Over the years this beach has been home to many different people. The Coastal Miwoks were probably the first to live and fish here. In the 1930’s it was home to a speakeasy. From 1950 to the 1998, an artist named Clayton Lewis lived here, and built boats on the beach. The remains of his cottages still scatter the area.
I have been to Lairds Landing many times and have shared the beach with other people only once. The beach used to be accessible only by boat, but now there is a road and trail down to this secluded area. The beach has become more popular because of a new outfit that has opened in Marshall, renting kayaks. On sunny days many people come to roam Tamales Bay on a kayak, which means you will rarely be alone on this beach anymore. If you come by boat it is hard to find; looking on a map it is southeast from Marshall Beach. Visiting is best with a fire permit and some friends on a hot day. At Point Reyes Nation Seashore Visiting Center you can purchase a camping and fire permit for a modest price. You will have to bring food and clothes to swim in. Exploring the buildings is fun but a bit dangerous. The flooring in these structures has begun to fall apart. The beach is cut into the hillside, therefore, rock walls on either side of the beach act as wind breakers.
This is a place where people can go, be as loud as they want, and have a beach to themselves. It’s a place to enjoy life, have fun, and not be bothered.
To get there, take the Central San Rafael Exit off of Highway 101 and turn left on Third Street, which becomes Miracle Mile. After driving through San Rafael, merge right onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Take this road through San Anselmo, Fairfax, San Geronimo, and Nicasio. Pass through Olema and turn right on Marshall Beach Road. Turn left on Laird’s Landing Road. Park on either side of the road and hike down the fire trail that the road turns into.