The picturesque bayside town of Tiburon epitomizes the charm and character that define luxurious living in California. It is the quintessential community in a thriving metropolitan area and its appeal is invigorated by its interesting history. Tiburon occupies most of the Tiburon Peninsula, which reaches south into the beautiful San Francisco Bay and is surrounded on three sides by water. It features some of the most magnificent real estate available in the world. Many of the estate homes have breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the world famous skyline of San Francisco.
Main Street in downtown Tiburon is reminiscent of quaint fishing villages and offers numerous small boutiques and fine dining restaurants that cater to both local residents and tourists. The unsurpassed beauty, exclusive lifestyle, and award winning schools make Tiburon one of the country’s best places to live.
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Tiburon obtained its name from Spanish explorers in 1776 who called it “Punta de Tiburon” (Point of Sharks). The area was first inhabited by the Coastal Miwok. They resided here for thousands of years and even left petroglyphs on nearby Ring Mountain. The first non-native settlers came in the 1830s, when John Reed received a land grant from the Mexican authorities for most of southern Marin. By 1884 a post office was opened. As the southernmost point of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Tiburon was the transfer town for cargo and passengers headed to San Francisco on barges. Remnants of the historic railroad town, and the homes from the late 1800s which grew up around it, can still be seen in Old Town Tiburon.
Tiburon’s Main Street is known as "Ark Row." During the 1890s arks were anchored in the cove where sea captains and bohemian artists could enjoy the recreational houseboat lifestyle. Today, the area boasts a charming atmosphere with quaint shops, art galleries, cafes and upscale waterfront restaurants, some with boat-in access. In the 1930s Al Capone made his passage via the Northwest Pacific Railroad to Tiburon, then across the Bay to his imprisonment on Alcatraz Island.
Tiburon has a fascinating history, and much of its culture today can be attributed to its glamorous past.
Location, Climate and Weather in Tiburon
This upscale community lies just 6 miles north of San Francisco and the fast ferry services to the city make Tiburon very conveniently located. Sheltered from the Pacific winds by majestic Mount Tamalpais and surrounded by water on three sides, Tiburon experiences a Mediterranean climate. The temperature ranges from an average low of 38 degrees, to a high of 85. The rainfall averages 47 inches per year. The Tiburon Peninsula is four miles long, one mile wide, and includes ten square miles of San Francisco Bay. The smaller city of Belvedere occupies the south-east part of the peninsula and is contiguous with Tiburon. Angel Island State Park, accessible via a fifteen minute ferry ride, is also part of Tiburon. The town is bordered by Mill Valley and Corte Madera.
Dotted along the hillsides of the Tiburon Peninsula are magnificent clusters of middle to late twentieth century homes with glorious views of San Francisco, Angel Island, Richardson Bay, the East Bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Interspersed amongst these homes are large tracts of land, with considerable biodiversity, which the community has set aside as open space for the enjoyment of the public. There are about 4,000 housing units, most are single family homes.
Tiburon Real Estate
Homes on the Tiburon Peninsula are nothing short of spectacular. There are beautiful, traditional style cottages adapted to contemporary living, architectural masterpieces nestled in the hills, and spectacular engineering marvels situated right on the water. All of the homes located amongst the lush natural environment are complemented by the magnificent views around them.
Most homes in Tiburon were built between 1960 and 1969. In 1970 the average house in Tiburon sold for $55,240; by 2006 that number had risen to almost $1,976,600 for a 36 year compounded rate of return of 10.4%. The dollar rate of return interestingly tells more: the total dollar rate of return since 1970 is about $1,921,000 but almost half of that has come since 1999. Tiburon has a high rate of owner-occupied single family homes, which tends to reflect stability with the residents.
Tiburon is in the Reed Union School District. The district is comprised of three schools: Reed Elementary (grades kindergarten-2); Bel Aire Elementary (grades 3-5); and Del Mar (grades 6-8). All of them have been recognized as "California Distinguished Schools." There is also St. Hilary School, a Catholic primary school for children grades kindergarten-8 located in the district. Reed Union School District continues to be considered one of the best school districts in the nation.
The Reed Union School District schools share the services of a psychologist, a speech and language therapist, an information services coordinator and assistant, part-time aides for limited English-speaking students, a part time school nurse, and a district health specialist. Instructional aides provide assistance in the elementary classrooms at Reed and Bel Aire Schools. Each school is assigned a special education resource specialist, art, music, and physical education teachers, as well as a technology facilitator. Bel Aire and Reed Schools have reading specialists to oversee intervention literacy programs and work collaboratively with the resource teachers in the Learning Center to provide services for all students in need. Spanish is taught in grades 3-8. Parent-paid school bus transportation is available to and from all three sites.
After-school programs are available through the recreation departments in Belvedere/Tiburon and Corte Madera and through Tiburon Peninsula's Soccer League, Softball League, and Little League. Childcare is available through the Belvedere-Tiburon Child Care Center, located on both the Reed and Bel Aire School campuses.
Parents participate in Parent Teacher Association (PTA) sponsored activities and assist in the classrooms, libraries, and other school site locations. They also serve on the School Site Councils and the Board of Trustees. Parents, community members, and local businesses support schools through a parcel tax that provides for small class size and two bond measures to improve facilities. The parent-led Reed Schools Foundation funds Spanish, technology, art, music, physical education, and site enhancements. Please visit the Quick Links section for more information.
Residences of Tiburon are fortunate to attend Redwood High School, nationally ranked and recognized as one of the premier high schools in the nation with some of the State's highest test scores, rates of graduation, and college acceptance. There are a number of private schools in Sausalito. Please visit the Quick Links section for more information.
Transportation and Commuting from Tiburon
Tiburon is located just 15.3 miles from Lombard Street in San Francisco and estimated drive time is 25 minutes without commute traffic. Alternatively, Tiburon is served by Golden Gate Transit which provides bus service to San Francisco as well as ferry service to the San Francisco Ferry Building, which takes approximately 35 minutes. The Tiburon Ferry Landing is located in downtown, on Main Street. A new late night ferry service is also availalbe during summer months.
Activities and Things To Do in Tiburon
Tiburon is a fun place to live, with many restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques; you will never feel bored. With a great walking path along the waterfront, you will admire amazing views of the City, the hills of Marin, marinas, and sailboats on the Bay. Tiburon has waterfront shops and restaurants with visitors coming from all around the world to enjoy the unique ambience.
Outdoor Recreation and Parks in Tiburon
Tiburon offers yachting, biking, jogging, and hiking in the beautiful hills surrounding the community. Locals and tourists enjoy a stroll around the quaint downtown, or walking along the 3 mile pedestrian path bordering Richardson Bay, a 900 acre wildlife preserve and wildlife sanctuary.
Tiburon has two world famous yacht clubs. The Corinthian Yacht Club, situated on Corinthian Island, has fabulous views of San Francisco and Angel Island. The Tiburon Yacht Club is in Paradise Cay on the east side of the peninsula. The two tennis and swim clubs are The Belvedere Tennis Club and The Tiburon Peninsula Club. There is a third yacht club, The San Francisco Yacht Club, in neighboring Belvedere.
Angel Island State Park can be accessed by the Angel Island Ferry from Tiburon and is a haven for biking and hiking. Tiburon is also home to Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, which is committed to advancing the understanding of the world’s complex marine and estuarine environments through research, education, and outreach.
Best Restaurants in Tiburon
Most of the Tiburon’s restaurants are located on or near Main Street and there are many places to choose from. Casual, laid-back eateries along with upscale fine dining all exist in Tiburon. In 2004, Tiburon eliminated trans-fats from all its restaurants. The world class chefs serve healthy, delicious food that you are sure to love. Listed below are restaurants worth trying out. To name just a few: Michael Mina's Bungalow Kitchen, The Caprice, Tiburon Tavern, Servino Ristorante, Petite Left Bank and Sam's Anchor Cafe. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more restaurants.
Nightlife and Entertainment in Tiburon
The Bungalow Kitchen, the new social dining experience and community clubhouse, is open late night on Fridays and Saturdays offering live DJs, divine cocktails, bottle service, and unmatched views. Reflecting Tiburon's historic waterfront days, there's Sam's Anchor Cafe, long famous for fresh seasonal seafood, a fun atmosphere and breathtaking views of Angel Island, Alcatraz and the San Francisco skyline from their outdoor deck. Local favorite, Tiburon Tavern, is one of the best family-friendly restaurant and bars in town and features live music on select nights. Cinelounge is a first-run 3-screen movie theater that serves beer and wine with an elevated menu of local organic food and gourmet popcorn.
The Tiburon International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual event which seeks to provide a greater understanding of the world and its many cultures through the artistic medium of film. It features top quality films from around the world. Its goal is one of cultural enrichment and heightened cultural awareness.
In May, Tiburon hosts the annual Tiburon Wine Festival. With stunning views, world class wines from over 60 premiere wineries, live music, a fabulous silent auction, and complementary cuisine from over 20 restaurants and chefs, the Tiburon Wine Festival is an exciting event.
The fun continues from May through September with Tiburon's Friday Nights on Main, a much loved community tradition. Main Street is closed to traffic for the evening and local restaurants set up tables and food booths outside, creating a warm, inviting venue in which to enjoy live music and wine and dine al fresco. These fun-filled evenings are a great opportunity to mingle with friends and family.
In December, Tiburon throws a Holiday Festival featuring live music, Santa for the kids, shopping, dining, and family activities, all benefitting local charities.
Shopping in Tiburon
Most shopping takes place in the many charming boutique stores in downtown Tiburon or in the Cove Shopping Center, which is closer to Mill Valley. Local business owners help define the community and a variety of business can be seen around town. From fine art dealers and jewelers, to salons and the local candy store, this town will be sure to satisfy all your shopping needs. Check out the Quick Links for Tiburon shops.