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
$435,0002 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths918 sqft lot 1,329 sqftWalk Score® 41Listing provided by Andrew Falk, Bradley Real Estate-San RafaelMLS 21703459
$1,395,0003 beds, 3 full baths1,936 sqft lot 6,599 sqftWalk Score® 54Listing provided by Josh Burns, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21702846
$1,375,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,828 sqft lot 25,648 sqftWalk Score® 11Listing provided by Cheryl Spence, Jupiter Real Estate GroupMLS 21703053
$925,0003 beds, 2 full baths1,453 sqft lot 11,705 sqftWalk Score® 16Listing provided by Christian Buckley, Coldwell BankerMLS 21702939
$1,050,000Open House4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,724 sqft lot 11,922 sqftWalk Score® 5Listing provided by Martin Sanz, Bradley Real Estate-NovatoMLS 21701656
$999,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,764 sqft lot 6,299 sqftWalk Score® 31Listing provided by Stella Perone, Bradley Real Estate Mill ValleyMLS 21703020
$750,000Open House2 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,343 sqft lot 9,274 sqftWalk Score® 38Listing provided by Joan Kermath, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21703405
$1,675,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,233 sqft lot 19,889 sqftWalk Score® 17Listing provided by Michelle Klurstein, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21703016
$1,150,000Open House4 beds, 2 full baths2,072 sqft lot 7,680 sqftWalk Score® 50Listing provided by Sharon Faccinto, McGuire Real EstateMLS 21703241
$900,000Open House4 beds, 2 full baths1,778 sqft lot 11,430 sqftWalk Score® 34Listing provided by Renee Adelmann, Marin Modern Real EstateMLS 21701564
$251,642Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,459 sqft lot 775 sqftWalk Score® 24Listing provided by Sandy Mahoney, The Madison CompanyMLS 21703307
Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,579 sqft lot 8,398 sqftWalk Score® 67Listing provided by Michael Milano, Bradley Real Estate-San RafaelMLS 21703300
$750,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,296 sqft lot 1,498 sqftWalk Score® 52Listing provided by Susan Hewitt, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21700709
$349,000Open House1 bed, 1 full bath738 sqft lot 1,411 sqftWalk Score® 27Listing provided by Lisa Dunlap, Paragon Real Estate Group - GreenbraeMLS 21702102
$1,050,000Open House3 beds, 3 full baths1,600 sqft lot 6,634 sqftWalk Score® 36Listing provided by Jonathan Marks, Alain Pinel RealtorsMLS 21703066
$1,300,0004 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,676 sqft lot 7,028 sqftWalk Score® 40Listing provided by James King, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21625186
$1,575,000Open House3 beds, 1 full bath1,424 sqft lot 6,000 sqftWalk Score® 75Listing provided by Tina McArthur, Pacific Union InternationalMLS 21702905
$585,000Open House2 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths1,328 sqft lot 7,649 sqftWalk Score® 41Listing provided by Wayka Bartolacelli, Alain Pinel RealtorsMLS 21703054
$899,000Open House4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths2,126 sqft lot 4,125 sqftWalk Score® 23Listing provided by Spiro Stratigos, Zephyr Real EstateMLS 21703187
$3,780,0004 beds, 4 full baths5,284 sqft lot 60.00 acWalk Score® 3Listing provided by Alexa Glockner, Sotheby's International RealtyMLS 21519949
$1,195,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,160 sqft lot 11,718 sqftWalk Score® 32Listing provided by Barbara Major, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21703161
$649,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,560 sqft lot 7,902 sqftWalk Score® 56Listing provided by Kirtis Donaldson, Bradley Real Estate-NovatoMLS 21703093
$1,260,0002 beds, 2 full baths1,733 sqft lot 7,200 sqftWalk Score® 68Listing provided by Stefan Schermerhorn, Holmes Burrell Real EstateMLS 21703170
$1,289,000Open House4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths2,456 sqft lot 14,279 sqftWalk Score® 14Listing provided by Kimberly Morgan, Coldwell Banker Residential BrokerageMLS 21702856
$629,000Open House3 beds, 1 full bath972 sqft lot 5,881 sqftWalk Score® 17Listing provided by Jennifer Bowes, Bradley Real Estate-San RafaelMLS 21703149
$719,0003 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths1,708 sqft lot 5,375 sqftWalk Score® 31Listing provided by Jay Larson, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21702862
$1,530,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths1,506 sqft lot 4,273 sqftWalk Score® 78Listing provided by Farnoosh Hariri, Coldwell Banker-Mill ValleyMLS 21703130
$1,295,000Open House3 beds, 2 full baths2,128 sqft lot 7,449 sqftWalk Score® 35Listing provided by Robert Craig, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21703115
$970,0002 beds, 3 full baths2,543 sqft lot 9,640 sqftWalk Score® 3Listing provided by Karen Karlow, CENTURY 21 BundesenMLS 21624822
$6,300,0007 beds, 6 full baths5,530 sqft lot 7.98 acWalk Score® 0Listing provided by Thomas Henthorne, Decker Bullock Sothebys International RealtyMLS 21703096
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Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed
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