Welcome to Lagunitas
Lagunitas sits in the western reaches of Marin County. A historic and deeply entrenched community, Lagunitas is modest by any standard. It’s at the edge of what is considered the eastern section of the county before the mountain range sitting above the Pacific Ocean. Sitting in a valley, the community is surrounded by trees, preserves, and peace-of-mind.
Lay of the Land
Lagunitas is an unincorporated community sitting in the center of Marin County. It is small enough that the government considers Lagunitas-Forest Knolls a single location for census designation purposes. It is positioned on the eastern edge of the San Geronimo Valley, which it shares with the communities of San Geronimo, Woodacre, and Forest Knolls. The area is commonly referred to as “The Valley” and marks a geographic transition between rolling canyons to the east and the densely wooded regions more common in the western section of the county. The total population for the two communities is 1,819. Unlike the cities closer to the bay, Lagunitas is an economically modest community. The average household income for the area is $90,206 while the median home value is $668,661.
Transportation infrastructure in Marin County is sparse and closely monitored by the county to ensure a minimal amount of damage to the local wildlife and scenery. This can make travel within the region daunting at times. Lagunitas has the additional poor luck of being located an equal distance from Highway 1 in the west, which runs along the coast, and State Highway 101 in the west, which moves from Marin County into the Bay Area. Luckily, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard runs through Lagunitas and connects to the two main highways. The Marin Stagecoach also operates a series of small shuttle that move in a loop around the outer edges of the western half of the county.
Lagunitas has little in the way of established commercial infrastructure. The Arti Cafe is an organic restaurant featuring traditional Indian cuisine. The cafe focuses on providing authentic Indian dining using ingredients raised organically, and when possible, purchased from nearby locations. Additionally, the cafe prepares all meals fresh at the time that the item is ordered. This does increase the wait time for diners but it also enhances the quality of the meal. The area is served by the Lagunitas Grocery and Deli, a small general store and casual eatery. The grocery store has a modest selection, while the deli side produces regionally recognized milkshakes and sandwiches.
On the community side of things, all of the communities in “The Valley” work together to support community enrichment programs and outreach services. Unfortunately, none of the communities has sufficient access to resources to make the services a viable option individually. For the most part, services like the local chapter of the 4-H and similar community programs happen at a variety of locations based on the supporting geography of the area. The San Geronimo Community Center is also an option for some of the more centralized services or those services requiring a more stable and easily accessible location. This includes the vast majority of the support services and enrichment classes targeted at the area’s elderly population.
Finally, the region also benefits from close proximity to the Samuel P. Taylor State Park and the Gary Giacomini Open Space preserve. Unlike some of the locations within the state, Samuel P. Taylor does not contain numerous rare species of endangered or protected animal. However, it does have plenty of the coastal redwood trees for which the region is famous. It also has numerous spaces for camping as well as community use cabins.
On the other hand, the Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve is relatively barren by comparison. Like every other preserve in the region, its focus is on the preservation of nature in an undeveloped or uninterrupted state. There are numerous biking and hiking trails that connect it to several of the other preserves to the west, making it possible for visitors to spend multiple days traveling across the area.