Trains! Boats! Bikes! Horses! The town of Tiburon has it all (even if “Blackie” the horse is actually a bronze statue). Located on a peninsula that points south toward San Francisco, there are spectacular water views from almost any point in Tiburon or its sister town of Belvedere. It may be a quick drive from SF, but a visit to this tourist-friendly Marin town almost always feels like a vacation.
photo: Sarah Lynch
Blackie was a horse and a Tiburon fixture for 28 years. Nowadays, his statue marks the entrance to a series of waterfront parks. From the parking lot, take the multi-use paths past McKegney Field; tucked around a corner, you’ll find a hidden playground with areas for toddlers and bigger kids.
Photo by Diane Smith, courtesy of town of Tiburon
This stretch of grass along Tiburon’s waterfront—just past downtown—is the perfect place to let stroller-weary toddlers run around. You can watch the boats on the Bay, including the Angel Island Ferry. It’s also a great spot for viewing the Blue Angels or July 4th Fireworks, though you’ll have to brave the throngs.
Photo by Sarah Lynch
Belvedere Community Park
Belvedere is among the wealthiest zip codes in America, so it’s fitting that the town’s community park is one of the most well-kept kid zones around. Enclosed by a gate and with nearby restrooms, this park features a playground where kids of all ages can romp together. There are also a handful of community toys and cars that kids can explore during their visit.
Fishing off the pier at Paradise Beach Park
This is one of the few public piers where you can fish without a license—and that’s probably the biggest draw to this county park. There’s a small rocky beach that’s perfect for collecting shells and skipping stones. At 19 acres you can also wander through a redwood grove, play a game of horseshoes and spot seals from the pier before sitting down for a picnic lunch.
3450 Paradise Dr.
Photo courtesy of Aly Brown
Ferry to Angel Island
As if the round-trip ferry ride wasn’t enough excitement, Angel Island State Park has lots to offer. Hike or bike around the island or head straight to one of the picnic areas or beaches. Budding history buffs should visit the immigration station or the now-defunct Fort McDowell.
Photo courtesy of Tiburon Railroad & Ferry Museum
Tiburon Railroad & Ferry Museum
It’s hard to imagine these days, but the main road through Tiburon was once a railroad. And this building on Shoreline Park—the site of the Railroad and Ferry Museum—was not only the train station but the home of the station master and his family. It’s now a historic landmark and a preserved look into turn-of-the-20th-century life.
1920 Paradise Dr.
Photo courtesy of Erin Lem
Hike to Old St. Hilary’s Open Space Preserve
For a short, easy hike with spectacular views and plenty of wildflowers, head to Old St. Hilary’s Open Space Preserve. The trail starts at the end of Vistazo Street and winds toward the historic Gothic-style church and then loops back around.
2000 Vistazo Street West
Visit the Candy Store
Handmade chocolates and taffy, novelty gifts, a Jelly Belly bar and old-fashioned penny candy come together in a dizzying array at this corner store on Tiburon’s Main street. If you’re wary of the screaming-kid-in-a-candy-store syndrome, you can choose to stay outside and watch the toy trains in the window.
7 Main St.
Photo by Sarah Lynch
One of the few kid-friendly eating establishments in Tiburon, Waypoint Pizza lets you order at the counter by the pie or the slice. They have a kid pizza on the menu—using carrots and olives to make a smiley face—and 3D movie nights on Thursdays in the back room. With an impressive beer and wine list as well as soft serve ice cream from Strauss Dairy, this maritime-themed pizza joint will satisfy every member of the family.
15 Main St.
Sam’s Anchor Cafe
No trip to Tiburon would be official without a stop in at Sam’s. This Marin County institution has been around since 1920 and the waterfront deck has been the go-to brunch spot for sunny weekends since the 1970s. Skip the over-served weekend crowds and visit on a weekday—the standard kids menu is available all day.
27 Main St.
This updated take on a classic pub is part of The Lodge at Tiburon. Offering all-day dining, the warm, rustic interior is the perfect place to warm up with comfort food after a chilly day on the Bay. The outdoor seating area has umbrellas and a fire pit—usually a draw during the nightly Happy Hour but relatively quiet during lunchtime.
1651 Tiburon Blvd.
Photo Courtesy of Sweet Things
Sip and Snack
Located in the Cove shopping center, Sweet Things bakery and cafe is a great place to stop for a pick-me-up on your way in or out of Tiburon. Order an Equator coffee for yourself and choose something fun to share from the seasonal treats—iced cookies, mini cupcakes, pies, tarts and breakfast pastries.
1 Blackfield Dr.
Stop into this Italian cafe for a muffin or a hot panini on your way to the Angel Island ferry. It can get clogged with tourists but the sidewalk tables are worth the wait when it comes to people-watching. Operated by nearby Servino restaurant, the cafe also has a full wine and espresso menu for grown-ups.
9 Main St.
Do you have a family favorite in Tiburon or Belvedere? Let us know in the comments!