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 here, 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 on 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, and has approximately 8,938 residents in about 3,515 households. (2022) 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. Mean commute time is 27 minutes.
Tiburon rises 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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- Town of Tiburon Information. Sign up to receive by email a regular Town of Tiburon newsletter.
- Tiburon Fire District provides fire and emergency medical services to Tiburon and Belvedere.
- Tiburon Police Department.
- Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society .
- Belvedere-Tiburon Library.
- Tiburon Chamber of Commerce.
- The Ark Newspaper provides local news and events.
- Paradise Cay Homeowners Association.
Tiburon has a Mediterranean climate, with an average rainfall of 30 inches per year. Temperatures range on average is 80 degrees to 42 degrees. You can expect occasional wind in some locations. The wind comes with the best views and the best sailing on the bay.
Aerial View of Tiburon
Tiburon schools are well ranked. 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.
Note that the western part of the Tiburon Peninsula is in Mill Valley and uses the Mill Valley schools. Also, a small portion of Corte Madera, at the northern end of 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 Commuter 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 names Reed and that of his wife, Hilaria, are 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 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.
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 from 1910 to 1940 as an immigration and detention center for new arrivals, mostly from 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 Bay Trail that takes you downtown.
- Tiburon Bay 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. There is no better level walk in Marin County.
- Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum, in Shoreline Park 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 the Tiburon rail yards in about 1900. The upper level is the Depot House Museum, where the stationmaster’s family lived.
- Shopping and dining in historic Tiburon on Main Street and Arc Row. Main street is a long block of historic buildings from the late 1800s to the 1920s. Two blocks of shops and restaurants in Arc Row, at the end of Main Street, are converted 1890s-era houseboats.
- 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, plus 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 in Shoreline Park, 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 train line. From here, ferryboats took rail cars across to San Francisco.
- Belvedere Tennis Club, a private club that provides tennis, swim, fitness, and social facilities, and a wide variety of programs for all ages.
- Corinthian Yacht Club, a private sailing club.
- The Ranch, the Tiburon-Belvedere recreational center for youth and adults.
- San Francisco Yacht Club, a private sailing club.
- 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.
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 has beautiful gardens and a restored 1870’s farmhouse that looks 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.
- The China Cabin is 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 staff provides food and service for up to 250 people.