Staycations: Destination Marin Coast

September 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Marin County is well known for its luxurious life style, its breathtaking views and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. But, tucked away just north of Stinson Beach is a community that would prefer to remain anonymous, Bolinas.

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It is a destination featured in Lonely Planet's "California Trips."

"I took some risks putting it in there because the good folks of Bolinas would rather not be known as a tourist destination. But, they don't mind locals knowing a little bit about them," said Alison Bing with Lonelyplanet.com.

Perhaps there is no better place to get the flavor of Bolinas than the 2-Mile Surf Shop.

"There used to be a road sign that said 'Bolinas 2 miles' and the locals tore it down years ago to keep people from finding the town," recalled Nick Krieger who works at the surf shop.

It is stories like that that make Bolinas what it is, and its places, like a book store next to the post office on Brighton Avenue, that add to the town's charm.

"It's a bookstore that you pay according to what you think the book is worth. So if you think you're buying a piece of pulp fiction that's not worth a lot, you pay a buck," Bing explained. "If you think, 'This is a masterpiece of literature, this Anne Rice book, I love it so much I would pay $20 for it.' Then, you pay $20."

You will not find any malls in Bolinas. But, you will find the Coast Cafe that serves organic food. This is also a place where police keep a low profile. The town's people prefer conflict resolution. You might just find some wildlife off the beach as well, but surfing is still a main attraction there.

"It's also really known for being a great beginner surf spot and fun long boarding spot. So, there's a lot of people who come out for the weekend to surf," Krieger told ABC7.

Less than one hour away in Sausalito is a place to stay for a reasonable price. Hostel International's Marin Headlands is a converted army base. Guests can take full advantage of being close to nature. Private rooms there start at $60.

But, for those special occasions for just the two of you there is theCavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito. The views from the bar and restaurant rival some of the prettiest post cards.

"It's the setting. You got the bridge, the water, nice weather," Dylan David of San Francisco said.

"We just like to find out new little places around and he actually has talked a lot about this place," Megan Schaumburg added.

Localgetaways.com calls it one of the finest lodges in Northern California.

"Even if you don't stay there, it's definitely worth a visit. They have free walking tours there. They have an amazing spa that's open to the public. They have yoga classes. They have cooking classes," said Mathew Poole of Localgetaways.com.

But, if you do want to stay there, prepare to be spoiled. A section of the lodge's contemporary quarters is reserved for adults only. There is also historic lodging available. Room rates start at $265.

Dominie Lenz with the Cavallo Point Lodge says, "It's a beautiful place to decompress and relax. We're just minutes away from the City and Napa. Wonderful menu. Fabulous location."

More staycation ideas from 7 On Your Side:

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