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Credit: Erik Hale
Credit: Erik Hale

How to Spend a Day in One of the Bay Area’s Smallest Seaside Towns

Tiburon Is the Coastal Enclave of Your Dreams

A quick ferry hop from San Francisco but worlds away from the stir of the city, Tiburon is a tiny coastal town perfect for a mellow day trip. With stunning seascapes, miles of preserved trails, a quaint downtown straight out of a storybook and a touch of laid-back luxury, this enclave is easily one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets. Whether you’re seeking to conquer mountain trails, savor local fare or simply bask in the beauty of this small town, let us be your guide! Here’s our day-to-night guide on the best places to dine, stay and explore in this postcard-perfect town.

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8 a.m. Hop on the Golden Gate Ferry

Golden Gate Ferry
Credit: Yang Liu

Set your alarm for the ultimate sunrise rendezvous—the ferry ride from San Francisco to the town of Tiburon. As the sun stretches its rays over the bay, hop aboard the Golden Gate Ferry and snap those Instagram-worthy shots of the skyline as it fades into the distance. It’s not just a ride; it’s the beginning of a Tiburon tale you’ll want to share.

Local Insight: Before your boat ride, be sure to take a stroll through the Ferry Building Marketplace, where you’ll find an amazing collection of bakeries, coffee shops, bookstores, boutiques, restaurants and more.

 

9 a.m. Brunch at Malibu Farm

 

Malibu Farm
Credit: Erik Hale

If an early-morning wake-up leaves you with a hankering for brunch, there’s nowhere better to cure your cravings than Malibu Farm! This LA-based cafe opened its Tiburon location in May of this year, and the two-story restaurant is a total stunner. The refreshed space’s crisp beachy aesthetic is perfect for a bayside brunch or sunset dinner and features views that could steal your heart (and your camera’s battery life). But this place isn’t just about the views—it’s about fresh, farm-to-table fare. The brunch menu is chock-full of refreshing craft cocktails and yummy bites like Swedish mini pancakes dusted with powdered sugar and heart-shaped waffles with whipped cream, seasonal berries and maple syrup. If you’re craving something savory, however, opt for the coconut ceviche, Maine lobster sliders, smoked salmon lox pizza or raw Brussels salad.

 

11 a.m. Bike Around Angel Island State Park

tiburon itinerary
Credit: Joe Passe

After a satisfying brunch on Malibu Farm’s oceanfront deck, it’s time for some heart-pumping action. Venture into Angel Island State Park for a mountain biking adventure. You can rent a mountain bike for $16 per hour or $64 for a full day. Riding out of Ayala Cove, you will cruise along the Pacific coastline of Tiburon, San Francisco and the East Bay. Stop by Camp Reynolds to see the world’s oldest standing Civil War buildings! On the island’s East side, ride over to Quarry Beach—a beautiful stretch of sand! Pro tip: bring your camera for snap-worthy moments at every turn.

Azure Palm Hot Springs

 

2 p.m. Lunch at Waypoint Pizza

After your time on two wheels, you’ve likely worked up an appetite. Satisfy your hunger with a pit stop at Waypoint Pizza, where you’ll find an assortment of specialty pizzas, fresh salads and pastas. Set in a landmark 19th-century waterfront building, this pizza joint is the perfect place to grab a midday slice. Enjoy the rustic neighborhood feel of this local spot as you sink your teeth into a shrimp pesto or gourmet sausage pizza.

 

4 p.m. Check in to The Lodge at Tiburon

tiburon itinerary
Credit: The Lodge at Tiburon

If you want to turn your day trip into an overnight getaway, The Lodge at Tiburon is a must-stay. This newly renovated property sits on three acres and features 104 cozy guest rooms—most with private balconies or patios—a heated pool, a hot tub and an on-site eatery called Tiburon Tavern. After unpacking your bags, head down to the restaurant for a refreshing margarita around one of the cozy fireplaces. And if you’re lucky, you may even get to enjoy some live music!

 

6 p.m. Hors D’oeuvres at The Caviar Co. Champagne Lounge

Nestled in the heart of downtown Tiburon, The Caviar Co. Champagne Lounge offers diners a traditional caviar experience with a modern twist. Upscale yet approachable, this eatery serves  traditional caviar with blini and crème fraîche along with caviar-forward takes on contemporary California cuisine. Share their splurge-worthy caviar grilled cheese as an appetizer and take notice of the posh champagne vending machine! 

 

7 p.m. Dinner at The Bungalow Kitchen

tiburon itinerary
Credit: Ryan Forbes

To round out your idyllic day in Tiburon, snag a table at waterfront restaurant The Bungalow Kitchen, where Award-winning Chef Michael Mina’s culinary creations take center stage. Enjoy five-star service (something Brent Bolthouse, the founder of The Bungalow Hospitality Group is known for) and a buzzy social atmosphere at this two-story destination—an anchor to Tiburon’s reimagined downtown. Dinner here is worth the splurge, as you’ll get to savor unobstructed views of the bay and a selection of dishes that range from whole-roasted branzino to oak-grilled American Wagyu. There’s no better way to end your Tiburon tale.

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