TIBURON, Calif. (AP) — Sometimes you want to stride the streets of San Francisco, reveling in everything the hip, high-energy city has to offer. And sometimes you just want to sail away to a sleepy little village and eat crab cakes.
Luckily, you can do both.
All it takes is a quick ferry ride to Tiburon, a waterfront town across the bay from San Francisco. Whether you're on a business trip or any other kind of visit to San Francisco, with a few hours to spare, you can have a meal here, poke through the galleries and shops of Main Street, and sit back and enjoy the view.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Blue & Gold Fleet makes regular runs to Tiburon, leaving from the Ferry Building and Pier 41. The ride takes about 25 minutes, longer if you're on one of the routes that includes stops at Angel Island and/or Sausalito. Tickets are $11.50 for adults, one way, and can be purchased online. No reservations required; boarding is on a first-come, first-served basis. The company recommends getting to the ticket office at least 30 minutes before departure. There's a bar on board selling snacks and beverages so you can create your own mini booze cruise, http://m.blueandgoldfleet.com/ferry-routes-schedules/tiburon/ . Just be sure to note the timing for last ferries of the day going back so you don't get stuck on the other side.
WHERE TO EAT
The San Francisco ferry docks close to Main Street, which is lined with restaurants. A classic is Sam's Anchor Cafe, where you can dine outside on a deck perched above the water; the crab cakes are a standout. Reservations are a good idea and can be made at the website, http://www.samscafe.com/index.html . If you want to check out the weather, click here for the Sam's Cam live view, http://www.samscafe.com/cam.html . A more casual option is the Cafe Accri, right next to the ferry landing, http://m.mainstreethub.com/caffeacri# .
WHAT TO DO
Blessed with usually mild weather, Tiburon is an ideal place to amble. To walk off those crab cakes -- or work up an appetite -- check out the stores and galleries of Main Street. Follow the street around the bend and you'll find yourself in Ark Row, so named because of shops housed in turn-of-the-century boat houses that once floated in a now-filled-in lagoon. You'll find a couple of wine tasting rooms, a guitar shop, clothing boutiques and some home decor shops among other businesses.
If your visit falls between April and October, you can check out the Railroad Ferry & Depot Museum. Downstairs, there's a model of Tiburon when it was a railroad town. Upstairs, you'll find the place restored to how it looked when it was the station master's house with period details. Also worth a visit is the China Cabin, which used to be the saloon of the PS China, a side wheel steamer rigged for sail that serviced the San Francisco-Far East route in the 19th century. For more information on hours and group tours, visit the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society website, http://landmarkssociety.com/ .
Michelle Locke tweets at https://twitter.com/Locke_Michelle