens. April 28, 2022.