How to Spend 50 Perfect Hours in Tiburon + Belvedere

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Head to Tiburon and Belvedere for unparalleled views, quaint shops, and delicious restaurants. Plus, just a quick ferry ride away is Angel Island with plenty of trails for hiking and biking.


DAY 1

8:30 a.m. – Wake up in your stylishly decorated room at Waters Edge Hotel. Open your curtains for a floor-to-ceiling view of the water and San Francisco beyond. Then, pull on your robe and wait for room service to arrive. At Waters Edge, breakfast is served in your room each morning. Enjoy some tasty treats and wash it down with a cup of coffee. Then, change into some workout clothes and be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

9:45 a.m. – Leave your car parked (you won’t be using it at all on this trip), and walk across the street to the ferry terminal. Hop on the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry ($15 for adults, $13 for kids 6-12 years old, and $5 for kids 3-5 years old). Note: the ferry schedule changes by the season so check online before you go.

Enjoy the view out the side of the ferry (better yet, go to the top deck and pose for photos with Alcatraz in the background!) and disembark when you get to Angel Island State Park. Angel Island is a fascinating place to visit because of its location smack dab in the middle of the San Francisco Bay and its varied history. The island was once home to Coastal Miwok Indians, then Spanish settlers, then used in the 1940s to process immigrants coming from China. During WWII, Angel Island was used as a holding site for German prisoners of war and Japanese Americans.

It wasn’t until 1954 that the island was transformed into a state park. Today, visitors can ride bikes around a five-mile loop (you can’t get better Bay views that this) and attend historical segeway tours. Tram rides are also offered.

Once off the ferry, walk to over to the Angel Island Company and rent a bike for a few hours ($13.50/hour and $50 per day, including a helmet). Before you start riding, grab some food to-go at the Angel Island Café, right next to where you rented your bikes. The café has everything you need, so stock up on bottles of water and sandwiches such as the Cubano, Point Blunt tuna melt and Alcatraz veggie wrap. Throw the food into your backpack and spend the next few hours riding through the streets of Angel Island, stopping for a picnic at a lookout point along the way.

3:00 p.m. – Make your way back to the Angel Island Company and drop off your bikes. Then, take the 3:30 p.m. ferry back to Tiburon. Walk back to your hotel room to relax and take a nap. Then, shower and change into some nicer evening clothes (maybe a skirt for the ladies and a nice pair of pants with a polo for the gentlemen).

5:00 p.m. – Walk up Main Street and tuck into some of Tiburon’s adorable boutiques such as CitrusKoze and Paparazzi. While you are out, be sure to visit Couloir Wines Straight Line Wine Tasting Room, a local favorite for its white and red varietals. Relax and chat with the owners while enjoying a glass or a flight of wine.

7:00 p.m. – Next, go into Sam’s Anchor Café. Arguably the most popular spot in town, you will find jovial locals cracking jokes and friends reconnecting over beers here. Ask for a table on the patio overlooking the Bay and dig into a helping of truffle fries, oysters, and some fish and chips. Enjoy watching the sunset over the water and reminiscing about the day’s adventures.

DAY 2

9:30 a.m. – Sleep in today, eat a nutritious breakfast in your room and then put on some activewear (just like yesterday). Remember your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and camera today.

10:30 a.m. – Time for a water-based adventure with Desiderata Sailing. Based in Tiburon, Captain John Stafford offers sailing boat charters for groups (children must be 10 or older). Enjoy a few hours on the water (book in advance and ask about rates when you call).

12:00 p.m. – Starving after a morning on the water, step back on shore and settle in for a delicious lunch at Luna Blu on Main Street. Ask for a table with a view and enjoy a lunch of sea bass and spinach, Cioppino (fish stew) and Mediterranean salad. Order a glass of refreshing white wine while you’re at it (when in Tiburon!).

1:30 p.m. – Just down the street, walk into the Railroad & Ferry Museum—part of the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society. This museum is open from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays, April through October, and features exhibits that explain the history of rail and ferry travel in Northern California.

After the museum exhibit, relax for a while on the grass of Shoreline Park and watch the boats go by on the Bay. (If you are lucky, one of the cafes in town will have live music outside to serenade you.)

3:30 p.m. – Time for something sweet. Walk over to The Grass Shack for some delicious Three Twins Ice Cream (a Bay Area original). Ask for a heaping bowl of goodness in the flavors of Dad’s Cardamom, Madagascar Vanilla and Lemon Cookie. Then go back to Waters Edge Hotel to relax.

6:00 p.m. – Shower, change into some nice clothes and walk over to The Caprice, a high-end restaurant right on the water. Start with a helping of the crab cakes and roasted beet tower and then move on the Pappardelle and saffron risotto. Finish off your experience with the hazelnut crème brulee and apple crisp.

Day 3

10:00 a.m. – Wake up slowly this morning, get dressed and check out of your hotel. Instead of eating in your room, walk over to New Morning Café, just a few blocks away, for a delicious breakfast. Order a generous helping of pancakes and French toast. If the weather is nice, ask for a table outside. 

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