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Bolinas is an unincorporated community in Marin County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bolinas is located 10 miles west-southwest of San Rafael at an elevation of 36 feet. 

Located along the coast and accessible only via sometimes unmarked roads, Bolinas is perhaps best known for its reclusive residents; historically, any road signs pointing the way into town on Highway One have invariably been torn down by local residents.

Bolinas and its reclusive reputation feature in the 1981 novel Ecotopia Emerging by Ernest Callenbach. Bolinas is essentially the Howard Hughes of towns. Long known for its live-and-let-live attitude, this spirited community of surfers, poets, artists, writers and aging mavericks about 30 miles up the coast from San Francisco has reached a tipping point of sorts.


Bolinas Museum
Perhaps nowhere is the Bay Area's relentless collision between hippie-van and BMW culture becoming more pronounced than in this naturally beautiful place at the tip of a peninsula, where earthy hand-built houses topped with lurching towers commune with shingled New England-style cottages with achingly sweet gardens.

An unincorporated village (population about 2,500) without a mayor or a city hall, Bolinas has a long history of not only tolerance but also environmentalism, having waged a successful campaign to control development.

Bolinas Bay is a small bay, approximately 5 miles wide, on the Pacific coast of California in the United States. It is in Marin County, north of the Golden Gate, approximately 15 miles (25 km) northwest of San Francisco. The town of Bolinas is at its shore. The bay is fed by Bolinas Lagoon, a large inner harbor protected from the main bay by a spit of land, known as Stinson Beach. Along with nearby Drakes Bay, the bay is considered one of the possible landing spots of Francis Drake in 1579 during his circumnavigation of the world by sea.

Down an unassuming street is The Free Box, a local landmark where free clothes are distributed from a shed painted with rainbows, seems strangely quaint beside the inexorable march of Bay Area wealth that has caused real estate prices here to skyrocket 30 percent in the last year.

The Marin-Bolinas Botanical Gardens (14 acres) are botanical gardens specializing in succulents, located at 250 Mesa Road, Bolinas, California, USA. Telephone: 415 388 5017 and/or (415) 868-1512. They are open to the public on weekends.

Founded in 1982, the Bolinas Museum is the premier fine arts museum in Marin County. Visitors are surprised to find a museum of this caliber in such a country setting. The beauty of the area and its proximity to the metropolitan Bay Area has always attracted highly creative people to coastal Marin communities. The Museum reflects regional interests and the remarkably rich talent pool of artists from coastal Marin, while stimulating the appreciation of visitors from all over the world. Visiting the Bolinas Museum is free to all as are many of its cultural events. Special fundraising events occur throughout the year including the annual Art Auction and the annual holiday Mini Show, both offering for sale exceptional work from well-known Bay Area artists.

The question hanging like summer fog over this topographically insular community, surrounded by county, state and federal parkland, is whether a small place with limited resources, particularly water, can retain its character when real estate is such that venture capitalists are snapping up dun-colored hills where mule deer now graze.

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