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Welcome To

Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach is an unincorporated community in Marin County on...


Welcome to Stinson Beach

Location and History

Stinson Beach is an unincorporated community in Marin County on the coast and is about a 30-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge on California's Highway 1. It is near important attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, and Mount Tamalpais. The history of Stinson Beach revolves around its geography. Beginning in the 19th century, ranches used the rolling hills to raise milk cows. White Gate Ranch was part of the Throckmorton tenant ranches; only a grove of eucalyptus on Panaoramic Highway marks it's location.
Early in the 19th century the area was accessible only by sailing schooner from San Francisco, by horseback to San Rafael, or on foot over the Dipsea Trail. In 1870, the first dirt road along the coast from Sausalito was completed. Soon tent camps sprang up among the willows, hence the early name, Willow Camp.
The real birth of the community was in 1906 when the earthquake brought refugees from San Francisco who built the first hotel and stores and the first Stinson subdivision was accepted by the County. In 1916, with the opening of the first post office, the name was changed to Stinson Beach, in honor of the largest landowners.
In the 1920's the first motor stage brought visitors to the new beach resorts, Dipsea Lodge and Sea Downs. It was not until the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 that the sleepy resort community began to see much day use of the County Park on the beach.
New residents arrived during World War II, and after the war, the Seadrift Subdivision and the Highlands above town were developed resulting in the Stinson Beach of today. In the meantime, the beach park had passed from county to state hands, and in 1972, it became part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area.
Today visitors to Stinson Beach experience the pleasures of this quiet beach community. Whether hiking, enjoying a picnic, exploring the town, or relaxing on the beach, people continue to find Stinson Beach a great place to escape from the frantic pace of everyday life, just as it has been for over a century.


As of the census of 2000, there were 751 people, 374 households, and 178 families residing in Stinson Beach. The median income for a household was $87,679, and the median income for a family was $105,827.

Public Schools

The towns of Stinson Beach and Bolinas are served by two public school districts; Bolinas-Stinson Union School District on the elementary school level and Tamalpais Union High School District, which includes Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley.
Bolinas-Stinson Union School District is a small, one school district that administers to the educational needs of the communities of Bolinas and Stinson Beach through 8th grade.
Tamalpais Union High School District provides secondary school education to students coming from ten elementary districts in Marin County, including the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District. It includes three comprehensive high schools, all of which have been designated as California Distinguished Schools, and two alternative schools.

Private Schools

Full Circle School is a small, residential all-boys school that provides for special educational needs

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