Tiburon

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States California Tiburon

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Introduction

Tiburon is a small historic town in California's Marin County, located across the bay from San Francisco. Tiburon's Main Street has been preserved as it was when the town was a Gold Rush train town and lumber yard. The scenic "Ark Row" shops are actually housed in turn of the century boat houses that were converted into homes and shops when the lagoon between the Tiburon peninsula and the neighboring island of Belvedere was filled in.

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Sights and Activities

  • Old St. Hilary's Church, 201 Esperanza St. Built in 1888, this Roman Catholic Mission Church sits on a hill above downtown Tiburon. The surrounding land is part of the Tiburon Open Land Preserve. There are several types of flower, including the Tiburon Paintbrush, that grow only on this hill. A number of small paths and trails lead up the surrounding hills to an amazing 360 view of the Bay Area and San Francisco. The Church is open 1PM-4PM Sunday, Wednesday, April–October.
  • China Cabin, 52 Beach Rd. Belvedere. This the social saloon from the S.S.China, a side-wheeled steamer built in 1866 by the William H. Webb shipyard in New York. Commissioned by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the China carried mail and passengers from its home port of San Francisco to Asia. The elegant room was salvaged when the ship became obsolete in 1879 and was burned for scrap metal in Tiburon Cove. The Landmarks Society has restored the interior with 22k gold leaf, walnut woodwork, cut-glass floral window panes, and brass chandeliers. It was designated a National Maritime Monument in 1978. It is open Apr-Oct Sa-Su 1PM-4PM. On Beach Rd about a 5 minute walk along the water past Ark Row.
  • Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum, 1920 Paradise Dr. Tiburon. In 1884, Peter Donahue completed the extension of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad to Point Tiburon transforming it into a major railroad and ferry terminus and maintenance yard. After the last train ran in 1967, the shoreline and the depot building were deeded to the Town of Tiburon for use as open space and a museum. On the ground floor is a railroad and ferry museum featuring a working scale model of the Point Tiburon yard circa 1900-1910. Upstairs is the restored stationmaster's residence, 1913-1940. The Depot is the only surviving dual use terminal west of the Hudson River and was placed the on the National Register of Historic Places. Open Apr-Oct Sa-Su 1PM-4PM.
  • Main St - Tiburon's main street is a long block of historical buildings from the late 1800s to the 1920s.
  • Ark Row - Ark Row is the second block of Main St. Many of the buildings on Ark Row were converted from 1890s-era houseboats.
  • Waterfront Park. A quarter-mile of waterfront grass and walking/bike paths with amazing views of San Francisco, Angel Island, and boats on the bay.
  • Angel Island State Park. A large island in the San Francisco Bay mostly consisting of nature but also including a historic fort and immigration station. Sail here on a sailboat or a ferry (listed above) and enjoy a picnic and a hike with views of Marin, San Francisco, and the bay.
  • Landmarks Art & Garden Center, 841 Tiburon Blvd. Circa 1870, the cottage is the oldest structure on the Tiburon Peninsula. The building is representative of Tiburon's housing during the railroad/farming era, and was home for brick kiln laborers and tenant farmers. Purchased in 1944 by William and Helen Newman, the farmyard was transformed into a terraced garden. Bequeathed to Landmarks 50 years later, the restored cottage, overlooking Richardson Bay, has two galleries for exhibits and receptions. The delightful gardens and paths maintained by master gardeners are based on the Newman's design with many of the original plantings surviving. The Art & Garden Center is open Apr-Oct Su 1PM-4PM.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There

By Car

Take Highway 101 from San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. The 'Tiburon' exit is about 10 minutes from the bridge. Turn right onto Tiburon Blvd. and follow it all the way to the end of the peninsula (about 15 minutes).

By Bus

Tiburon is served by Marin Transit route 219, running from Strawberry and Golden Gate Transit route 8, a weekday commuter line between Tiburon and San Francisco.

By Boat

Tiburon is served by two ferry companies:

Blue and Gold Fleet, +1-415-705-5555. Offers ferry service between Tiburon and San Francisco. Most ferries go to Pier 41 in Fisherman's Wharf, but a few will go to the Ferry Building in the Financial District. Adults $9.50 one-way, children $5 one-way.
Angel Island - Tiburon Ferry, +1-415-435-2131. Offers service to/from Angel Island State Park. Adults $13.50 round-trip, seniors $13.50 round-trip, children $11.50 round-trip, small children (ages 3 – 5) $3.50 round-trip.

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Getting Around

Downtown Tiburon is great for walking and biking. Parking is available at the Bank of America lot at the stoplight before main street ($5/day), at the Ark Row Parking lot at the end of Main Street ($2/hour), and along Tiburon Blvd. 2-hour street parking is also available, though limited.

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Eat

  • Sam's Anchor Cafe, 27 Main St, ☎ +1 415 435-4527. Sam's is as much a historic site as a popular tourist restaurant & bar. Opened in 1920, Sam's is a Bay Area landmark serving favorites such as fish & chips, steaks, salads and sandwiches on a pier overlooking San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. $5–$20.
  • Guaymas, 5 Main Street, ☎ +1 415 435-6300, e-mail: guaymas@srcmail.com. On the same pier as the ferries, this Mexican restaurant serves seafood, vegetables, and meat dishes all with a California flavor. Excellent view. $7–$20 for most main courses.
  • Servino's, 9 Main St, ☎ +1 415 435-2676. California-style Italian dining, specializing in fresh local seafood. Great views, wines, deserts, atmosphere. Reservations recommended on the weekends. $10–$25 for most main courses.
  • Paradise Cafe & Ice Cream. Casual place for a burger, fries, and a shake. Salads and veggie options as well. $5–$7.
  • Rooney's. Truly excellent food in a historic old building. No water view, so the food has to be better.
  • Carrerra's. Italian in a more casual mode. This new restaurant serves some delightful dishes and has a splendid wine cellar.

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Sleep

  • The Waters Edge. 23-room boutique hotel located on a historic pier in downtown Tiburon. All rooms float dramatically over the harbor and many have stunning views of San Francisco and Angel Island. Complimentary continental breakfast and wine hour.
  • The Lodge At Tiburon, 1651 Tiburon Blvd (downtown Tiburon), ☎ +1-415-435-3133, toll-free: +1-800-762-7770, e-mail: reservations.tib@metwestterra.com. This upscale hotel offers 103 rooms, room service, a swimming pool and restaurant (Tiburon Tavern). The Tiburon ferry and bus (and the rest of downtown) are within easy walking distance.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 13:11 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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