They regularly remove the street signs pointing to their town; they prevented Martha Stewart from buying a house in their community. But unfortunately, the residents of Bolinas still cannot keep this seclude coastal community on Highway 1 a secret.
True story, the inhabitants of Bolinas are not really into tourism business, and especially not into wealthy-people-moving-Bolinas-business. The small town about 30 miles north of San Francisco prides itself to be one of the last bastions where gentrification and overflow on new money haven’t arrived yet. Bordered by sea on three sides Bolinas is trying to keep its old-hippie charm for as long as they can.
There is one restaurant in town; one bar; one grocery store and one hotel that has only two rooms.
And while no signs are pointing to Bolinas, find it as you would find any other place; enter it into your google maps. The drive up to the center of Bolinas is lined with trees and farms. And you immediately feel the calmness its residents are trying to preserve.
Once in Bolinas, you can grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at Coast Cafe. We are big fans of their clam chowder, not matter what time of the day. Or if you happen to come here on the weekend, try their Dungeness crab crepes is mouthwatering.
There is also a small coffee stand just outside Coast Cafe, serving coffee and pastries for grab ‘n’ go.
For more provisions to take with you to the beach, stop at People’s Store. They are the epitome of the farm-to-shelf concept. All their produce come from surrounding farms and producers.
The cultural part gets covered by the Bolinas Museum.
The museum has five galleries displaying mostly fine art by California artists. For such a small town the exhibitions are very well curated and worth making a pit-stop at the museum.
The vintage stuff hunter in your will be pleased to discover few antique stores. Forget the big, expensive flea markets, stores in such small town are the real deal where you can find cheap treasures.
Now it’s time for a long walk. Just follow the main street, and it will lead you to the beach, where brave surfers and swimmers ( yes, swimmers) outdare the cold waters of the Pacific The whole area around Bolinas is made for outdoor fans. Hiking, surfing, kayaking — you name it.
On your way back from Bolinas don’t miss the Gospel Flat Farm Stand, the honor-system farm stand has the freshest produce we have ever seen and don’t miss to get a dozen of their eggs. They make the most yellow and tasty scrambled eggs far and wide.
And that’s your Bolinas detour. We hope you found your way and as they say, “take only pictures, leave only footprints.”