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Travel Notes: North America: United States: California Counties: Marin County

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Where to go and where to stay in Marin County.

Visiting Marin County

Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon.

21 - Marin County

One of the nine Bay Area counties, Marin County is linked to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge and to the East Bay by the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

Marin County is also home to the infamous San Quentin Prison; the oldest prison in California.

The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Marin County Civic Center, a national and state designated historic landmark, draws thousands of visitors a year to view its arch and atrium design.

Tours of the Marin County Civic Center are available every Wednesday at 10:30, leaving from the second floor Gift Shop.

The county seat of Marin County is San Rafael.

Marin Community Website:
Features information about and links to facilities, groups and organisations in Marin County.

Marin County Visitor Magazine:
An online media presentation of 101 things to do in Marin County.

Marin Directory:
Contains a growing collection of business and community web sites relating to Marin County.

Visit Marin:
Surrounded by water on three sides, visitors can explore wild and scenic California beaches, enjoy sailing and windsurfing in San Francisco Bay, or marvel at the ancient redwood forest on the slopes of legendary Mt. Tamalpais.

Around Marin County


Belvedere is a tiny city, less than one square mile in size, surrounded on three sides by the waters of San Francisco Bay.

Belvedere City Hall, twice enlarged, was once the local Presbyterian Church. The building was rolled down the hill from its original site at Bayview Avenue and Laurel Avenue in 1949.

Many of its beautiful features have been preserved at its present site on San Rafael Avenue.

Corte Madera

Corte Madera is tucked away in the green Marin countryside. Incorporated in 1916, the Town extends from San Francisco Bay, on the east side of Highway 101, to Mt. Tamalpais on the west.


Fairfax was originally part of the Mexican Land Grant, Canada de Herrera, consisting of 6,658 acres, conferred to Domingo Sais on August 10, 1839, in return for his military service under the government of Mexico.

Fairfax Chamber of Commerce:
The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce meets every 4th Thursday at 18:30, in the Fairfax Library.

Fairfax Historical Society:
Fairfax gets its name from Lord Charles Snowden Fairfax, tenth Baron of Cameron, Scotland, whose British ancestors were given the grant of land by the British Crown which became the province and then the state of Virginia.


City of Larkspur:
Larkspur's downtown has been designated a State and City Historic District and is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places because it is 'typical of a small California town at the turn of the century'.

Mill Valley

City of Mill Valley:
Millionaires and well-known names in the film and music industries make the quaint community of Mill Valley, beneath Mt. Tamalpais, their home.

Mill Valley Film Festival:
With international features, documentaries, shorts and children’s films, the prestigious non-competitive Festival showcases a great variety of films; with something for every filmgoer. Held in October.


Major community events include the Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music each June, Concerts in the Park throughout the summer, the annual 4th of July Parade in downtown Novato and the City's Labor Day Picnic at Stafford Lake.

City of Novato:
Novato is the northernmost city in Marin County, approximately twenty-nine miles north of San Francisco and thirty-seven miles north-west of Oakland.

Tourism Novato:
Novato, with its quaint shops, superb restaurants, expansive open space and parks offers a great variety of fun and activities for everyone young and old alike.


Town of Ross:
Primarily a residential town, Ross Common features small restaurants and shops favoured by the locals.

San Anselmo

Town of San Anselmo:
While downtown San Anselmo is recognised as the 'Antique Capital of Northern California', the local parks provide a variety of outdoor experiences for visitors.

San Rafael

Located halfway between San Francisco and California's famous wine country, San Rafael is Marin County's oldest city.

San Rafael's many attractions include Mission San Rafael Arcangel, the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center, Victorian architecture, a lively downtown district and historic China Camp.

China Camp State Park:
Four miles east of San Rafael on the shore of San Pablo Bay, a Chinese shrimp-fishing village thrived on this site in the 1880s. From Highway 101, go east on North San Pedro Road for five miles until it enters the park.

Mission San Rafael Arcangel:
Founded in 1817 by Padre Vincent Sarria as an 'asistencia' or adjunct to Mission Dolores, San Rafael was originally designated a sanitarium for native converts suffering from San Francisco's generally damper climate.

Visit San Rafael:
The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce offers a free visitor's information pack.


Incorporated in 1893, Sausalito was named by 18th century Spanish explorers for the abundance of 'little willow' trees (Saucelito) found on the banks of its streams.

City of Sausalito:
Sausalito is located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the south-eastern tip of Marin County.

Sausalito Chamber of Commerce:
Because of its Mediterranean flair and breathtaking views this charming waterfront community, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, is often compared to the French Riviera.


Town of Tiburon:
The Town of Tiburon is located just north of San Francisco. It is accessible by ferry from downtown San Francisco, as well as by car from Highway 101 and Highway 131 (Tiburon Boulevard).

California Travel Guides

California Travel Notes:
California tourist information with details about travel to and around the state. Where to stay and what to see is made easier with insider tips and hand-selected California links, by dedicated editors and visitors to - The Online Guide to Travel.

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