Marin County, California

Area Guide

History

Marin County is part of the original 27 counties of the state of California. For thousands of years the Miwok Indians inhabited Marin. Sir Francis Drake first arrived in Marin in 1579­ and deemed the land ‘Nova Albion’. In 1817 the first Spanish settlement was founded in Marin out of response to the Russians building Fort Ross in the neighboring present-day Sonoma County. San Rafael, located in the south potion of Marin, was the 20 th Spanish mission and was claimed just 4 year prior to Mexico gaining their independence from Spain.

Present-day Marin County consists of many historical sites and museums in appreciation and preservation of Marin’s history,

 

Marin History & Preservation Resources
www.marin.org/comres/history.cfm

Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society
1550 Tiburon Blvd., Suite M
Tiburon, CA 94920
www.landmarks-society.org
(415) 435-1853, ext. 2

Fairfax Historical Society
www.marindirect.com/fxhistory

Mill Valley Historical Society
www.millvalleyhistoricalsociety.org

Nicasio Historical Society
P.O. Box 111
Nicasio, CA 94946  
(510) 524-8920

Novato Historical Guild
Novato, CA 94945  
www.cityofnovato.org/Index.aspx?page=387#historical%20guild
(415) 897-4320

Richardson's Bay Maritime Association
www.rbma.ne

San Anselmo Historical Museum
www.sananselmohistory.org
(415) 258-4659

 

Sausalito Historical Society
www.sausalitohistoricalsociety.com
(415) 289-4117

Tomales Regional History Center
www.tomaleshistory.com
(707) 878-9443


Parks and Recreation

Marin is positioned so nicely along the gorgeous west cost, with an inlet of water along the south and southeast side of the county, and is host to marvelous beaches and state parks. Enjoy a picnic along a hiking trail or take out the whole family for a splendid beach day and maybe some sea creature sightings, like the migration of the Pacific Grey Whale. Let a Marin County beach set the perfect scene for you.

Angel Island State Park
www.angelisland.org
(415) 435-1915

Blue Waters Kayaking
12944 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Inverness, CA 94933
www.bwkayak.com
(415) 669-2600

China Camp State Park
4 miles east of San Rafael on North San Pedro Road (San Pablo Bay)
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex
(415) 456-0766

Headlands Institute – Retreat & Conference Center
Golden Gate National Recreation Area - Marin Headlands
Sausalito, CA 94965
www.headlandsinstitute.org
(415) 332-5771

McNears Beach Park
201 Cantera Way
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/PK/ParkRes/

Mill Valley Parks and Recreation
180 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, CA 94941
www.cityofmillvalley.org
(415) 383-1370

Muir Beach & Muir Beach Overlook
www.parksconservancy.org
(415) 388-2595

Novato RV Park
1530 Armstrong Avenue
Novato, CA 94945
www.novatorvpark.com
(415) 897-1271

Paradise Beach Park
3450 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920
www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/PK/ParkRes/

Point Reyes National Seashore   
www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/beaches.htm
(415) 464-5100

Samuel P. Taylor State Park
8889 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Lagunitas, CA 94938
(415) 488-9897

Stinson Beach
www.nps.gov/goga/stbe.htm
Information & Weather:  (415) 868-1922

Tomales Bay State Park
State Route Highway 1
Inverness, CA 94937
www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex
(415) 669-1140

 


Sports and Activities

 

Marin County residents love to enjoy sports and other recreational activities. From skate parks to team sports and horseback riding and cycling, Marin has some athletic fun for you. There are also many activity centers offering group classes or indoor and outdoor physical activities.

City of Novato Athletics
http://www.teamsideline.com/

Five Brooks Ranch
8001 State Route Highway 1
Olema, CA 94950
www.fivebrooks.com
(415) 663-1570

Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC)
733 Center Boulevard
Fairfax, CA 94930
www.marinbike.org
(415) 456-3469

Novato Gymnastics Center
950 Seventh Street
Novato, CA 94945
www.facebook.com/
(415) 899-8279    

 

Novato Skate Park
1200 Hamilton Pkwy
Novato , CA 94949
(415) 493-4753

Point Reyes Outdoors
11401 State Route Highway 1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
www.PointReyesOutdoors.com
(415) 663-8192


Attractions and Activities

 

Marin offers attraction ranging from Museums and art centers to landmarks like the splendid Golden Gates Bridge. Marin offers a rather rich history and culture that can be found in the articles and items in the many museums and historic home and sights.

Art and Garden Center
841 Tiburon Blvd.
Tiburon, CA 94920
(415) 435-1853

Agricultural Institute of Marin
76 Pablo Avenue, Suite 200
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.marinagriculturalinstitute.com
(415) 472-6100

 

Bay Area Discovery Museum
Fort Baker
557 McReynolds Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
www.baykidsmuseum.org
(415) 339-3900

 

Bay Model Visitor Center
2100 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA 94965
www.spn.usace.army.mil/bmvc
(415) 332-3871

Bear Valley Visitors Center
Located off Highway 1, 0.5 miles west of Olema,
CA along Bear Valley Road
www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm
(415) 464-5100

China Cabin Maritime Museum
54 Beach Road
Belvedere, CA 94920
(415) 435-1853

Golden Gate Bridge
www.goldengatebridge.org/visitors
Dial 511 (within the Bay area)
(415) 455-2000 (outside the Bay area)

Marin County Open Space District
Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 415
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.marinopenspace.org
(415) 499-6387

Marin History Museum
Located at the Boyd Gate House
1125 B Street
San Rafael, CA
www.marinhistory.org
(415) 454-8538

Mission San Rafael Arcangel
1104 Fifth Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.saintraphael.com
(415) 456-3016

Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, CA 94941
www.nps.gov/muwo
(415) 388-2596

Novato Historic Old Town
www.tourism.novato.org
(415) 897-1164

Old St. Hilary’s Historic Preserve
201 Esperanza Street
Tiburon, CA 94920
www.landmarks-society.org
(415) 499-6387

Olompali State Historic Park
Novato, CA 94948
www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex
(415) 892-3383

Bear Valley Visitors Center
Lighthouse Visitor Center
Point Reyes, CA
www.nps.gov/pore
(415) 669-1534

Railroad Ferry Museum
1920 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920
(415) 435-1853

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve
www.marinopenspace.org
(415) 499-6387

San Francisco Theological Seminary - San Anselmo
105 Seminary Road
San Anselmo, CA 94960
www.sfts.edu
(415) 451-2800
(800) 447-8820

YMCA Point Bonita Outdoor & Conference Center
981 Fort Barry, GGNRA
Sausalito, CA 94965
www.pointbonitaymca.org
(415) 331-9622


Theatre, Culture and The Arts

 

Residents of Marin County are overwhelmed by the multitudes of art and music that are in the community. Marin is home to several art galleries and talented musicians of unique sorts—like the Steel Jam who demonstrate the beauty of the steel pan (a steel drum from the Caribbean island of Trinidad). If you want to enjoy good music and pleasing visual crafts, then Marin has a niche for you whether you’re the artists or an appreciative spectator.

Art Works Downtown
1337 Fourth Street (between C & D Streets)
San Rafael, CA 94901
 www.artworksdowntown.org
(415) 451-8119

California Film Institute
Contact: Beau Blanchard,
Development Associate
www.cafilm.org
(415) 526-5836

Falkirk Cultural Center
1408 Mission Avenue
San Rafael , CA 94901
(415) 485-3328

Marin Indian: Museum of the American Indian
2200 Novato Boulevard
Novato , CA 94945
www.marinindian.com
(415) 897-4064

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
Novato Arts Center at Hamilton Field
500 Palm Drive
Novato, CA 94949
(415) 506-0137

 

The Dance Palace
503 B Street
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
www.dancepalace.org
(415) 663-1075

Falkirk Cultural Center
1408 Mission Avenue
San Rafael, CA
www.falkirkculturalcenter.org
(415) 485-3328

Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.marincenter.org
www.co.marin.ca.us/visitorservices
(415) 499-7009

Marin Symphony
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite 409C
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.marinsymphony.org
(415) 479-8100

Mountain Play
177 E. Blithdale
Mill Valley, CA 94942
(415) 383-1100
www.mountainplay.org

Steel Jam
Contact:  Mary Spalding
mary@steeljam.com
(415) 731-3550
www.steeljam.com

Infineon Raceway
29355 Arnold Dr.
Sonoma, California 95476
(800) 870-7223
www.infineonraceway.com


Shopping, Dining, Leisure and Attractions

 

Marin County offers a broad range of shopping opportunities from major department stores, home décor, and electronic stores, to unique antique shops, or hand-made craft boutiques.

Old Town Novato
Grant Avenue
Novato , CA 94945
http://www.downtownnovato.com/

The Village at Corte Madera
1618 Redwood Highway
Corte Madera, CA 94925
www.VillageatCorteMadera.com
(415) 924-8557

Town Center Corte Madera
100 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA 94925
http://www.shoptowncenter.com    
(415) 924-2961

Vintage Oaks at Novato
208 Vintage Way  
Novato, CA 94945
www.shopvintageoaks.com
(415) 897-9999

Antique & Collectables:

Olema Trading Company
9940 Highway 1
Olema, CA 94950
(415) 663-1547

AD INFIN ITEM
Contact:  Michael Bates
39 Pleasant Lane
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.adinfiniteminc.com
(415) 459-1146

Department and Clothing Stores:

Northgate Mall
5800 Northgate Mall
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.ShopAtNorthgate.com
(415) 479-5955

 

Art, Crafts, & Photography

 

Art Works Downtown, Inc.
1337 Fourth Street (between C & D Streets)
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.artworksdowntown.org
(415) 451-8119

Vita Collage
11101 State Route 1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
www.vitacollage.com
(415) 663-1160
 

Beulah Gallery
Highway 1 at Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Olema, CA 94950
www.beulahgallery.com
(415) 663-0380

Discover Art on Fourth
Fourth Street in Downtown San Rafael
www.ArtonFourth.com

 

Dining

Come experience excellent dining endeavors for all taste buds and occasions. In Marin County there are casual and fine dining locations, catering services, carry out, dessert shops, coffee and tea cafes, organic options and fresh from the farmer’s market products, as well as bars and night life for the mature crowd.

An Affair to Remember Catering
196 Market Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
aatrcaters@aol.com
www.remembercatering.com
415-459-6505

Black Point Bar & Grill
Located inside StoneTree Golf Club
9 StoneTree Lane
Novato, CA 94945
www.stonetreegolf.com
(415) 209-6090

Boudin SF at The Village
1734 Redwood Highway
Corte Madera, CA 94925
www.boudinbakery.com
(415) 737-1849

BJ’s Restaurant
5800 Northgate Mall, Suite 159
San Rafael, CA 94903-3691
www.bjsbrewhouse.com
(415) 755-6250

Cowgirl Creamery & Cantina
80 Fourth Street
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
www.cowgirlcreamery.com
(415) 663-9335
(866) 433-7834

Deer Park Villa Restaurant and Catering Service
367 Bolinas Road
Fairfax, CA 94930
www.deerparkvilla.com
www.deerparkvillacatering.com
(415) 456-8084

Drakes Bay Oyster Company
17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Inverness, CA 94937
www.drakesbayoyster.com
(415) 669-1149

Fresh Choice
124 Vintage Way
Novato, CA 94945
http://www.freshchoice.com/
(415) 897-9593

Grille 101
At the San Rafael Embassy Suites

101 McInnis Parkway
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.sanrafael.embassysuites.com
(415) 479-1623

Hilltop 1892
850 Lamont Avenue
Novato , CA 94945
www.hilltop1892.com
(415) 893-1892

Il Davide
901 A Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
http://www.ildavide.net/
(415) 454-8080

Il Fornaio
223 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA 94925
www.ilfornaio.com
(415) 927-4400

Jennie Low’s Chinese Cuisine
120 Vintage Way, Suite D-9
Novato, CA 94945
www.jennielow.com
(415) 892-8838

Marin Farmers Market
www.agriculturalinstitute.org
(800) 897-FARM
(415) 472-6100

Marin Steak & Spirits Company
At the Four Points Sheraton
1010 Northgate Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.marinsteaks.com
(415) 755-6161

Marin French Cheese Company
7500 Red Hill Road
Petaluma, CA 94952 
www.marinfrenchcheese.com
(800) 292-6001

Mountain Home Inn Restaurant
810 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941
www.mtnhomeinn.com
(415) 381-9000

Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar and Cottages
23240 Highway One
Marshall, CA 94940
www.nickscove.com
(415) 663-1033

Nicasio Valley Cheese Company
5300 Nicasio Valley Road
Nicasio, CA 94946
www.nicasiocheese.com
(415) 662-6200

Piazza D’Angelo Ristorante
22 Miller Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
www.piazzadangelo.com
(415) 388-2000

Rickey's Restaurant
250 Entrada Drive
Novato, CA 94949
www.rickeysrestaurant.com
(415) 883-9477

Roadside BBQ
5000 Northgate Mall #135
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.roadsidebbq.com
(415)479-7200

San Geronimo Restaurant & Bar
Located at San Geronimo Golf Course
5800 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
San Geronimo, CA 94963
www.golfsangeronimo.com
(415) 488-4030

Seafood Peddler Restaurant & Fresh Fish Market
100 Yacht Club Drive
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.seafoodpeddler.com
(415) 460-6669

Station House Café
11180 State Route One
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
www.stationhousecafe.com
(415) 663-1515

The Caprice Restaurant
2000 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920
www.thecaprice.com
(415) 435-3400

The Farm House Restaurant at the Point Reyes Seashore Lodge
10005 Coastal Highway One
Olema, CA 94950
www.pointreyesseashore.com
(415) 663-1264

The Panama Hotel Restaurant
4 Bayview Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
www.PanamaHotel.com
(415) 457-3993

Tiburon Grill
At The Lodge of Tiburon
1651 Tiburon Boulevard
Tiburon, CA 94920
www.tiburongrill.com
(415) 435-5996

Tomatina San Rafael
5800 Northgate Mall #52
San Rafael, CA 94903
www.tomatina.com
(415) 479-3200

 


Events

Marin County has an amazing sense of community. The county host several annual events within the community which cater to all age groups and work well for a family outing.

Marin Center

San Rafael
National and International touring acts.
www.marincenter.org
(415) 499-6800

Marin Farmers Market
Year round on Thursdays and Sundays at the Marin Civic Center
Sells farm-direct specialty foods and organically grown produce.
www.marinfarmersmarkets.org
(415) 472-6100

Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market (May-September)
Only from May through September on
Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 on Fourth Street. The market features food, produce, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and more.
www.sanrafaelmarket.org
(415) 492-8007

Whale Watching on the Coast (January-March)
Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Pt. Reyes
Witness the California gray whale migration south to Baja.
www.nps.gov/pore
(415) 464-5100

Marin Show: Art of the Americas (February)
Marin Center, San Rafael
The most substantive and extensive showcase focused on the indigenous arts from across North, Central and South America. With more than 200 noted dealers, the show is described as the “Superbowl of Native American art collecting”.
www.marinshow.com
(415) 472-3500

Antique Show (March)
Marin Center, San Rafael
Over 65 distinctive dealers selling fabulous antiques and collectibles ranging from pieces of furniture to jewelry and vintage clothing.
www.goldengateshows.com
(415) 472-3500

Egret and Blue Heron Nesting (March)
Audubon Canyon Ranch, Stinson Beach
A rare glimpse of these majestic birds. Audubon Ranch is open late March through early July, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. For week days, please call for
appointment.
www.egret.org
(415) 868-9244

Tiburon International Film Festival (March)
This event seeks to provide a greater understanding of the world and its many cultures through the artistic medium of film, and through the top quality films from around the world.
ww.tiburonfilmfestival.com
(415) 381-4123

 

Opening of Yacht Season (April)
Tiburon, Sausalito
Pleasure craft are decorated and blessed during celebration.
(415) 435-4771

Human Race (May)
Marin Center, San Rafael
Benefit 10K run-walk for all Marin non-profits.
(415) 479-5660

May Madness Classic Car Parade and Street Dance (May)
Fourth Street, San Rafael
The County’s oldest and biggest classic car show and parade, with live rock 'n roll throughout the day.
www.downtownsanrafael.org
(415) 720-5591

Marin Open Studios (May)
Art tour of over 280 studios during two Weekends throughout Marin County.
www.marinarts.org
(415) 499-8350

Marin Sonoma Concours D’Elegance (May)
Marin County Fairgrounds - Civic Center
Concours d’Elegance will showcase over 180 unique and elegant vehicles in 18 different classes.
www.marinsonomaconcours.org

Grecian Festival (May)
Nativity of Christ Church, Novato
Greek food and entertainment. Held on Memorial Day weekend.
www.nativityofchrist.org
(415) 883-1998

Annual Home Show and Jazz Festival (June)
Marin Center, San Rafael
www.marinhomeshow.com
(415) 456-5209

Antique Fair (June)
Creek Park, San Anselmo
Over 200 dealers specializing in a wide number of antique areas and periods are represented within 30 establishments.
(415) 457-1266

Dipsea Foot Race (June)
Mill Valley
1,500 runners navigate a tortuous, hilly route
in this famed cross-country race.
www.dipsea.org
(415) 331-3550

Marin Art Festival (June)
Marin Civic Center Lagoon
Elegant lawn party featuring a juried exhibit of top level art, a variety of ethnic foods, and music ranging from jazz to classical.
www.marinartfestival.com
(415) 388-4836

Mountain Play (June)
Mount Tamalpais, Mill Valley
Musical performed in amphitheater on Mt. Tam for six weekends, through June. Theater has spectacular views of the Bay.
www.mountainplay.org
(415) 383-1100

Novato Art, Wine and Music Festival (June)
Grant Avenue, Old Town Novato
Artists and craftspeople, two dozen wineries, food and continuous free entertainment.
www.novatochamber.com
(415) 897-1164

Annual Fairfax Festival (June)
Come for an “only-in-Fairfax” parade, food, drink and live music.
www.townoffairfax.org
(415) 453-1584

San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival (June)
Buy exceptional art directly from the artists at the best prices!
www.sananselmoarts.com
(415) 258-4600

Mill Valley Wine & Food Tasting (June)
Taste many hard to find wines, plus imports.
Gourmet food tasting under the redwoods.
www.millvaleywinefestival.homestead.com
(415) 388-9700

Larkspur Flower & Food Festival (June)
On Magnolia Avenue, an exciting daylong schedule of colorful festivities surrounding the theme of flower related arts & crafts and gourmet food exhibitors.
www.larkspurcityhall.org
(415) 383-3470

Marin County Fair ( July)
Civic Center Fairgrounds, San Rafael
Annual fair features free carnival rides, fireworks on the lagoon, and special juried exhibits.
www.marinfair.org
(415) 499-6400

Twilight Criterium San Rafael ( July)
Downtown San Rafael
World-class professional competitive bicycle race. Begins and ends on Fourth Street.
www.srtwilight.com

Corte Madera-Larkspur Fourth of July Festival and Parade ( July)
Corte Madera and Larkspur
Hometown parade for Marin’s Twin Cities.
www.cortemadera.org
(415) 924-0441

Indian Big Time Celebration ( July)
Point Reyes at Kule Loklo
Native American celebration involving native dance, song and food.
www.nps.gov/pore
(415) 464-5100

Marin Shakespeare Festival (August)
Dominican University, San Rafael
Weekend performances of Shakespeare under the stars. Amphitheater seating.
www.marinshakespeare.org
(415) 499-4488

San Rafael Food and Wine Festival (August)
Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael
Come taste the wine, plus food and entertainment on the grounds of a Victorian mansion.
www.sresproductions.com
(800) 310-6563

Tiburon Art and Wine Festival (August)
On Historic Ark Row in downtown Tiburon
Live Music, Family Entertainment & Activities, Wine, Beer & Champagne, all steps away from the waterfront of the San Francisco Bay.
www.tiburonartfestival.homestead.com
(415) 435-5633

Annual Sand Sculpture Contest (August)
The Sunday of Labor Day Weekend in Point Reyes at Drakes Beach
www.nps.gov/pore
(415) 464-5140

 

Marin Designers Showcase (September)
Marin’s top interior designers take over a stately Marin home to create an interior fantasy.
marindesignersshowcase.com
(415) 479-5691

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival (September)
Fine Art exhibit with food booths and live entertainment in a redwood grove.
www.mvfaf.org
(415) 381-8090

San Rafael Business Showcase (September)
Civic Center Exhibition Hall, San Rafael
San Rafael’s largest business-to-business and business-to-consumer trade show draws over 2,000 guests. Food tastes, gifts, prizes.
www.SRChamber.com
(415) 454-4163

Vincenzo Food and Wine Festival (October)
The always-spectacular fundraiser and auction raises vital funds and community awareness for St. Vincent’s School for Boys in San Rafael.
www.cccyo.org
(415) 927-1239

Mill Valley Film Festival (October)
Sequoia and Rafael Film Centers
This eleven-day fest includes screening that draw 40,000 ticket holders, both film fans and professionals.
www.cafilm.org
(415) 383-5256

Pumpkin Field (October)
St. Vincent’s School for Boys, San Rafael
Pumpkin patch and farm animals.
(415) 507-4214

Trick-or-Treat Down Fourth Street (October)
Downtown San Rafael
www.downtownsanrafael.org
(415) 720-5591

Winter Wonderland/Parade of Lights (November)
Downtown San Rafael
A candle-lit walk through downtown San Rafael. There’s even a man-made snow bank for sledding and making snowmen.
www.srespromotions.org
(800) 310-6563

Lighted Boat Parade(December)
Along San Rafael’s Canal shoreline, this is a holiday event not to be missed!
www.lightedboatparade.org

Marin Ballet’s Nutcracker(December)
Marin Center, San Rafael
www.marincenter.com
(415) 453-6705

Victorian Holiday Celebration(December)
Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael
The evening spotlights live holiday performances, hosted by Mr. Charles Dickens himself with characters in Dickens attire, old-fashioned caroling and an authentic Father
Christmas.
www.falkirkculturalcenter.org
(415) 485-3436

Denise & George Athas
Denise & George Athas
Sales Executive