It’s like being on vacation everyday in this small coastal suburb
Suburban Jungle Head San Francisco Strategist Pamela Goldman loves life in the Belvedere and Tiburon area—and it’s easy to see why!
Belvedere and Tiburon are both small cities—Belvedere is less than one square mile with a population of just over 2,000 people, and Tiburon has just over 9,000 residents. The communities are surrounded on three sides by San Francisco Bay. Though these are technically different towns, Belvedere is accessed from Tiburon and the two share schools and many amenities. In that sense, it feels—and functions—more like one amazing suburb. The area also boasts many famous residents including writer Isabel Allende, skier Jonny Moseley and the late Robin Williams.
What the SCHOOLS are really like
Living in Belvedere and Tiburon, the kids go from kindergarten to 8th grade together. There are approximately 120 to 180 kids per grade so it’s relatively small as well. The combination of sticking together for the first nine years and being in small grades means the kids—and parents—really get to know each other, which, again, is a huge plus.
Reed Elementary: K-2
Bel Aire Elementary: 3-5
Del Mar Middle School: 6-8
Overall, the community tends to send kids to public schools. A few do go to private schools but, for the most part, it’s such a prized school district so most families who move here come for the public schools.
A quick, easy COMMUTE
Most people take the ferry from downtown Tiburon to the Ferry Building in San Francisco—that takes about 20 to 25 minutes. The traffic over the Golden Gate bridge isn’t too bad even during rush hours, so many of our friends and neighbors also choose to drive into San Francisco everyday.
What’s happening AROUND TOWN
There’s so much to do when you’re living in Belvedere and Tiburon! If your kids want a sweet treat, hit the Candy Store on Main Street, Grass Shack for ice cream or Sweet Things Bakery.
There’s also Sam’s Anchor Cafe which, without a doubt, is an area institution. Sam has been voted the Bay Area’s Best Outdoor Restaurant, so it’s very popular among locals and visitors. It opened in 1920 as a watering hole for railroad workers and, during Prohibition, its original owner and namesake Sam Vella used to smuggle whiskey through trap doors under the building. It’s definitely filled with history! On nice summer days, many San Franciscans take the ferry to Sam’s or utilize one of their 100’ docks.
For essentials, hit Nugget Market and Woodlands Markets as well as, of course, our local CVS.
Rustic Bakery is great for breakfast or lunch.
Beyond that, the area hosts tons of local events. We love Blackies Hay Day, an old fashioned country fair, plus the concerts in the park and Friday Nights on Main Street, where downtown restaurants set up tables, play music and host family-friendly activities in the street. The Tiburon Half Marathon is also huge.
OUTDOORS & active
This is, no surprise, a very active community. Tennis is very popular and many residents join either Belvedere Tennis Club or Tiburon Peninsula Club. For the outdoor exercise enthusiasts there’s a path along the water to downtown Tiburon and hiking on Ring Mountain. For the nature-goers there’s the Audubon Center as well as ferry trips to nearby Angel Island. We’re also close to Muir Woods and several beaches.
On the weekends another hotspot are the town fields, specifically McKegney Field which has amazing water views of San Francisco and Sausalito, and currently undergoing renovations. There are also great fields at the local schools. Swing by especially in the fall and spring and you’ll see what feels like the entire town out and about for kids soccer games. It’s a great way to meet people!
Preschools to check out…
The public schools are great, and so are the preschools!
JCC Preschool, located at Kol Shofar Synagogue
Belvedere Hawthorne School
The Little School
The Belvedere Tiburon Child Care Center
Saint Hilary is the only “true” private school in town, if you’re considering that route.
Pamela Goldman (interview)
Town of Tiburon (image)