Welcome to Corte Madera
The city of Corte Madera stretches from the foot of Mount Tamalpais in the west to the edge of the San Francisco Bay in the east. With sprawling rural hillsides on one end of town and breathtaking bay side views on the other, Corte Madera is one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the county. The natural geography also serves as the perfect backdrop for the upscale residential neighborhoods and revitalized commercial sectors of the city.
Lay of the Land
Corte Madera is located in the eastern section of Marin County, just north of Richardson Bay. Mount Tamalpais and the San Francisco Bay serve as the city’s two primary natural neighbors, while the community of Larkspur and the city of Tiburon push against its southern and eastern borders, respectively. Its close geographic proximity and history of association with Larkspur has led to the two being known locally as the “Twin Cities.”
Like many of the cities and communities in Marin County, Corte Madera is surrounded by an abundance of beautiful, open spaces. This includes the Camino Alto Open Space Preserve and the Shorebird Marsh, a relatively small protected habitat. Like many of the Marin communities in the southeastern section of the county, Corte Madera is a residential destination. This has driven the average home value for the city well over a million dollars. The average household income among the city’s 9,459 residents is a respectable $113,968.
Marin County as a whole has made a dedicated effort to preserve the rural ambiance and natural aesthetics of the region by limiting large scale development and construction. This decision has severely limited transportation infrastructure in the region. U.S. Route 101, which runs down through the center of the city, is Corte Madera’s primary roadway. It moves north through the area into Sonoma County and south over the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Bay Area. Golden Gate Transit provides local bus service for the eastern section of the county. Additionally, Golden Gate Ferry has several locations in the area which provide ferry access to San Francisco and the nearby Angel Island.
Corte Madera is the quintessential Marin County city. It is a relatively small community with a focus on education and community services. It features upscale, cosmopolitan neighborhoods backlit by an overabundance of striking natural features and acres of undeveloped open spaces. However, it also houses two of the largest and most prestigious shopping centers in the county.The Town Center at Corte Madera and The Village at Corte Madera serve as the city’s main commercial and retail centers. Both locations feature a wide range of department stores, boutiques, specialty shops, and eateries. The array of locations includes many of the locally owned and operated shops and service centers common in much of Marin County. However, nationally recognizable locations such as Nordstrom and Macy’s, are also present. Restoration Hardware, a national chain of upscale furniture stores, is even headquartered within Corte Madera.
One of the primary ways in which residents and visitors can choose to enjoy the local scenery is by taking advantage of one of the numerous local hiking or biking trails located in and around the city. Based on its unique geography, Corte Madera features trails crossing a wide range of environments. The trails on Mount Tamalpais are often challenging, but provide uninterrupted views of The Bay and the surrounding area. Trails along the local creeks provide a challenging slog through thick underbrush and low lying wetlands. Finally, traveling along the trails in one of the protected habitats or open space preserves offers access to a diverse array of endangered and protected wildlife species.
Corte Madera students attending elementary or middle school do so in the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District. The district features three high performing schools: Neil Cummins Elementary, The Cove School, and The Henry C. Hall Middle School. Corte Madera students that attend public high school do so at Redwood High School in Larkspur. Redwood is managed by the Tamalpais Union High School District, which oversees public high school education for many of the neighboring cities and communities.
The one thing that all of the schools in both districts have in common is extensive community support in the form of financial contributions and enrichment programs. This has led to all of the schools in both districts to consistently rank near the top of all California public schools across a variety of metrics. This includes distinguished school awards and top scores on the California Academic Performance Index.