Surrounded on three sides by San Francisco Bay, Belvedere consists of two islands -- the larger being Belvedere Island, the smaller being Corinthian Island (which is shared with neighboring Tiburon and connected to Tiburon by causeway)-- and a lagoon (Belvedere Lagoon) situated between the two islands. Narrow, winding roads circle the two islands, with hedges and lush foliage along the route, and momentarily opening onto spectacular water views.
Although both Belvedere real estate and Tiburon real estate have become very much alike, with their premier real estate prices motivated by spectacular views, they grew up differently. There were distinct differences between the towns; while Belvedere was home to the rich; Tiburon, in its days as home base for a railroad, was considered 'the other side of the tracks.'
Belvedere celebrated its 100th year as a city in 1996. Marin's smallest incorporated community is also one of the most exclusive. There is just enough room for some of the most expensive homes in Marin and the historic San Francisco Yacht Club.
Belvedere is a treasure trove of different architectural styles; from the tremendous Queen Anne and Mission Revival homes of the late 1800's to more modern Japanese-style and Mediterranean villas. The two elementary schools and one middle school in the local Reed Union School District are rated in the top one percent among California schools.
Belvedere, which translates in Italian to 'beautiful view', was well and aptly named, with exceptional views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and Belvedere Lagoon. The beauty is quite breathtaking.