This unique home, built in 1976 of redwood salvaged from pier 41 in San Francisco, has 6 floors with superb views in all directions. The home is constructed with 40’ tall poles connected by beams to form a unique, multi-level living space with large full-wall windows in every room. The home sits on 10 secluded acres, one-half mile from and 200’ above State Route 1 in Dogtown, on the northern edge of Bolinas. Outside the living room is a three-tiered 1600 sq. foot deck shaded by centuries-old oak trees with spectacular views of Bolinas ridge and the old Vierra Ranch.
The property is a nature lover’s paradise. Sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee in the early morning light you will observe hundreds of birds and other wildlife. Turkeys, quail, woodpeckers, deer, raccoons, bobcats, bluebirds, and hawks inhabit the woods and pastures surrounding the house; while ducks, mergansers, egrets, herons, ospreys, and turtles use the large pond at the bottom of the property. There are hundreds of daffodils and crocuses blooming in the lawn in the spring; honeysuckle, jasmine and roses fill the air with perfume in summer and the apples, pears, plums, lemons and wild blackberries that ripen on the property in fall make for great pies and jams; you are encouraged to pick and bake treats during your stay.
The house comfortably sleeps 4-6 people in beds. There are two bedrooms; a master suite with a pillow-top queen-sized bed on the top level and a second bedroom with two twin beds on the third level. Both bedrooms have full baths. Each has a private deck/balcony. There is ample room for 2 more family members on the fourth level, which is an office suite with a full-sized futon couch, although this level is open to the living room 20’ below and is not private. In addition, two folding foam-core single mattresses are available for extra guests. The office level also has built-in desks and file cabinets that is ideal for the writer or artist to set up as a work area, with large windows and gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape.
The Living room is wall-to-wall windows with bookcases and a wood burning stove. Firewood, including kindling, is provided for use during your stay. The kitchen is very well stocked with most modern conveniences (4 burner glass-top electric stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher) and has many extras (e.g., blender, crock pot, Rommertopf clay cooker, and assorted baking dishes) plus service for 12. We provide coffee, a selection of teas, spices, and varied condiments for your convenience and use during your visit.
The house is very kid friendly and, with 10 acres of woods and pastures, there is ample room to explore right on the grounds. The property would be ideal for small family gatherings, special occasions and events, or simply a romantic getaway. There is a picnic table and a large 4-burner BBQ grill on the deck with propane provided for grilling. Although the house can only accommodate a maximum of 8 overnight guests, special arrangements can be made for larger dinner gatherings on the huge deck. Here, we can provide long tables set under the arching limbs of centuries old oaks for a spectacular dining experience or for other special events. You have the option of cooking your own wonderful meals or enjoy having them catered for you by our “caretaker” who has her own well-known catering business. A new Hot Springs, 6-person spa has been set up on the upper tier of the deck and is available 24/7 for your pleasure.
Life at the Birdhouse was chronicled by Doris Ober who resided at the home for over 25 years with her husband and builder/designer Richard Kirschman. She once described the house as being “out of a fairy tale….resembling an unfolded wooden Chinese puzzle, all unexpected angles and slanted roofs”. Her wonderful book 'The Dogtown Chronicles' (a copy of which is available to read at the house and for sale at local bookstores) recalls the many years of living here with a menagerie of animals, both wild and domestic.
The property is just one mile from the Audubon Canyon Ranch where you can visit a heronry, watch seals and view all kinds of bird life on Bolinas Lagoon; and 10 miles from the Point Reyes National Seashore HQ. Close by are some incredible hikes along the coast, including several trails into the southern end of Point Reyes National Seashore. The property borders the PRNS with one trail starting only 100 yards north of the driveway to the house.
The town of Bolinas is 3 miles south of the property. Bolinas is a beautiful, small coastal village teeming with artists and has a vibrant local music scene. Bolinas has its own museum, art gallery, library, general store, natural food store, and restaurant, as well as a surf shop, bike rental shop, and video rental store. It is also home to the oldest continually operating bar in California, Smiley's Saloon. Founded in the 1850's, Bolinas has long served as a weekend getaway for San Franciscans. It remains a great retreat where you can enjoy barbecued oysters and delicious local fare at the Coast Café, or shop for locally caught fish, abundant organic produce, and Niman meats in the town markets. Bolinas is a dog friendly town and so is our home so bring your pooch and enjoy your stay!
If you appreciate unique places and embrace the out-of-the-ordinary, come visit the Birdhouse and stay awhile; we're sure you'll see why we think it is a one-of-a-kind retreat in one of the last best places in CA!
Our love of Bolinas began in 1981 when we moved from New England to California to join the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, then headquartered on Bolinas Lagoon. Since those days we have continually worked in Antarctica, studying penguins as monitors of changes to the Southern Ocean ecosystem. After more than 3 decades of research, we will soon be retiring and returning to our roots and the place we love most of all, Bolinas, CA.
We had known for several years that when the time came to retire we wanted to move back to Bolinas, where we had lived for 13 years & now have family. We saw this property in November 2011 while visiting family over Thanksgiving, and absolutely loved the unique house & unspoiled surroundings.
The property is such a special place, from the fairy tale house to the private setting, it gives off such positive energy. You are only an hour from San Francisco, but it is so peaceful and relaxing you will feel light-years removed from the busy city. West Marin is a sanctuary of nature reserves, artist studios, small artisan food providers, and peaceful enclaves; here you will feel like you have traveled to a foreign land. This property is well situated to explore the region, or you might find it the perfect place to just hang out on the deck, in the spa or by the fire and enjoy the peace and quiet.
We are located an hour north of San Francisco, in the heart of West Marin, an idyllic region of small coastal villages, lush farmland and spectacular scenery. Our 10 acre property borders the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, with their beautiful beaches & numerous hiking trails. Mt. Tamalpais State Park and Muir Woods are close by. Bolinas, Stinson Beach, Olema and Pt. Reyes Station are all within 10 miles and offer excellent dining choices with fresh seafood, locally grown organic produce and Niman meats, plus several award winning artisan shops, like the Cowgirl Creamery or Tomales Bay Oyster Co., all within a 1/2 hour drive of the property.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event||Minimum Stay|
My Standard Rate
|Refundable damage deposit||$200.00|
|*Rates are for 4 people; additional guests (5-8 max) are $25/person/stay extra cleaning fee.
*There is a 3-night minimum on all 3-day Holiday Weekends (e.g., ML King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.)
*Contact owner for rates on catering, special events, etc.
*Events for small groups only (12 or less).
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay. Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.