A Special Peninsula in the Bay
With over 17 miles of continuous shoreline, Tiburon residents have an eye on the water. If you are looking for real estate with a water view, consider living in Tiburon, with sweeping views of the Bay, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sausalito hills, and Mount Tamalpais.
Unknown to many outside of the area, Paradise Drive is a special part of town, along a quiet expanse of bay to the east. Homes have large lots, and some have bay frontage and private beaches. A little further north on Paradise Drive is the unique waterfront community of Paradise Cay, built out into the bay in the 1960’s.
The Tiburon Peninsula extends about four miles from Highway 101 into San Francisco Bay. The peninsula, shared with the towns of Belvedere and an unincorporated portion of Mill Valley, is about 1 mile wide. The Town of Tiburon occupies about 4.4 square miles, approximately a tenth the size of San Francisco. A large area stretching along the north side of the peninsula is also considered part of town, but is unincorporated and partly administered by Marin County.
Tiburon raises from sea level along the bay to about 300-750 feet along the ridge that runs the length of the peninsula. The high points on the ridge are at Ring Mountain, about 600 feet, and Sugar Loaf, about 750 feet.
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The median sale prices for homes in 2018 (through October):
- $2,681,500 for single family homes
- $1,011,500 for condos
Tiburon has a large number of condos. In the last five years, 24% of home sales were of condos (215 condos versus 667 single family homes).
Rental apartments are clustered in these areas:
- The Cove, near the top of Richardson Bay
- Along Cecelia Way
- On Lyford Drive and branch streets, Marinero Circle and Red Hill Circle
- Harbor Oak Drive, on a hill above downtown
- Mar West Street and Centro Way, on the hill above downtown
Many of these rentals have water or mountain views.
- Town of Tiburon Information
- Sign up to receive by email a regular Town of Tiburon newsletter.
- Tiburon Fire Protection District provides fire and emergency medical services to Tiburon and Belvedere. One fire station is at 1679 Tiburon Blvd, downtown and the other at 4301 Paradise Drive at Trestle Glen Blvd.
- Tiburon Police Department is at 1155 Tiburon Blvd, near Lyford Drive.
- Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society
- Belvedere-Tiburon Library on Tiburon Blvd. in downtown Tiburon opened in 1997 adjacent to the new Town Hall and offices and Community Center.
- Tiburon Chamber of Commerce
- Tiburon International Film Festival
- The Ark Newspaper Local news and events
- Paradise Cay Homeowners Association
9,200 people live in Tiburon in approximately 4,000 housing units. This is an affluent community, with a median household income (2015) of $141.987. The cost of living is almost four times the national average and about 2.5 times the California average.
The median age is close to 50 years. The population is 86% white, 7.5% Hispanic, 3.4% Asian, and 0.4% African American.
Tiburon has a Livability Score of 81, the 14th highest in California. This compares well with the highest Livability Scores in California, 85 in Palo Alto, and 87 for the all towns in the US.
Crime rate is low compared to California and the nation: overall 69% lower than the California average and 67% lower than the national average. In a recent year, there were 9 violent crimes, 78 property crimes, and no murders.
Tiburon has a Mediterranean climate, with an average rainfall of 30 inches per year. Temperatures range from 80 degrees to 42 degrees, on the average. You can expect occasional wind in some locations. The wind comes with the best views and the best sailing on the bay.
The acclaimed Tiburon schools are ranked among the best in California. Past students often often describe their educational experience as equal to the best private school. The schools are an important consideration and benefit for home buyers.
Tiburon and Belvedere share the Reed school district, which is comprised of three beautiful campuses near downtown Tiburon:
Tiburon students attend Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. As part of the Tamalpais Union School District, Tiburon students can optionally attend Redwood High in Larkspur or Sir Frances Drake High in San Anselmo. All three high schools have excellent academic programs, but different personalities to suit a diversity of students. The district also provides two smaller high schools, San Andreas and Tamiscal, tailored to specific student needs.
Note that the western part of the Tiburon Peninsula is in in Mill Valley and uses the Mill Valley schools. Also, a small portion of Corte Madera, along Paradise Drive, is in Tiburon’s Reed School District.
- Local Bus Transit via Marin Transit bus 219 connects the Tiburon Peninsula to all of Marin.
- San Francisco Commute Bus via Golden Gate Transit. Marin Transit bus 219 connects to Golden Gate Transit buses to San Francisco and to the Smart Train going north to Sonoma County.
- Tiburon Ferry Schedule to San Francisco
In 1834, an Irish settler, John Reed, received a land grant from the Spanish government for the Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio, which includes the Tiburon Peninsula. The name Reed and his wife Hilaria, is preserved on streets, subdivisions, and the local school district. The Reed’s granddaughter, Hilarita, married Dr. Benjamin Lyford, who was the first land developer in Tiburon. The Lyford House, is now a feature of the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary on Greenwood Beach Road.
In the early 1880’s Tiburon emerged as a railroad town, with the downtown becoming a large depot for the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad. The railroad provided ferry service for its rail cars to and from San Francisco and then dispatched rail cars carrying passengers and freight to all locations north. Passenger and freight trains ran until 1967. In the 70’s all rail lines were removed. The Point Tiburon town houses now occupy the site of the rail yard.
The Tiburon economy is centered on services, tourism, and consulting. One of the larger employers is Digital Foundry in downtown, providing product strategy and custom software development.
Favorite Places to Visit in Tiburon
- Angel Island. The Angel Island Ferry leaves from the dock on Main Street to Angel Island State Park. This largest island in San Francisco Bay is a good day trip for picnics, hiking, or cycling. Views are wonderful. The island served in the from 1910 to 1940 as an immigration and detention center for new arrivals, mostly Asia, the Philippines, and India. The remaining buildings are now an informative museum.
- Blackie’s Pasture is at the sharp turn in Tiburon Blvd. You can’t miss it on your trip from Highway 101 to downtown. Named after the horse that grazed here in retirement for many years, the pasture is the start of a magical bayside walk that takes you downtown. You have views of Sausalito, Richardson Bay, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge. There is no better level walk in Marin County.
- Tiburon Bay Trail Historical Trail goes along the bay from Blackie’s Pasture to the old ferry depot in downtown. This is a favorite route for walkers and cyclists along the bay with prefect views of the bay, the Sausalito hills, Tiburon Ridge, Belvedere Island, the Golden Gate, and the San Francisco skyline.
- Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum in Shoreline Park/Point Tiburon in downtown, served since 1884 as the depot for the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad. The railroad and a ferry fleet provided passenger and freight service between the San Francisco and Northern California. The depot is now a public museum with detailed operating HO-scale model of Tiburon and the rail yards in about 1900. The upper level is the Depot House Museum, where the stationmaster’s family lived from 1913 to 1940.
- Shopping and Dining in Historic Tiburon on Main Street and Arc Row. Main street is a long block of historical buildings from the late 1800s to the 1920s. Two blocks of shops and restaurants at the end of Main Street are converted 1890s-era houseboats.
- Friday Nights on Main On Friday nights in the summer, locals and visitors gather to enjoy live music on Main Street and to dine on tables set up in the street. A wonderful gathering place for local families and visitors.
- Paradise Beach Park, a quiet bay front park on the east side of the Tiburon Peninsula.
- Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, a ten acre site at the top of Richardson Bay holds the Lyford House, an important part of Tiburon history. The center hosts educational programs and summer youth programs for middle school and high school students. The adjacent 900 acres of bay is an open water bird sanctuary. Audubon researcher have documented nearly 70 bird species; the most commonly seen include American Coot, Greater & Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Western & Clark’s Grebes.
- Schoenberg Guitars in Arc Row on Main Street buys, sells, and restores the finest vintage Martins & Gibsons and some one-of-a-kind museum pieces– as well as old and new guitars, mandolins, ukuleles & banjos, all from brand-name-makers and hand-builders. A rare and wonderful place to visit.
- The waterfront promenade from Main Street east toward Paradise Drive provides spectacular views of the bay and San Francisco. This walk passes the area that was once a bustling rail yard at the end of the Marin train line. From here, ferryboats took rail cars across to San Francisco.
- Belvedere Tennis Club, a private club that The Club provides tennis, swim, fitness, and social facilities, and a wide variety of programs for all ages
- The Ranch: the Tiburon-Belvedere recreational center for youth and adults. Visit the web site for a wide variety of activities and classes.
- Tiburon Yacht Club at Paradise Cay. This relaxed, family oriented club is at the north end of Paradise Cay.
- Tiburon Peninsula Club, a swim, tennis and fitness club for residents of the Tiburon peninsula.
- Sam’s Anchor Café is a wonderful, old-time restaurant for dining casually over the water with views of the boats, Belvedere Island, and San Francisco. The food is good and the service is friendly. The deck can be hot when the sun is out and cool when it is not, but it is hard to complain. There is also plenty of indoor dining with a view and an old-fashioned bar.
- Servino Ristorante on the waterfront has live music at night. Serving Italian food, this is a good place for drinks and snacks in a sophisticated atmosphere. Great accommodations for large parties.
- The Caprice, a two-minute walk east of Old Town, combines spectacular views of San Francisco, Angel Island, and Sausalito, with very good food. Wonderful for any special occasion or special evening.
- Sweet Things is an excellent bakery in the Cove Shopping Center, about a third of the way from Highway 101 to downtown.
Special Occasion Venues
Old St. Hilary’s Church – a deconsecrated church built in 1888, is located on a hillside above downtown, within the 122 acre Old Saint Hilary’s Open Space Preserve, including the John Thomas Howell Wildflower Preserve. From the church, there are spectacular views of San Francisco Bay, Belvedere Island, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate. The facility may be reserved for any appropriate function such as weddings, name day celebrations, memorial services, concerts, and recitals. Accommodates 115-125 people.
Landmarks Art and Garden Center Beautiful gardens and a restored 1870’s farmhouse look out to Richardson Bay. Available for receptions, ceremonies, and special events for 55 to 150 people.
- Lyford House at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary offers a unique setting on the bay for outdoor weddings, meetings and special events. Available are outdoor setting, the Lyford House, Rosie’s Cottage, and the Blue Classroom.
- The China Cabin Now a destination on the edge of the bay close to downtown, with views of the yacht harbor and San Francisco. This elegant, restored first class cabin was salvaged from the 1866 PS China, a side wheel steamer, which traveled between San Francisco and the Far East. The cabin is rented for meetings and special events for 40 to 55 people.
- The Corinthian Yacht Club – This 100+ year old club, with spectacular views of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline, is a great location for a party or event in the Grand Ballroom, Sun Porch, Cocktail Bar, and Outside Deck. The in-house staff provided for and service for up to 250 people.
- The Lodge at Tiburon is on Tiburon Blvd, just a few blocks from the water. The Lodge has a dog friendly restaurant, The Tiburon Tavern,
- Waters Edge Hotel on Main Street is an elegant retreat with stunning views of San Francisco across the water. If you want to do Tiburon in style, this is the only hotel on the water.