Annie Leibovitz asks $9M for San Francisco coastal retreat: See photographer’s dream home

Annie Leibovitz is selling her 65-acre Northern California coastal retreat for nearly $9 million — a property so picturesque that another famous photographer, Ansel Adams, stopped there back in the 1930s to take pictures.

Adams photographed a weathered barn at Leibovitz’s farm in Bolinas, known as The Hideway, during his travels through the West, long before legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz purchased the same property, which sits where the Pacific Ocean meets Mount Tamalpais in Marin County.

The residential compound and high-end equestrian facility takes in views of Bolinas Lagoon preserve, Stinson Beach, Mount Tamalpais and the Pacific Ocean.

The property’s history traces back to the time of the original settlers in Bolinas. The coastal community is about an hour north of San Francisco.

“This legacy property features the rare combination of history, rich agricultural opportunities, and an unrivaled equestrian paradise,” the official property site states. “... The Hideaway has long captivated the world.”

One of the photos Adams took at the property was featured in a traveling Smithsonian exhibition.

Before Leibovitz, 74, bought the property in 2019, it was owned by the late San Francisco financier Warren Hellman, founder of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. After Hellman purchased the farm, which dates back to the 1800s, he converted an unused building into a music studio and one barn into a music venue to host private concerts, according to Compass real estate firm.


Hellman died in 2011. The Hideaway was passed onto the property’s caretakers, who then sold it to Leibovitz.

“I’ve spent many holidays with friends in Bolinas,” Leibovitz said in a statement via email. “When the children were born we would go together and they would surf and pick up shells and stones along the shore. And I would occasionally look for ‘the place.’ ”

For horseback riders, the property features a sprawling 100-by-200-foot, year-round riding arena that is perfect for training and a state-of-the-art seven-stall horse barn with offices. There are additional horse and livestock stalls and pastures on the land.

There is plenty of opportunity for sustainable food production on the land, according to the property listing. Stone planting terraces with new drainage and irrigation have been recently added.

Four residential structures have been added to the family compound, offering seven bedrooms. A 1920s, four-bedroom, light-filled home is highlighted by a classy kitchen. A guest cottage has soaring ceilings as well as a workshop. The residential compound is completed by a two-bedroom caretaker’s residence.

“The nearby expansive hay and dairy barns have been transformed into an ideal venue for special occasions and events with a performance stage, banquet hall and home to Hellman’s famed recording studio,” the property listing says.

Leibovitz bought the property when it seemed her oldest daughter was going to go to college in the Bay Area, and was involved in farming and agriculture. Leibovitz had also dreamed of returning to California to live.

“We were told of this extraordinary property that from the top of the hill had views of the lagoon and bay and the coast that are magnificent,” she said. “It has its own special climate. Everything can grow year round. There were 65 acres with an old milking barn that Ansel Adams had photographed. It had been used as a gathering place for country and folk music concerts in its day. We planned to partner with a legendary farmer over the hill to bring the place back to its former self as a working and teaching farm.”

Things don’t always go as planned, she added.

“Then all three of my girls decided to go to college in the Northeast.”

Leibovitz put spent $2 million on infrastructure upgrades, renovating the main residence and adding a new kitchen, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The co-listing agents are Alexander Fromm Lurie and Nick Svenson of Compass.

“The Hideaway has an indelible place in history — both for the San Francisco Bay Area as well as globally,” Lurie said in an email. “This special space has served as a launching pad of creative inspiration for renowned musical and visual artists of international repute.”

Leibovitz worked for Rolling Stone magazine for many years and then for Vanity Fair. She is known for her iconic portraits of celebrities, including the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and many more.