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
$1,200,0004 beds, 2 full baths1,714 sqft lot 8,320 sqftWalk Score® 39Listing provided by Renee Adelmann, Marin Modern Real EstateMLS 21702046
$1,150,000Open House2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,431 sqft lot 17,250 sqftWalk Score® 5Listing provided by Nicholas Svenson, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21706307
$1,490,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,998 sqft lot 4,792 sqftWalk Score® 42Listing provided by Debra Bernier, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21705489
$1,599,000Open House4 beds, 4 full baths3,746 sqft lot 11,627 sqftWalk Score® 4Listing provided by Julie Widergren, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21706334
$899,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,898 sqft lot 4,800 sqftWalk Score® 78Listing provided by Laura Odisio, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21706072
$889,000Open House3 beds, 3 full baths1,800 sqft lot 1.00 acWalk Score® 1Listing provided by Michael Cusick, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21706327
$1,335,0002 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,454 sqft lot 29,908 sqftWalk Score® 7Listing provided by Britt Johnson, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21706299
$3,450,000Open House6 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths3,293 sqft lot 13,430 sqftWalk Score® 29Listing provided by Donna Goldman, Alain Pinel RealtorsMLS 21706163
$3,895,000Open House5 beds, 4 full baths3,439 sqft lot 24,699 sqftWalk Score® 21Listing provided by McArthur Love, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21704800
$2,795,0003 beds, 2 full baths2,127 sqft lot 11,252 sqftWalk Score® 42Listing provided by Howard Wynn, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21706297
$1,499,000Open House3 beds, 3 full bathslot 1.54 acWalk Score® 10Listing provided by Michael Cusick, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21706305
$4,495,000Open House4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths4,130 sqft lot 28,000 sqftWalk Score® 31Listing provided by Elizabeth Young, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21706039
$549,9002 beds, 1 full bath865 sqft lot 7,200 sqftWalk Score® 81Listing provided by Michael Jackson, Bradley Real EstateMLS 21706287
$1,749,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,303 sqft lot 4,587 sqftWalk Score® 62Listing provided by Kenton Wolfers, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21706290
$1,399,000Open House2 beds, 2 full baths1,451 sqft lot 1,320 sqftWalk Score® 79Listing provided by Tim Brown, Brown & Co. Real EstateMLS 21706292
$1,750,000Open House4 beds, 3 full baths3,796 sqft lot 18,239 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Jen Pennington, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21704969
$380,000Open House2 beds, 1 full bath850 sqftWalk Score® 56Listing provided by Tamara Fisher, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21706270
$1,125,000Open House3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,318 sqft lot 2,505 sqftWalk Score® 39Listing provided by Jennifer Pfeiffer, Zephyr Real EstateMLS 21706286
$1,475,000Open House4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths3,354 sqft lot 27,473 sqftWalk Score® 38Listing provided by Niz Brown, Niz RealtyMLS 21706282
$3,487,000Open House5 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths4,913 sqft lot 12,800 sqftWalk Score® 49Listing provided by Keith Hennessey, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21705014
$1,399,000Open House2 beds, 2.00 baths1,451 sqftWalk Score® 79Listing provided by Tim Brown, Brown & Co. Real EstateMLS 456282
$6,450,0007 beds, 8 full, 1 half baths6,297 sqft lot 27,560 sqftWalk Score® 8Listing provided by IsobelWiener DanielleChavanon, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21703911
$1,049,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,754 sqft lot 27,839 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Fran Donlan, Bradley Real Estate-San RafaelMLS 21706162
$1,442,000Open House4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,804 sqft lot 1.84 acWalk Score® 12Listing provided by The Bowman Group, Vanguard PropertiesMLS 21614871
$1,579,0006 beds, 4 full baths3,290 sqft lot 3,250 sqftWalk Score® 63Listing provided by Mark Rushford, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21706257
$739,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,680 sqft lot 14,000 sqftWalk Score® 4Listing provided by Carolin Guerrero, Bradley Real Estate-NovatoMLS 21706208
$2,288,000Open House5 beds, 3 full baths3,704 sqft lot 11,073 sqftWalk Score® 12Listing provided by Debora Mainas-Stevens, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21704761
$2,195,000Open House4 beds, 4 full baths3,585 sqft lot 9,901 sqftWalk Score® 29Listing provided by Lisa Garaventa, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21706250
$1,250,000Open House3 beds, 3 full baths3,086 sqft lot 1.61 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Caroline Nelson, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21706238
$1,795,0004 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,924 sqft lot 5,998 sqftWalk Score® 13Listing provided by Lisa Smith, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21706237
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