Marin County is magical. The smallest of the San Francisco Bay Area counties, both in size and population, what it lacks in acreage it compensates for in visual appeal. It is no wonder that it is home to one of most affluent, active and civically minded population in the United States. Redwood forests. Beaches for surfing and strolling. Waterfalls. Marshes. Creeks. A genuine mountain. The Golden Gate Bridge! The rainbow arches over the highway tunnel from San Francisco to Marin. On the other side is the Bay Area’s pot of gold—Marin County.
The natural treasures of Marin range from the windswept bluffs of the Point Reyes National Seashore to the intimate canyons of the Muir Woods National Monument to the wooded trails—both gentle and daunting—of Mount Tamalpais, whose 2,571-foot peak provides Marin’s signature profile. Against this background, recreation is part of everyday Marin life.
Marin’s communities are equally varied. In the south are the jewel box cities of Sausalito, Tiburon and Belvedere, where ferries connect residents to San Francisco and hillside living is the norm. Tucked against the lower slopes of Mt. Tam are Mill Valley, Larkspur, Ross, Kentfield and Fairfax, wooded, intimate communities. To the north are Corte Madera, Greenbrae and San Rafael, the county seat and home to the Civic Center, one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s best known works. Against the Sonoma border is Novato, a growing family town.
West Marin is a wonder world of its own. Largely rural, it is the center of the nation’s organic farming movement. From its rich fields, truckloads of organic greens, produce, cheese and meat head for local restaurants and beyond. California’s famous Highway 1 undulates through the seaside towns of Stinson Beach and Bolinas, then heads inland to the picturesque communities of Point Reyes Station, Tomales and Dillon Beach, places where vestiges of the Sixties linger and locals warmly welcome visitors of the present.
By Tim Porter