About this listing
Our well-designed 1-room cottage on the coast provides a beautiful base for explorations of Pt. Reyes Natl. Seashore's beaches & trails. Spacious bath, full tiled kitchen, new bed, everything local, will charm. Set in 1.5-acre native plant garden.
New and extremely comfortable queen bed with wool topper and down duvet with organic cotton linens.
Enjoy late summer and fall on the coast at the Quail House in Bolinas, an aesthetically pleasing, immaculately clean, and comfortable retreat for singles and couples. We've had couples with babies or toddlers work very well. It is located within a unique, well-known 35-year-old habitat restoration garden of coastal native plants, in the incomparable "hippie-chic" (as one visitor called it) town of Bolinas.
It is an entirely self-contained 400 sq. ft (20'x20') unit that includes the kitchen and bathroom, with its own parking space, visited only by you and the quail. In the surrounding garden, we grow some of the many threatened native California wildflowers, for seed-collection and for the seasonal enjoyment of our guests and us. It is one large room, with a completely equipped new kitchen area, including refrigerator, butcher block and tiled counters, and new gas stove. The style is "California bungalow," with much attention to detail. The sound of the ocean, 1/3 of a mile away, will rock you to sleep at night.
Please note that we have a three-night minimum.
You will enjoy a new and very comfortable queen size bed with organic sheets and down comforters from the local organic cotton store, a reclining 2-person loveseat, and an unusually spacious bathroom with a clawfoot bathtub and on-demand unlimited hot water for long, luxurious baths. Fine bath products are available for your use, including handmade organic soaps from a creative local soapmaker.
We provide Peets coffee, both caffeinated and decaf, and a wide selection of teas, with cream from a local organic dairy. We stock staples like olive oil and Balsamic and other vinegars and seasonings, and fine dutch cocoa for hot chocolate.When available, we share fresh eggs from our neighbor's backyard hens. If you come during a baking fest, you'll share in the bounty, which frequently includes native nuts and berries, like our huckleberry-hazel-nut muffins, or homemade cornbread. Books on the area are supplied, including two books written by your host, partly about the development of this garden, and published by University of California Press.
Organic, local, salvaged, and re-used materials were used whenever possible in the construction of the cottage. People often ask about the floor, which is made of locally-milled California bay laurel. Tile from the venerable local Heath Tile Factory ornaments the kitchen, with a built-in butcher block counter. The high ceiling and many windows add to the pleasantness of the dappled sunlight changing throughout the day. A large coast live oak surrounds the cottage, providing roosting spaces for our local quail covey and a scenic backdrop for the cottage.
Coffeeberry, coyote bush, redwoods, and many native wildflowers and bunchgrasses, surround the cottage. The garden has been designed with the needs of California quail in mind, and their sweet and varied calls can be heard throughout the day. This is why no pets are allowed.
The Quail House is highly recommended for writers, with a spacious wooden dining table to spread out at, and a small private desk area as well.
Your neighbors are an eclectic assortment of local fishermen, surfboard shapers, woodworkers, one publisher, and several ceramicists. Your host is the proprietor of Larner Seeds, dedicated specialists in California native plants, so plant and bird lovers will find a lot to learn and enjoy on-site as well as in the vicinity.
Nearby Agate Beach is a 1/3 mile walk away, and includes Duxbury Point, a famous Marine Sanctuary for tidepooling and beach walking. It's rocky, so if you prefer a sand beach, go downtown to Brighton Beach.
This town is a unique enclave of dedicated artists, writers, naturalists, and rugged individualists. If you choose, you can be busy all the time, with the many local events taking place in our lively community.
A minimum stay of 3 nights is required, with a cleaning fee of $80.00 and a security deposit of $300.00. A required Transient Occupancy Tax of 10%, added to the nightly price of $190.00, is collected by us to help pay for the fact that over 50% of Marin County, the unincorporated West Marin part, is parks and open space for your enjoyment. Cancellations require one week in advance. Singles, couples, and families with one child under 5 can be accommodated.
Public transportation is provided by West Marin Stagecoach.
Downtown Bolinas is one of the sweetest downtowns in the world (in our opinion). Though we have only (phone number hidden) people in Bolinas, downtown you will find a restaurant, two markets, the library, the post office, several shops, a saloon, a sandy beach, a second-hand store, and an excellent regional museum. A downtown like this is a real center for the community, Explore!
Check out the events and classes at the Bolinas Community Center as well. Here are many interesting cultural events, and some of our visitors have thrown themselves with gusto into local events and classes.
The local saloon, Smiley's, is the oldest continuously operating saloon in California, providing a continuous array of a wide variety of musicians, both local and not.
There are two markets in town, one, The Bolnas Peoples Store, a natural foods store and the other, The Bolinas Market, providing local meats, seafood, and poultry. We also have a great restaurant offering local produce and seafood, the Coast Cafe, as well as a smoothie lounge called Bobolicious.
The Bolinas Museum has top-quality exhibits and a fascinating and informative History Room. Musical events often take place in its courtyard.
On Fridays, Star Route Farms, the oldest organic farm in the state, sells directly to the public as well. We also have a unique used bookstore, Michael's, where you can stock up on used books for $(website hidden) $2 apiece! It is next to the Post Office on Brighton Road. Our local surf shop around the corner provides lessons and surfing supplies.
Located at the southern end of the Pt Reyes National Seashore, we have access to 150 miles of trails. Nearby is the Pt Reyes Bird Observatory, a must-see, as well as Commonweal, a well-known retreat center sponsoring an impressive array of NGOs and with a lecture series packed with interesting speakers. View (email hidden).
A favorite trail begins at Palomarin parking lot at the end of Mesa Road, with access to Bass Lake, a favored summer swimming spot, Alamere Falls, and Pelican Lake. For the intrepid hiker looking for a challenge, these trails can be taken all the way into the northern part of Pt Reyes National Seashore. There are hikes of all lengths and difficulty. We are glad to advise you.
Only an hour's drive from San Francisco, we are surrounded by national and state parks and county open (website hidden). Tamalpais State Park, with its gorgeous views, the summer Mountain Play, and an astounding number of different ecosystems, is accessed just across Hwy One on the Bolinas-Fairfax Road and includes redwoods, serpentine, grasslands, and chaparral, with numerous beautiful trails available. Hikers will never run out of hikes around here, and surfers will be happy as well.
We are 10 minutes north of Stinson Beach and about half an hour from the renowned Muir Woods, where mighty redwoods can be viewed, a good stop along the way, with a great cafe and bookstore as well.
We love our area and enjoy sharing it. We can advise on hikes and restaurants or leave you to your own adventures.
Guests have the use of their own private garden surrounding the Quail House, as well as total access to our entire 1.5 acre site, including the Demonstration Garden, the comfortable shady patio in the courtyard by our house, their own private raised deck, their own private parking space, the pond area by the Larner Seeds Office, and all the nooks and crannies and areas of special plantings. You are heartily encouraged to explore! There is an outdoor shower by one of the bathrooms that guests are welcome to use, and for stays of over 3 days, a washer & dryer are available in the office bathroom.
The whole garden is available, and we love to see guests finding their own favorite garden spots.
Interaction with Guests
As far as interactions with guests, we try to follow your lead. If we are around, we do like to orient guests to the location as well as: how the heater works, how the couch reclines, which direction is Agate Beach - and to answer any questions.
For those times when we are gone, we have detailed instructions in the folder marked "Welcome to the Quail House." Because of my work with native plants in areas all over California, we are sometimes of necessity out of town during guest stays, but we are always available by phone. Also, a new grandson in LA sometimes requires out presence. Guests arriving during those times have done fine (if they use our driving directions)!.
The Larner Seeds Staff is here 3-4 days a week, working in the field the rest of the time, but they are helpful with native plant questions and local information.
Quiet, friendly, full of interesting people. A fine ceramicist specializing in porcelain lives across the street and is glad to show her work. Two fishermen live on the block as well as a famous surfboard shaper. Across the way is a well-known artist and en plein air painter, who also has a gallery downtown.
Some - mentioned elsewhere. Your own parking space is conveniently located to the Quail House, and is marked by the quail sculptures on the gate. Most guests rent cars at the airport. Transportation from the airport can also be arranged by private van service from Bolinas, or a combination of buses will get you to Bolinas. We can pick you up from the bus stop, which is in downtown Bolinas.
Other Things to Note
Guests who wish to sample the life of the town are advised to either pick up a copy of our local paper, the Hearsay News, or find it (email hidden)asses in all kinds of things are available at the Community Center, and there are many interesting cultural events to be enjoyed as well.
We don't allow pets because we foster the quail! and other local birds, butterflies, and creatures. We don't allow smoking, and we do ask that you leave the dishes washed and put away and the kitchen in a reasonably clean condition.
Please, no cooking pans or pots on the wooden surfaces, including the dining table and the butcherblock counter; please use the supplied trivets and/or the tiled surfaces for hot or greasy pots and pans.
No pets, due to our policy to encourage the local quail population, and also, no smoking
For stays of 6 days and over, we are glad to supply new towels and the use of our washer-dryer. Just ask.
The cottage was beautiful and it was clear that Judith paid attention to the details. Lots of information about the surrounding areas (hikes, beaches, etc) was provided, and Judith was always available for any questions. A great host!
Judith and Peter were wonderful, welcoming hosts. They provided a wealth of information about the house and surrounding area that guided us to relaxing nature spots and friendly places to visit in town. Their thoughtful touches, like leaving farm fresh eggs for us in the fridge and tide manuals in the cottage, removed all of the stress of traveling. The house and garden itself was beautiful, cozy, and well-provided with all the essentials. This is a quiet, serene, relaxing place with lots of natural beauty to explore. If you're looking to get out in nature with endless trails for hiking and biking, and beaches for swimming / surfing, or just a peaceful place to relax and get away for a while, I couldn't recommend it more.
We were greeted by Judith's husband, Peter and were warmly shown details of the cottage. We found Judith next door with her hands in the soil of her garden. We didn't realize she is a "well published" author of several books on native plants.The cottage was every bit as nice as it appears advertised. It is situated in a lovely garden, very private and is very clean, nicely decorated with a wonderful well stocked kitchen. We loved the quaint little town of Bolinas, only a couple of miles away. We enjoyed dinner and breakfast at the wonderful Coast Cafe. Not far from the cottage is a wonderful bird conservatory and some great hiking to the beach. We also spent a day hiking the beach at Point Reyes National Park which is only about 20 minutes north of Bolinas. We totally enjoyed our weekend and highly recommend this property. Thank you Judith!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Judith's Charming Cottage. The surrounding is tranquil, beautiful and peaceful. What a delight to walk out into the gardens in the morning and awaken to the many birds that find their retreat here as well.
We slept soundly and were amazed by how quiet the setting is, and yet a close drive to many nearby attractions.....Point Reyes being a favorite!
The cottage is equipped with everything you would need and is exceptionally clean.
Peter and Judith kindly assisted us in locating this hidden gem, as we were unclear with the directions. They retrieved us from the local farm stand and escorted us to the cottage well after 8pm in the evening.
The shower is delightful and the kitchen has nearly all that you would need. What a treat to find delicious homemade corn bread and fresh eggs, making for a wonderful breakfast our first morning.
We would definitely recommend this sweet cottage as a quiet retreat for renewal and restoration. Thank you for your kind hospitality and offering such a lovely space.
Fresh eggs and homemade cornbread, we could not have hoped for a warmer welcome at the Quail House. Made out of wood with a pointed roof, it resembles the experience of staying in a tent, but mind you, the most luxurious one I have ever stayed in. Heating, a powerful shower, a luxurious bathtub, and a gas stove to prepare the wonderful California produce for sale at nearby farm stands. And if you're lucky, you'll see some quails darting through the flowers just outside the house.
The cottage is on the same property as the owners' house, but there is no lack of privacy. For the active, there are plenty of trail heads just a short drive away; I recommend taking Mesa Road to its very end for a moderate hike to Alamere Falls of about 8 to 9 miles round trip. Bolinas, the closest village, is a walk away with grocery stores and easy access to the beach. We've had a wonderful time.
What a beautiful place--the cottage, the gardens, the neighborhood, the Big Mesa, Bolinas. I got exactly what I needed out of my stay, from quiet and comfort indoors to conversations with deer every time I went for a walk. I would go back in a heartbeat.
Things that were excellent: fresh eggs (and I met the chickens), stellar views out over the ocean within a few blocks, ridiculously comfortable furniture, the gardens around the cottage, the clawfoot tub, reading chairs outside, salamanders under the planters, the woodwork inside, the instructions (maps, tide information for Agate Beach, a two-minute drive away), proximity to more hiking than you could do in a year, and Judith herself (friendly, funny, and gave me the space I wanted after we met).
Definitely follow the detailed directions to get there as some of what map sites claim are roads are little more than paths!
A truly beautiful sanctuary. Judith was very accommodating and the space is absolutely lovely.
About the Host, Judith
I have been the proprietor of Larner Seeds, specialists in California native plants and seeds, for the last 35 years. We designed the Quail House to be in a private part of our Demonstration Garden of all California native plants, and we consider it an opportunity to give people the experience of living comfortably in a "habitat restoration garden."
I've written two books with UC Press on the subject and many articles, and I'm working on a third. I have a passion for my work and love to share it, (given advance notice).
I'm married and live here with my husband Peter. We are fervent explorers of California's many beautiful places.
Our business brings many wonderful people to our door, and now the Quail House does as well. We are happy to interact with you, or not, depending on your needs. The desire for total privacy is easily accommodated.