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The Complete Tiburon Travel Guide – The Perfect Day Trip From San Francisco

Tiburon is only 30 minutes away from San Francisco and it is the perfect day trip or even weekend getaway destination. Tiburon is located in the Northern part of the bay area in a peninsula in Northern California.  

This charming and sophisticated small city in Marin County will blow your mind with its scenic views, luxury lifestyle, and vibrant atmosphere. Tiburon has many luxury yachts all with the backdrop of the San Francisco skyline. 

Tiburon is the perfect hub to visit Angel Island and offers many of its own great places to enjoy the outdoors. In Tiburon you can go for a bike ride, enjoy its hiking trails, and enjoying the delicious local restaurants.

How to get to Tiburon from San Francisco?

There are several ways to get to Tiburon from San Francisco. You can drive and pass over the Golden Gate Bridge or you can take the ferry from Pier 41 at Fisherman’s Wharf or from the Ferry Building on The Embarcadero for Tiburon. It is a 30 minute drive or 40 minute ferry boat ride from San Francisco to Tiburon.

No matter how you choose to get to Tiburon you will not regret it. If you end up driving we recommend stopping at the several viewpoints in Marin for fantastic photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. On the ferry you will have plenty of time to take photos of Alcatraz and Angel Islands and the Golden Gate Bridge as well. 

The 5 Best Things To Do In Tiburon In One Day

1. Take a stroll along the Shoreline Park

The Shoreline Park is a small waterfront park with fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island. 

2. Go for a swing at the Hippie Tree

Drive up Gilmartin Drive to find the hidden Hippie Tree. Just a short walk from the road and you will find two rope swings hanging from a giant Eucalyptus tree. Enjoy a swing overlooking San Fransisco and the bay.

3. Take a photo at the Old St. Hilary’s church

The Old St. Hillary’s Church is a Carpenter Gothic church built of redwood in 1888 and that overlooks the town. It is a fantastic place to see a panoramic view of Tiburon and San Francisco as well as of the bay. The church has several hiking trails that lead onto Old St Hilary’s Open Space Reserve where there are tons of wildflowers in the Spring and the iconic horse statue.

4. Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum

Housed in the former ferry terminal to San Fransisco, the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum with a model of Tiburon from the early 1900s. Upstairs you can see the restored stationmaster’s living area.

5. Go for a bike ride at Angel Island State Park 

Tiburon is the perfect hub to visit Angel Island, which was the highlight of our time in Northern California. The island was used as a US Immigration Station until 1940, where some of the most important building remain preserved.

It is the perfect place to enjoy nature and go for a bike ride without having to worry about cars. It is also great to go for a hike, a swim, or enjoy a sunset cruise. Without a doubt, Angel Island is truly Californian hidden gem, where you can witness spectacular panoramic views of San Francisco’s skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the whole Bay Area.  

What we loved the most about Angel Island is that there are no cars, just hikers, bicyclists and a tram that provides guided tours. If you love walking or biking then this is the place for you, you can circumnavigate the entire island in only five miles.

You can get to the island on the The Angel Island Ferry  at the dock next to the Waters Edge Hotel. The ferry runs 7 days a week. The 10 minute ferry ride from Tiburon to Angel Island State Park costs $15 per person round trip. Bicycles cost an additional $1. The fee is only payable by cash or check so make sure to plan ahead!

Where to eat in Tiburon?

Sam’s Anchor Cafe

Jutting out into the Tiburon Marina is Sam’s Anchor Cafe with its large outdoor patio and fresh seasonal seafood options. There is not any better place to enjoy a crunchy plate of fish and chips than out over water.

Sam’s Anchor Cafe is best known Aperol spritzers bowls to enjoy with your group of friends. It is the perfect brunch spot and the best view to enjoy a drink while watching the sunset over the water.

Where to stay in Tiburon?

Tiburon is an amazing day trip from San Francisco but also makes for a romantic weekend getaway destination. Stay at The Lodge at Tiburon just steps from everything in downtown Tiburon.

We stayed in a Belvedere King Room with a comfortable sitting area and a small wetbar with microwave. The room also had a small balcony overlooking the lodge’s landscaped patio. The hotel has a heated pool and large fireplace to enjoy in the evening.

If you have the chance, try breakfast or dunner at the Tiburon Tavern with plenty of fresh farm-to-table dishes. There is also a large outdoor seating area to soak in the sun while eating.

Whether you are just visiting Tiburon for the day or enjoying a romantic getaway there is so much to enjoy in this small waterfront city. From its relaxed afternoons, panoramic hikes, waterfront dining and of course an amazing atmosphere to try some local Californian wine. Tiburon is the perfect destination for every visitor to Northern California to enjoy.

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The Perfect Day Trip from San Francisco
The complete tiburon travel guide

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Friday 13th of December 2019

This sure did bring back memories. I loved staying at this side of the bay and was one of the best stays I did in the USA, but I stayed at another property. I did the state park, eat out in town and cycled everywhere. I hope to be back soon. Great post.

Travel To Blank

Friday 13th of December 2019

I Danik! I'm so happy to hear that you love Tiburon as much as we did! I loved biking the state park! It was so much fun; thank you for stopping by and say hi!