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Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
is an east–west arterial road
An arterial road, or arterial thoroughfare, is a high-capacity urban road. The primary function of an arterial road is to deliver traffic from collector roads to freeways, and between urban centres at the highest level of service possible. As such, many arteries are limited-access roads, or feature...
in Marin County, California
Marin County is a county located in the North San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. As of 2010, the population was 252,409. The county seat is San Rafael and the largest employer is the county government. Marin County is well...
, running from just west of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
The Richmond – San Rafael Bridge is the northernmost of the east–west crossings of the San Francisco Bay in California, USA, connecting Richmond on the east to San Rafael on the west end...
(where it intersects with Interstate 580
Interstate 580 is an 80-mile east–west Interstate Highway in Northern California. The heavily traveled spur route of Interstate 80 runs from San Rafael in the San Francisco Bay Area to Interstate 5 near Tracy in the Central Valley...
) to the trailhead for Point Reyes Lighthouse at the end of the Point Reyes Peninsula.
It is named for the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
explorer Sir Francis Drake, whose ship The Golden Hinde
landed somewhere along the Pacific coast of North America in 1579, claiming the area for England as "Nova Albion." Drake's landing place has often been theorized to be at what is now called Drakes Bay
Drakes Bay is a small bay on the coast of northern California in the United States, approximately 30 miles northwest of San Francisco at approximately 38 degrees north latitude. The bay is approximately 8 miles wide...
on Point Reyes, the western terminus for the boulevard.
In the 1960s, the majority of the route of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard was to be expanded into State Route 251; however this plan was not implemented due to strong opposition by environmental groups.