Welcome to Marin County
Marin County is nestled on the peninsula facing San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a desirable location, in part for its proximity to the City, and for the sheer beauty of the county. Marin boasts the highest percentage of protected land in the Bay Area, which gives residents ample opportunity to find views and space aplenty, from sparkling city skylines, lovely Pacific sunsets, and rugged coastlines to miles of hiking, biking, and running trails.
Marin has a long history as a suburb, dating back to the days before the bridges were built. Many residents work outside of the county. As technology, healthcare, media, entertainment, food, and hospitality industries continue to thrive, some companies have relocated or opened up satellite offices in Marin and nearby counties. The economy is strong. The local shopping, dining, hospitality, educational, cultural, and recreational offerings reflect that. West Marin continues to support local agriculture, and Marin has an active restaurant and grocery scene, which takes full advantage of the vibrant local produce coming out of the local farms, ranches, cheese makers and dairies, and grape growers.
The lay of the land
Marin County shares its northern border with Sonoma County. The county has water on three sides, with the Pacific Ocean and Tomales Bay to the west, San Francisco and San Pablo Bays to the east, and the channel underneath the Golden Gate to the south. A combination of open space, watershed, and park lands link together to create a wide swath of open space that runs north, most dramatically with the Marin Headlands that soar out of the ocean and tower over the Golden Gate Bridge up to Mount Tamalpais and its surrounding parkland. The Point Reyes Seashore juts out into the Pacific. Further north, Mount Burdell provides Novato residents with views and vistas.
With 260,750 residents (according to the U.S. Census’ 2014 estimates) in the county, Marin has the second smallest population in the Bay Area spread out among 520 square miles (the third smallest in the Bay Area and the fourth smallest in the state), Novato is the largest city. San Rafael is the county seat. The bulk of the county population has settled in communities along the 101 corridor and the bay side, including Sausalito, Mill Valley, and Tiburon in the south, Corte Madera, Larkspur and San Rafael centrally, and Novato to the north. The remaining residents are spread out among smaller villages, beach towns, and valley hamlets in West Marin, such as Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Point Reyes Station, Inverness, Marshall, Nicasio, Woodacre, and Lagunitas.
Two main highways traverse the county (1 and 101). Marin has direct access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting to the East Bay and San Francisco. Golden Gate Transit runs buses and ferries. Ferry terminals are in Larkspur and Sausalito, and are used by locals and visitors alike. The ferries running to AT&T Park when the Giants are in town are very popular and sell out quickly. The SMART train and pathway project is under construction and will connect Marin and Sonoma County from Larkspur to Cloverdale. Phase 1 is slated for completion in late 2016.
Marin County’s award-winning schools enroll nearly 33,000 students in 76 schools within 19 school districts. A variety of Catholic, parochial, secular, and other independent schools are available.
Higher education offerings include the College of Marin, part of the state community college program, Dominican College, two Theological seminaries, and the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael.
Although Marin’s professional sports are limited to San Rafael’s minor league baseball team, the San Rafael Pacifics, you’ll find plenty of ardent sports fans supporting the other Bay Area teams.
The Marin Civic Center was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and holds a distinctive spot in the hills north of San Rafael. It houses the Marin Symphony and hosts a variety of internationally known speakers and performers, as well as a local farmer’s market. The county has other cultural offerings, including the Mill Valley Film Festival, and repertory theater companies such as the Marin Theatre Company and the Ross Valley Players.
For live entertainment, options vary. The Marin Center has larger headliners, while the Sweetwater Music Hall & Café, Terrapin Crossroads, and Rancho Nicasio offer afford a more intimate vibe. Even smaller clubs in Fairfax, San Rafael, and Sausalito have live music most nights.
More than 40 spots are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A few highlights to consider: Muir Woods National Monument, the Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley, which was built in 1904 and designed by Bernard Maybeck, Point Bonita Light Station, West Point on Mount Tam, the Sausalito Women’s Club, the Dipsea Trail in Mill Valley, and Rancho Olompali north of Novato.
The great outdoors
Marin is the birthplace of mountain biking, and you’ll find a series of single-track trails to ride at Camp Tamarancho in Fairfax or China Camp in northern San Rafael.
Mount Tamalpais State Park is the most obvious choice for hiking and has trails that will satisfy everyone. The views from East Peak are spectacular, with Bolinas Ridge and the Pacific, the hills of the East Bay heading toward Mount Diablo, and the headlands rolling to the Golden Gate and the city to the south. Even on foggy days the scenery is impressive.
Visitors take full advantage of the easy walking trails in the wildly popular giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.
If you’re looking for rocky trails and remote beaches, head west to the Point Reyes National Seashore or the dramatic views and plunging slopes of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
For camping and hiking along a lovely creek, Samuel P. Taylor Park is a popular destination.
Angel Island, which sits across Raccoon Strait from downtown Tiburon and is accessible by a small ferry, provides 360 degree views of the bay. There are paths for cycling and running, and a handful of campsites that book up well in advance. The island is also a National Monument for its role as an immigration station and, briefly, an internment camp.
Cities Located in Marin County
- Corte Madera
- Dillon Beach
- Mill Valley
- Muir Beach
- Pt. Reyes Station
- San Anselmo
- San Geronimo
- San Rafael
- San Quentin
- Stinson Beach
$1,195,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths3,431 sqft lot 6,299 sqftWalk Score® 11Listing provided by Link Allen, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21711461
$875,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,133 sqft lot 3,751 sqftWalk Score® 21Listing provided by Kathleen Schlegel, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711757
$675,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,352 sqft lot 8,750 sqftWalk Score® 81Listing provided by Marie Clay, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711773
$619,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,535 sqft lot 1,673 sqftWalk Score® 45Listing provided by Jeanne Thorsson, Bradley Real Estate-NovatoMLS 21711455
$699,0003 beds, 3 full baths1,724 sqft lot 1,198 sqftWalk Score® 1Listing provided by Julie Widergren, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711837
$775,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,827 sqft lot 5,702 sqftWalk Score® 15Listing provided by Russell Knudsen, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711240
$6,995,0005 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths5,394 sqft lot 1.50 acWalk Score® 28Listing provided by Bill Johnson, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21709104
$325,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,245 sqft lot 1,651 sqftWalk Score® 72Listing provided by James Fronk, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21710941
$442,922Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,461 sqft lot 775 sqftWalk Score® 13Listing provided by Sandy Mahoney, The Madison CompanyMLS 21711809
Open House4 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,542 sqft lot 2,662 sqftWalk Score® 47Listing provided by Jackie Hu, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711808
Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,470 sqft lot 8,734 sqftWalk Score® 37Listing provided by James Stafford, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711803
$1,100,000Open House3 beds, 3 full baths2,305 sqft lot 7,562 sqftWalk Score® 22Listing provided by Melann Mushet, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711613
$799,900Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,146 sqft lot 2,400 sqftWalk Score® 8Listing provided by Iraj Zolnasr, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711656
$959,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,845 sqft lot 4,485 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Jeff Sterley, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21711786
$840,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,833 sqft lot 3,999 sqftWalk Score® 47Listing provided by Paul Cingolani, Bradley Real Estate - KentfieldMLS 21711777
$1,249,000Open House4 beds, 3 full baths1,830 sqft lot 6,098 sqftWalk Score® 48Listing provided by Sharron Daeley, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711177
$825,000Open House2 beds, 1 full bath1,202 sqft lot 7,148 sqftWalk Score® 3Listing provided by Keith Hennessey, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21710759
$799,000Open House2 beds, 1 full bath1,260 sqft lot 5,401 sqftWalk Score® 69Listing provided by Kathleen Stranton, Bradley Real Estate Mill ValleyMLS 21711618
$1,035,0004 beds, 2 full baths1,616 sqft lot 11,208 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Norine Smith, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21709665
$1,695,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,818 sqft lot 8,760 sqftWalk Score® 49Listing provided by Tyler Grossman, Alain Pinel RealtorsMLS 21711372
$375,000Open House2 beds, 1 full bath850 sqftWalk Score® 66Listing provided by Tamara Fisher, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711614
$1,425,000Open House5 beds, 2 full baths1,942 sqft lot 8,189 sqftWalk Score® 5Listing provided by Renee Adelmann, Marin Modern Real EstateMLS 21711493
$1,175,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,916 sqft lot 16,248 sqftWalk Score® 4Listing provided by Eric Gelman, Paragon Real Estate Group - GreenbraeMLS 21711603
$1,395,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,126 sqft lot 7,270 sqftWalk Score® 43Listing provided by Ted Strodder, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711706
$1,100,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,875 sqft lot 15,124 sqftWalk Score® 47Listing provided by Vance Frost, Vanguard PropertiesMLS 21711720
$699,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,508 sqft lot 7,500 sqftWalk Score® 20Listing provided by Christine Nessier, Alain Pinel RealtorsMLS 21711063
$1,489,000Open House4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths2,893 sqft lot 1.30 acWalk Score® 12Listing provided by Michael Cusick, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711719
$2,750,0005 beds, 5 full baths3,665 sqft lot 6,421 sqftWalk Score® 80Listing provided by Michael Burke, Golden Gate Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21711715
$669,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,246 sqft lot 8,102 sqftWalk Score® 77Listing provided by Jill Halyk, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21709224
$845,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,454 sqftWalk Score® 26Listing provided by Michael Cusick, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21711704
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed
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