Bolinas, California is a small unincorporated beach community located about 30 miles north of San Francisco. Very few people know of Bolinas and those who do only seem to know rumors of the towns reclusive population. Located just off historic Pacific Highway 1, there are no street signs pointing the way to Bolinas. Every time a new sign has been put up it has been torn down by locals who fear that tourism could diminish the character of the small community. However, when tourists do find their way to the beautiful beaches of Bolinas the locals seem to delight in the opportunity to welcome travelers. When visiting make sure to respect the desires of the locals to keep the town clean, tread lightly, and respect the communities unique culture.
If Bolinas were more well known it could easily become a resort town for tourist interested in learning to surf. The beach faces south so the swells wrap up in a clean but relatively unexciting fashion for seasoned surfers. These sort of conditions are ideal for amateur surfing lessons. Also, being just a few minutes down the road from Stinson Beach (a surfing mecca) provides a quick escape for great viewing of expert surfing and a bit of inspiration.
For those uninterested in surfing, the relatively calm waters provide a rare opportunity to enjoy swimming in the Pacific Ocean without having to fight the typical overcrowding that most California beaches suffer from. If you walk just a few hundred feet down the coast you will have the feeling of being on an isolated beach, a great place to relax and take in a bit of California sunshine.
There are many great places in the world to enjoy an unforgettable sunset. Among those places California is an easy standout. A Bolinas sunset reflects cleanly off the calm water framed by coastal mountains. Enjoying this amazing act of nature on a relatively unpopulated beach makes for a unique and memorable travel experience. Costal birds also seem to become more active just before sunset enhancing the feeling of being far from civilization (while in reality only an hour outside of San Francisco).
For travelers who bring along their pups or just those who enjoy four legged friends, Bolinas is a delight for dog lovers. Dogs are welcome off leash and will easily find friends to interact with. There are long shallow shorelines for dogs that enjoy getting their feet wet, and plenty of deep water for avid canine swimmers. These are pristine beaches, respect the locals and pick up after your pooch. Dogs are also welcome off leash in town.
California is well know for locally sourced seafood that is out of this world. Giant prawns, scallops, California lobster, oysters, crabs, various fishes, and more are easily found prepared fresh anywhere in costal California. Bolinas is no exception. The difference is that with smaller populations and a laid back culture there is no need for reservations or fancy clothes. You can walk off the beach, tie your dog up outside the front door of any restaurant and enjoy some of the freshest seafood you have tasted.