Welcome to San Anselmo
Sitting at the junction of three historically important roadways, San Anselmo is a city with a rich history and a deep appreciation for its cultural relevance in Northern California. While the city is no longer the transportation “hub” that it once was, it remains a regional destination. While San Anselmo enjoys a thriving historical district, it has traded in its railway stations for restaurants and antique shops.
Lay of the Land
Historically known as “the hub”, San Anselmo sits in the heart of Marin County, 20 miles north of San Francisco. Its neighbors include Fairfax, San Rafael, Ross, and Mount Tamalpais. The city itself sits in the center of Ross Valley on a natural floodplain. This leads to a Mediterranean climate with above average amounts of rainfall that result in occasional bouts of extreme flooding. Luckily, when not dealing with flood conditions, the town is intertwined with numerous small creeks and waterways which provide the perfect backdrop for the city’s commercial ventures. Unlike many of the smaller, unincorporated communities in the area, San Anselmo has a relatively large population of 12,605 residents and a formalized city government. It also features an average household income ($106,723) and median home values ($829,633) well above the state average.
In stark contrast to the sprawling transportation infrastructure in the nearby Bay Area, Marin County has very little in the way of transportation development. San Anselmo at least benefits from its proximity to Highway 101 and Interstate 580 which provide road access to the south and west respectively. Publically accessible transportation is limited to a series of bus lines and shuttle services. The busses move along most of the larger communities and cities of eastern Marin County, while the shuttles provide access to the remote sections of the western half of the county. Additionally, San Rafael provides access to additional bus lines, train services, and ferry services.
Thanks in large part to Mount Tamalpais and the plethora of open space preserves it is impossible for any community in Marin County to not be at least partially defined by its natural scenery. This is doubly true of San Anselmo, which has the added benefit of being located in a valley crisscrossed by numerous creeks, dotted with meadows, and littered with redwood groves.
Aside from the naturally occurring natural features, the city also features six separate parks. Each of the six locations features a different level of development and accompanying facilities. These range from locations with no man-made structures or facilities all of the way up to the highly developed Memorial Park. Memorial Park features numerous sporting facilities, outdoor courts, playgrounds, walking trails, and the Elder’s Garden, a community organized location designed for relaxation and educational purposes. Memorial Park is also the home of numerous community organized recreational activities and sporting programs.
Natural beauty aside, the primary attraction in San Anselmo is its historic downtown region. Downtown San Anselmo is one of the more commercially developed locations in all of Marin County, featuring numerous dining and shopping locations among the historic homes and commercial buildings. However, in traditional Marin County fashion, there are no major retail locations or national chains to be found in San Anselmo. Instead, the area features numerous creek-side eateries and charming local restaurants.
Finally, the downtown region is also home to the most extensive collection of antique stores in Northern California. In total, the area features over 130 separate antique dealers operating a variety of shops. Shoppers can expect to find everything from vintage furniture to traditional bridal dresses and wedding accessories in one of the many stores along the strip. Again, in typical Marin County fashion, many of the antique shops are focused on reclamation and practicality, resulting in extremely affordable prices.