Our well-designed 1-room cottage on the coast provides a beautiful base for explorations of Pt. Reyes Natl. Seashore's beaches and trails. Large bath, well-stocked tiled kitchen, new bed, everything local, will charm. Set in 1-ac native plant garden.
Spring is coming early on the west marin coast. Dramatic sunsets, blue skies and/or interesting weather, lots of birdlife, and the beginning of wildflower bloom. Enjoy it at the Quail House in Bolinas, an aesthetically pleasing, immaculate, and comfortable retreat located within a unique, well-known 35-year-old garden in the incomparable "hippie-chic" (as one visitor called it) town of Bolinas.
It is an entirely self-contained 400 sq. ft unit that includes the kitchen and bathroom, with its own parking space, visited only by you and the quail. In the surrounding gardens, we grow some of the many threatened native California wildflowers. 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 two-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 recycled 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 2 nights is required, with a cleaning fee of $75.00 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, called unincorporated West Marin, 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.
Be sure to check out Gospel Flats, a local farm stand, which provides the best and freshest local organic produce. 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 will have total access to our entire 1.5 acre site, including the Demonstration Garden, the patio 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. There is an outdoor shower by one of the bathrooms they are welcome to use, and for stays of 6 days to two weeks, a washer & dryer are available as well.
Nothing is off limits except our house, and some guests have even used that in certain situations.
If we are around, we do like to make things a bit easier by showing guests things like 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 all over California, we are sometimes 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 can be helpful with native plant questions and local information.
Quiet, friendly, full of interesting people, a very fine ceramicist specializing in porcelain lives across the street, fishermen on two sides.
Some - mentioned elsewhere. Parking is included. Most guests rent cars at the airport. Transportation from the airport can be arranged by private van service, or a combination of buses will get you to Bolinas. This involves two changes. We can pick you up from the bus stop, which is downtown.
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.
WOW! What a delightful little place Quail house is. Warm and cozy during thunderstorms and bright and airy when the sun is out. Judith left some tasty treats in the fridge. The gardens are beautiful and the landscape is stunning. It is the perfect romantic getaway from any city. We will be returning soon!
My weekend stay at the Quail House was restful and rejuvenating. The space is thoughtfully equipped with all the comforts of home - a kitchen equipped for gourmet cooking, and bathroom with soaps, powders and other accoutrements. I found delicious cornbread w/butter in the fridge waiting for me which was a nice surprise.
Bolinas is charming and small with a strong sense of local community. The beach is great - hidden at the far end of town. You'll find local surfers and fishermen scattered along the water on a sunny day.
Overall I would recommend the Quail House without hesitation to anyone looking for a restful stay in a special house on one of California's beautiful costal towns.
Wonderful place! Even though Judith was out of town, she left delicious cornbread that everyone has been raving about in the reviews we read. Yum! Along with fresh eggs and cream. Kitchen was well equipped and space was as described. Great comfy sheets. Soft/pillow top type bed for those who enjoy the extra cushion.
Dark enough outside the cottage to see tons of stars at night.
Walking distance to the water with great sunset view.
For folks interested in native plants, the nursery had an abundance of seeds to select from, more than what we have found at other native nurseries.
We spent a cozy and delightful Thanksgiving weekend at the Quail House. Judith and her husband, Peter, were very welcoming and paid a lot of attention to detail. The kitchen was well stocked, and Judith left us some home made corn bread, fresh milk, butter, and organic sausages in the fridge. The claw foot bath was especially decadent, especially after a long day's hike and wrestling our 2 year old son to bed. We are both very particular about beds, but the mattress and pillows were very comfortable. For our son, we brought a pack n play and set it next to our bed, but still had lots of room to stretch. For food, we bought local freshly caught dungeness crabs and cracked them open on the dining table one night, and then split a dry-aged rib eye from Sun Marin Farms in Point Reyes another. We went up to Marshall (a pleasant, 45-minute drive north) for raw oysters.
Quail House is conveniently located near miles of pristine hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore. One of our favorites was the Coastal Trail hike just 15 minutes north of the House and starts at the Palomarin Trailhead. There, you can see magnificent ocean bluffs, bishop pine and eucalyptus forests, several beautiful lakes, and, if you hike the full 5.5 miles, you will reach Alamere Falls.
Thanks, Judith and Peter, for an unforgettable stay.
1. Instead of throwing your garbage in the metal bin outside the Quail House, dump it in the larger bins on the road. Otherwise, you will be visited by a few very persistent raccoons.
2. The fire alarms are very sensitive. I would recommend broiling or baking instead of searing meat.
3. Be sure to lock the wooden gates, or else deer will get onto the property and eat all of Judith's precious flora!
4. Overlook Drive and Elm Road are paved. Most of the other roads are not, and we got a flat tire! (i.e. Follow Judith's directions...)
My week long solo silent retreat at Judith and Peter's Quail House was glorious! They were supportive warm hosts even while away for a few days when I got myself into logisitical difficulity. Quail House was exactly what I envisioned from the photos and description, comfortable, plush linens, deep tub, comfortable bed, great kitchen w/medium sized refrig. Their property, books Judith has written and the on site cottage store are incredibly inspiring with 30 yrs. of native plant restoration materials. The locale is RICH with beaches, woods, and hills to hike! Didn't matter that I'd forgotten my hiking book because there were several there to peruse. I brought all my own food but could have bought from their local food stands. (don't know if these are seasonal) Almost forgot to mention the "corn bread" they left me, whoa . . . scrumptious! This one will go down in my life history as one of the best vacations ever because of my accomodations!
Everything was perfect! Communication with Judith was prompt and easy, and she was a delight to meet in person. The Quail House was lovely, the kitchen wonderful for cooking, and the bed was especially comfortable. It was a perfect place to retreat to, and yet a short walk to the beach. What a beach, too! I would absolutely return for another mellow weekend in Bolinas.
This darling house was outfitted beautifully and the setting of the garden and small town were perfection! We so loved it.
Great spot in the small town of Bolinas. House is loaded with everything you would need.
Our stay in the Quail House in Bolinas was the highlight of my husband & my's California Vacation! The drive to Bolinas was quite an adventure (gorgeous views!) - and with a combination of (website hidden) & Judith's thorough directions we found the place with no trouble at all.
We were given the option of as much or as little privacy as we wanted - we opted to say hello to Judith and her husband upon arrival, and she came by and give us a quick run-through of the place. She provided fresh homemade corn bread, local butter, eggs, and half n half for the coffee, a tide calendar so we knew the best time to visit Agate Beach, and plenty of literature about the local area & Point Reyes (as well as her own books she's written, on the bookshelf!).
The location was convenient to sunrise walks at Agate Beach & the ridge overlooking it, we hiked out to Alamere Falls (despite Point Reyes being "closed" due to the gov't shutdown!), and enjoyed some nice relaxing time at the Quail House. We even helped chase a deer out of the property!
All in all, Judith made us feel comfortable and provided great accommodations. The french-press coffee was perfect, fresh eggs were delicious, and the quiet surroundings made for a lovely stay. Huge thanks to Judith and Peter.
What an excellent place to stay while recovering from busyness or business. A close walk to the ocean, to the tide pools, and a short drive to downtown Bolinas or the trails in southern Point Reyes. But the real charm of the Quail House is the place itself. Cozy and spacious, excellent kitchen with everything you'd need for cooking, eating, enjoying the local foods and market produce. Gracious hosts and fantastic gardens to relax in -- filled with native plants and flowers. Hard to imagine a better place to enjoy northern California.