Every town and neighborhood in Marin is unique, with its own climate, schools, demographics, commute and lifestyle or vibe. Here are my best descriptions of my favorite towns in Marin, although you really have to see them to appreciate their special characteristics and beauty!
Belvedere: When I think of Belvedere, the first thing that comes to mind is its World Class views. It offers some of the best waterfront living in the country, bar none. It is a highly sought after community, not only because of its stunning natural beauty, but because of its easy SF commute, close-knit sailing community and outdoor lifestyle. The community itself is in transition to younger families, so there are many parks, walking/bike paths, child-friendly community activities and excellent schools.
Tiburon: Tiburon, Belvedere’s neighbor, is also known for its natural beauty, stunning views and excellent schools. The waterfront downtown is like a small European town, with excellent restaurants, unique shops, the Tiburon Yacht Club and daily ferry service to San Francisco and the historic Angel Island. The town offers a lot for families and outdoor enthusiasts, including first class parks, the Tiburon Peninsula Club, libraries, walking/bike paths, a vibrant community center, Blackie’s Pasture and Richardson Bay Sanctuary.
Sausalito: Sausalito lies just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. It is a popular tourist destination, due to its magical and stunning waterfront. Sausalito boasts fine waterfront dining, unique shops and fun events, like the Sausalito Art Festival and Lighted Boat Parade. When we want to “get away” for an afternoon, my family plays tourist in Sausalito, grabbing an ice cream cone from Lappert’s and taking a stroll along the waterfront, watching the boats sail by and catching glimpses of friendly seals and otters poking their heads out of the water to say “hi”. It is also a great place for a romantic date night.
Mill Valley: My hometown of Mill Valley is known for its amazing access to hiking and biking trails and its vibrant downtown. It is a lively center for intellectual curiosity and arts. It is home to the Mill Valley Film Festival, music venues like 142 Throckmorton and the Sweetwater, and popular restaurants and coffee houses. The town has great schools, safe bike paths for kids, a strong community center, many parks, libraries and kid/family centered activities. There is something for everyone in Mill Valley.
Corte Madera: Corte Madera is a great community just north of Tiburon and Mill Valley, with an East side and West side bordering the 101 freeway. It offers easily accessed hiking and biking trails, waterfront living opportunities and some hillside homes with views of Mt. Tam and the bay. It is a very family centric town with parks, walking/biking paths, great schools and a vibrant Community Center and Library. It is home to two upscale shopping centers – The Village and Corte Madera Town Center.
Larkspur: Larkspur is Corte Madera’s “Twin City” with many of the same attributes of Corte Madera, including parks, walking/biking paths, great schools and a small, historic library. It has a quaint historic downtown, with nice restaurants, upscale boutiques, coffee shops and local services. It is a highly walkable town, connected to Corte Madera and Kentfield with a well-maintained bike path.
Ross: Ross is a quaint town nestled in the foothills of Mt. Tam. It is a small, tight-knit community with excellent schools, a picturesque downtown and large, beautiful estates. The town has great access to Phoenix Lake, which offers incredible hiking, biking and fishing. The weather is warm and mild, making this a highly sought-after zip code.
Kentfield: Between Larkspur and Ross, Kentfield is known for beautiful estates, family friendly community and excellent schools, including the College of Marin. It is not as walkable as some of the other communities, but the warm weather and beautiful homes make it a very desirable place to live.
Greenbrae: Greenbrae is known as a great family community area with a super commute, warm weather, great schools and some beautiful views of the bay. It is less than one mile from the Larkspur Ferry and the Marin Country Mart shopping center and Farmer’s Market. Both are great for commuters and family weekend adventurers.