Tiburon: Beauty by the Bay

By Herbert Reich

At the tip of Marin County sits the idyllic town of Tiburon. This town is only spread across 13.2 square miles, but is far from insignificant. In 2004, Tiburon became the first city in the world to eliminate trans fats from all of its restaurants and in 2006, the town launched the Get Ready 94920 program. This was an effort to be the first city in the country to train all of its citizens in disaster preparedness.

The community is predominantly white upper middle class young working couples and families, although only about one-fourth of the households include children. All three of the town's public schools (two elementary, one middle) have been named "California Distinguished Schools" by the state Department of Education.

Tiburon boasts an impressive exposure to wildlife and natural beauty. Hikers and bicyclists can often be found traveling along the San Francisco Bay Trail. And birdwatchers can see a wide array of species in the Audubon Society's Richardson Bay Sanctuary. The area also contains several rare and endangered plant species, including the Indian paintbrush and the Tiburon Jewelflower.

Tiburon, as with many cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, boasts of an interesting past. Inhabited for thousands of years by Native Americans (Coast Miwok), the area was given its name by a Spaniard (Lt. Juan Manuel de Ayala) in 1775, when he anchored his ship nearby. He named it Punta del Tiburon (or Shark Point). Prominent early settlers included John Reed, Dr. Benjamin Lyford and Peter Donahue.

Workers and lovers of spirits out flanked Prohibition by relaying signals from railroad workers when revenuers boarded a train or ferry headed for town. By the time they got to Tiburon, the seamen, sailors, railroad workers, and cannery employees were all sitting in prayer meetings, sipping tea.

Rail and ferry services were essential in the town's early days. Although the railroad is long gone, ferry travel for commuters to and from San Francisco continues. Ferries also transport sight-seers from nearby Angel Island on a regular basis.

Planning for growth as been challenging for this town perfectly situated. Strict rules have been placed on development, in an effort to avoid "eyesores" and preserve neighbors' views. Major tracts of land are currently being developed. One of the most challenging aspects of development has involved traffic planning.

In 2000, Tiburon town officials decided to renovate Main Street. Since then, shops and restaurants have been made handicapped-accessible, the walkway along the water side of Main Street was completely rebuilt, and a waterfront park was created. As a result, tourism has never been more profitable.

When the fever to visit the Northern Bay area infects you, be sure you look into the Larkspur Hotels family. Their dedication to the region, and to unparalleled comfort are sure to make your stay in the region a memorable one.

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