Marin County

Archived Responses: 

Family-friendly B in Tiburon

April 2004

Hi, We're looking for a nice place to stay in or near Tiburon that would be friendly to a 6 month old. We're planning a night on Angel Island, and thought we might want a cushier night either the day before or after, close by. jm

There are two places to stay in Tiburon: The Water's Edge and Tiburon Lodge. The Water's Edge is more upscale and (as you'd guess from the name) right on the water on Main Street. You're a 15-second walk from the Angel Island Ferry, Sam's, etc. The Tiburon Lodge is more modest; it's fine, but it's really just a motel (with pool). It's only a couple of blocks from the ferry and other waterfront stuff. For more information, go to: and For more information on Tiburon generally, go to Ann

Day trips for swimming in Marin

July 2003

Can anyone suggest a place to go swimming for the day in Marin? A friend from Portland will be visiting Marin soon and would like to take her sons (ages 8 and 12) swimming. Of course, there are the beaches, but she'd prefer either lakes or pools. I just don't know what's available in Marin that might be similar to what the East Bay Regional Parks offer. Thanks.

Here are a few quick suggestions for places to swim in Marin. Hope it helps!

Pools: Somewhat limited choices unless member of a club, but there are a few pools at schools: Dominican University in San Rafael has a really nice, new pool/athletic facility that non-affiliated people can use during certain hours (don't know the hours off hand).

College of Marin in Kentfield also has a big pool, but I think it may be restricted to students/faculty during the academic year. Definitely open during the summer until mid-August. Can be crowded in late afternoons on hot days, and very little shade, but otherwise not many people seem to know about it. We go there with our two kids, 4 and 1, quite often.

Drake High School in San Anselmo. never used the pool, but I know there is one with I think public programs.

McNear's Beach in China Camp State Park, San Rafael. There is both a pool and a swimming beach. Have to pay for parking and to use the pool, but it's a nice place. Great for picnics, lots of grass and playground. My husband and I had our pre-wedding party there. I think it's busy on weekends, but nice during the week.

Beaches: McNear's (see above) Drake's Beach near Pt. Reyes. Absolutely beautiful spot, with a small museum and restaurant. Water is cold, of course, as it is anywhere, but great flat sandy beach that stretches for a mile or two. We love going there, especially in winter. Gretchen

We love McNear's Beach. McNear's has swimming in both the San Pablo Bay and in a public pool. There is a nice shady lawn for a picnic, a good snack bar, a walking trail, and tennis courts. Also, you may want to try for more ideas.

Angel Island

Nov 1997

We live in Marin County, and can recommend Angel Island as another fine place to go with kids, for hiking, biking, or just a picnic. You can get there via ferry from Tiburon.

Speaking of the Tiburon - Angel Island ferry... they run sunset cruises around the Bay on the weekends, at least during the summer. You bring your own dinner and watch the sunset as the ferry takes you around Belvedere Island, past Strawberry, Sausalito, and Alcatraz, under the Bay Bridge, and back to Tiburon. Duff

Dillon Beach

Re: A quiet couple days away with kids (Nov 2005)
We love Dillon Beach. There are a lot of houses for rent, it's only about 1.5 hours away, there's a cafe and store, lots of beach walking and hiking, and it's close to lots of other hiking and tide pool areas. Dillon Beach is in Marin County, between Point Reyes and Bodega Bay. Alison

Ferry Rides

Ride a ferry from Oakland to SF; or SF to Sausalito & visit Bay Area Discovery Museum.


Green Gulch Zen Center

April 2003

Re: Weekend of solitude for mom

Green Gulch Zen Center is beautiful, peaceful, and while there are people around, no one expects you to talk. You can walk to Muir Beach, they provide the meals and lodging and meditation center if you want to meditate. If you rent a place at Sea Ranch, you will be totally alone, just you and the sea and trees. There is also the Vedanta Center in Olema. monica

The Green Gulch Zen Center, just above Muir Beach in Marin County, has a guesthouse, called Lindisfarne, I think, with 8-10 rooms available to rent. If not an absolute ''silent guest'' policy, it is, at least, a very quiet, peaceful place, and trails go out the door to glorious hiking trails. The rates include all meals, taken at the Center's dining hall. Call Reservations at (415) 383-3134. Mary Beth

If I were looking for the natural beauty and solitude that you described, I would call Green Gulch Farm in Muir Beach, Marin County. Besides being a working farm with beautiful gardens next to the ocean, it is a Zen Buddhist center. You can stay there as a guest and choose to join the meditations if you wish, but it is not required. Nancy

Re: Weekend of solitude for mom (March 2003)
Green Gulch Zen Center is lovely, you can walk to Muir Beach.

Marine Mammal Center

Another possibility is the Marine Mammal Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing stranded seals, otters, dolphins and other marine mammals in distress. They nurse them back to health at their unique wildlife hospital, then return them to their ocean home to thrive again in the wild. They're in Fort Cronkite, in the Marin headlands west of Sausalito. Tel: (415) 289-SEAL Web:

FROM SOUTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE Just after you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take the first exit off Highway 101 at Alexander Avenue. Once you exit Highway 101 there are two approaches to the Center:

Stay to your left and follow the signs for Highway 101 South (this will bring you under the freeway to the other side). Just before the entrance to the bridge, look for Conzelman Road on your right with signs for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and Marin Headlands. Follow this road until it forks at McCullough Road. Stay right at the fork, heading downhill and inland. Turn left at Bunker Road at the bottom of the hill. Follow Bunker Road past the stables and cross over Rodeo Lagoon. (Follow directions below to HOSPITAL)

Stay to your right and follow Alexander Avenue as if you are heading into Sausalito. Turn left after approximately 100 yards there will be a Marin Headlands sign. Follow road and stay to the left. Wait for signal and enter tunnel. This is Bunker Road. Follow Bunker Road past the stables and cross over Rodeo Lagoon. (Follow directions below to HOSPITAL)

To reach the hospital: About halfway past the lagoon, you will see a small road heading uphill on your right with the Marine Mammal Center sign displayed. Take the right fork and head up the hill.