Belvedere, Italian for "beautiful view", is one of the wealthiest towns in the nation, and is an extension of the Tiburon Peninsula. The town has fabulous views of San Francisco, the South Bay, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, and the East Bay Hills. In fact, almost any direction one gazes from Belvedere one is rewarded with breathtaking vistas.
Belvedere is a small island, less than one square mile in size, surrounded on three sides by the waters of San Francisco Bay and on one side by the Belvedere Lagoon. The population of approximately 1,000 are clustered in three neighborhoods: Belvedere Island; Belvedere Lagoon and Corinthian Island. The city is completely built out with single-family homes and approximately 100 rental units. The terrain is predominantly hilly and lush; many residences were designed by famous architects and/or are considered historically significant.
The weather in Belvedere is extraordinary. Coastal breezes keep the air fresh and clear, and the temperatures are moderate year-round; the average low in January is 42.9 degrees, and the average high in July is only 74.9. A majority of the days in a year are mostly sunny.
The median age in Belvedere is 53. For many years the population had been predominantly 55 and over. However, the number of young families with children is steadily growing, as can be seen by the swarms of children at Belvedere's newly-renovated playground, which has become the most popular children's park in southern Marin.
Most of Belvedere's working population commutes by car to San Francisco (30 minutes to downtown) or by ferry or bus, and many residents work as consultants out of their homes. Because there is no downtown in Belvedere, shoppers find the usual products and services immediately outside the City limits in Tiburon's shopping centers and stores.
Volunteerism is a major way of life in Belvedere. Quieter in temperament than their counterparts in Palm Beach and Manhattan, Belvedere's residents mostly eschew lavish fundraisers and instead roll up their sleeves to help restore historic structures, plant community gardens, mend books for the library, help design the renovation of parks, and serve on the PTA. Residents actively serve on the boards of dozens of Marin County and San Francisco museums, performing arts groups, charities, and community foundations. (courtsey of the http://www.cityofbelvedere.org/cm_today.html)
Belvedere's Reed School District is named after adventurer John Reed (http://www.reedschools.org ) and is widely considered to be Southern Marin's best elementary school system.
Adventurer John Reed was born in Dublin in 1805, and went to sea with a seafaring uncle at 15. He left the ship at Acapulco, where he stayed for six years, learning to speak Spanish fluently, before sailing north to Yerba Buena, later to be named San Francisco. Having befriended many influential people along his journeys, he was eventually issued a land grant from the Mexican government near present day Santa Rosa. Unfortunately the Cotate Indians drove him back to the relative safety of Southern Marin where he married the commandant's daughter and was awarded another land grant, what is most of modern day Belvedere, Tiburon, and parts of Corte Madera and Mill Valley. For more history, please visit the Mill Valley Historical Society.