Exciting Board Sports
Marin is a peninsula. For those of you who are geographically challenged, that means there is water on three sides. So get wet and have some fun on the water.
89) 101 Surf Sports: This place has boards, boards, boards, including standup paddleboards and surf, windsurfing and kite boards. Buy ’em, rent ’em, repair ’em or race ’em right along the San Rafael Canal just outside the shop’s back door. 101surfsports.com
90) Proof Lab: Mill Valley’s monument to Lords of Dogtown. Less a store than a way of life, this shop has all you need for skateboarding, surfing, and surf art and music, as well as clothes to make you look like you’re living the life even if you’re not. Don’t miss the indoor halfpipe. prooflab.com
91) SUP Yoga: at Sea Trek Downward-facing dog meets upward-looking seal on Richardson Bay. Led by yogi, triathlete and all-around activity guru Leigh Claxton, these standup paddleboarding classes range from early-morning to monthly full moon excursions. onboard fitness.org
92) One local golfer struck the first tee shot at San Rafael’s Peacock Gap, the rolling set of links at the far end of Point San Pedro Road, in 1960. A half-century later, despite attempts at renovation, the track was scruffier than John Daly after a few days of not shaving. The fairways were ragged, the greens lunar-surface-like and the clubhouse more resembling a blockhouse than an inviting venue for 19th-hole refreshment. All that’s gone. New management finished a full course renovation, from the tips to the flags, last year, resizing the greens and reconfiguring the holes and drainage. The Range Cafe opened and started serving delicious burgers, salads and sandwiches in an inviting, airy building that opens onto the club’s all-grass driving range. There’s also a compact, wellstocked pro shop, an expansive putting green and a sand-trap practice area. Now you’ve got no excuse for not improving your game — or eating well after a round. peacockgapgolfclub.com
Pedal to the Metal
Mountain biking was born on Mount Tamalpais, but road riders also love Marin for its open space, relative lack of traffic and numerous places to refuel.
93) Ridgecrest Boulevard: An 18-mile track along the undulating western edge of Mount Tamalpais — the iconic site of numerous car ads — across the flats of Bolinas Lagoon and back over Bolinas Ridge. bayarearides.com/rides/ridgecrest
94) Conzelman Road: What goes up must come down, and that’s what makes Conzelman (pictured) worth the 900-plus-foot climb from the Golden Gate Bridge. The high-velocity drop down the western side runs straight at the Pacific and is not for the squeamish. weliketobike.com/2011/08/19/marin-headlands
95) Nicasio Loop: A roly-poly 28-mile round-trip. Start in Fairfax (coffee up at the Java Hut) and head out Sir Francis Drake to Point Reyes/Petaluma Road, around Nicasio Reservoir to Nicasio Valley Road, through town and back to Fairfax. Ice cream at Fairfax Scoop. Done nicasio.net
“If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?” — Yogi Berra
If you haven’t gone to see the San Rafael Pacifics play at Albert Park, there’s still a month to go in their inaugural season as Marin’s first professional baseball team. What you’ve missed so far is high-spirited baseball, a family-oriented ballpark, the smell of hot dogs on a warm summer evening, the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd and diverse renditions of the national anthem by local musicians — all for the cost of a round of double lattes at Starbucks. Need we say more? If so, then: around the horn, backdoor breaking ball, twobagger, Baseball Annie, suicide squeeze, ducks on the pond and (our favorite) head of lettuce (a broken bat). Go. See some ball. pacificsbaseball.com
Bodies in Motion
“Dancing almost always turns out to be a good idea,” says Marin writer Anne Lamott, so get up, get moving, and learn some new moves.
97) Dance Arts Studio: Dancing With the Stars in San Rafael. Ballroom and Latin dance classes, from waltz to cha-cha, swing to salsa, as well as competitions. danceartsstudios.com
98) Gustavo and Jesica Hornos: Don’t cry for Argentina; tango instead! These tango champions teach it all, from the beginning el abrazo to the advanced milonga, in downtown San Rafael. tangoclasses.com
99) RoCo Dance and Fitness: Contemporary-style classes for adults and kids (pictured) in Fairfax and Mill Valley — Afro-Brazilian, jazz, hip-hop and more. rocodance.com
100) Happy Feet: You’ll have plenty of time to get ready for the next National Tap Dance Day (May 25) hosted by this Mill Valley institution. Classes for heels and toes of all ages. Jazz and ballet, too. happyfeetmillvalley.com
101) Marin Ballet: Classical training for the most classic form of dance. Quarterly classes for preschoolers through teens. Dress codes, performances, old-school instruction since 1963. marinballet.org