Top Of The Heap
Belvedere means “beautiful view” in Italian, and that is only the beginning. This scenic city is one of the most exclusive communities in the Bay Area and is surrounded on all sides by breathtaking vistas: Mount Tamalpais and the Richardson Bay to the west, Angel Island and the Tiburon hills to the north and east, and the San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate and Bay bridges to the south. Belvedere shares its downtown, its schools, and many amenities with neighboring Tiburon.
How To See It.
See this beauty from the water if at all possible. To see it by car, take San Rafael Avenue right off Tiburon Boulevard, take upward options unless sign says “no through street”. Better yet, call us to arrange a personal tour.
Belvedere is situated on a peninsula that juts into the bay. Consequently, fog often rolls in from the bay, keeping temperatures cooler, with an average range of 40 to 74 degrees. (For the warmer inland cousin of Belvedere, see Ross.)
Expensive. Even “entry level” Belvedere homes can be close $2 million. There are just over a thousand homes, 80 percent of them single family unattached. Many ranch style homes in older section. Several mansion-like homes on south side along water front and on top. Roads are winding with no parking on some stretches. Hilly terrain means few lawns, many tall hedges and fences which hide homes and protect foilage from plentiful deer. Utility lines are being buried during frequent remodeling, addition work. Development is carefully controlled to protect views, sunlight and privacy. Not the place for people who like to paint their house electric lilac.
Belvedere children attend Tiburon Schools. Reed Union Elementary schools and Del Mar Middle School have test scores among the highest in the state. Public high school is the highly regarded Redwood in Larkspur.
The two yacht clubs play a starring role socially, with much lively dinner debate about the competitive rivalry between the two: The San Francisco or the Corinthian, or shall we simply join both? Children are likely to sail, play tennis and/or soccer. Local celebrations range from wine festivals and chili cook-offs to the unique Halloween Pet Parade with animals in costumes, some probably in Prada just for fun.
Uses nearby Tiburon for its downtown, including touristy Main Street (eat a burger on the sunny deck at Sam’s) the Broadway supermarket and the Cove Shopping Center. Tiburon Boulevard can get backed up at rush hour, but while it’s generally not a bad commute to the city by car, it’s an excellent daily ritual to take the 30 minute ferry to San Francisco; a great time to read, work or socialize at the on-board bar.