Okay so maybe this time around wasn't so much of a search than it was an adventure, but the first time certainly was one. Passing through Muir Beach onwards to Stinson Beach, then eventually making it into to the small town of Bolinas is just the perfect Sunday escape. Something about Marin County has always stuck with me. Perhaps it's the smell of the tall eucalyptus trees, the hometown hippie-ish feel, the blooming wildflowers, or maybe its simply the way the small waves gently roll onto the soft golden sand. There is endless adventure in the rolling green hills and steep cliff sides along Panoramic Highway and the proximity to San Francisco is just too close to not take advantage of. When it is cloudy and cold in the city, it's most likely warm and sunny in Marin. My trick is to keep the town of Mill Valley on my weather app to remind myself to cross that golden bridge when I'm craving an off the beaten path kind of adventure. Sometimes getting in touch with the simpler towns can make a world of difference on your mood and will most likely keep you coming back for more!
On a particularly blue skied Saturday, my girlfriends and I headed on a mini-road trip to take advantage of the stunning weather the bay area has been getting lately. Our first stop was in Mill Valley at Equator Coffee for some liquid energy and a snack before we continued onwards to Stinson Beach. The traffic was pretty backed up and we didn't want to risk getting too hungry on the scenic drive along Panoramic Highway towards Stinson. The coffee shop was so adorable and the adjacent surf shop in the back provided a true California feel. After finishing up at Equator, we continued on to Stinson Beach and had lunch at Breaker's Cafe, which has a really nice back patio to enjoy lunch in. The weather was super warm and the sun was shining so I couldn't resist ordering up a Corona and lime to pair with my chicken tacos. Needless to say, I was a happy camper!
After lunch, we headed on to Bolinas, which can be rather difficult to find through the tall trees if you have never been there before. With little road signs and no cell reception, the adventure to Bolinas is well worth the trek once you arrive! It may be wise to get directions before you head there due to lack of gps and cell service.
Before you hit the "downtown" of Bolinas, don't miss Gospel Flat Farm Stand as you're driving in. The stand is open 24 hours a day and is operated on the honor system. It's hard to believe that places like this still exist and I instantly got a memory of Swanton Berry Farm along Highway One, as it is run on the honor system as well.
After checking out Bolinas Gallery, we strolled to Bolinas Beach and spent a little time looking for a few take home worthy seashells and eventually found a spot to enjoy a little wine. The beach here was pretty windy but was filled with vibrant people surfing, practicing yoga or just layin' low. While Bolinas is a small town, there are several interesting stores, parks and people that make Bolinas neat. You'll want to stop at Smiley's, a small inn and saloon that has a community feel to it that claims to be the oldest saloon west of the Mississippi. We met friendly folks there that made us feel welcome, which left us with a good impression of the Bolinas community.
If you are looking for lunch in this sleepy town, stop at Coast Cafe. Everything is nestled together on the main street, Wharf Road so you can walk to everything and anything. When I say the town center is small, I actually mean tiny, but that doesn't mean it is boring! Bolinas is a the perfect place to disconnect from the internet, social media and technology that can serve as a distraction so you get to feel the authenticity of a small town.
What are you favorite things about Marin County? I would love to hear how nature and the outdoors help you refresh your mind. Have you ever done the trip to Stinson Beach or Bolinas? Do you have any additional advice for a first timer? Let's chat on together Twitter, follow my adventures on Instagram and connect on Facebook.