Do everything at once. Or do nothing at all.
You can lounge on a beach. Or you can launch yourself from a mountain and soar 2000 feet to the ocean's break. You can go to dinner. Or you can visit the ranches and farms that supply some of the finest restaurants in the world. There's no such thing as a typical Marin County vacation. Because there's nothing "typical" in Marin.
Plan your next trip and it will be like no other!
Marin County is well known for its arts, entertainment and culture. The County is proud of its home-grown Marin Symphony that plays to sell-out audiences each season. The Marin Ballet, Marin Opera and Marin Theatre Company offer professional performances to appreciative local audiences. The Mountain Play, one of the longest running theatre companies in Marin, performs its annual Broadway musical production in a huge amphitheatre at the top of Mount Tamalpais. The Marin Center in San Rafael is the venue for national and international music, theatre and dance productions and numerous exhibitions throughout the year.
Art Works Downtown
1337 Fourth Street (between C & D Streets)
San Rafael, CA 94901
Art Works Downtown owns and maintains a premier nonprofit art center in a 40,000 sq.ft historic building in the heart of downtown San Rafael on Fourth St. Featuring 3 galleries, 35+ studios with artists at work, a jewelers guild, crafts guild, frame store, ceramic center, clothing boutique and more, AWD also offers rotating exhibits by Bay Area artists, monthly events, art classes for all ages, a public art program as well as other opportunities for artists and community to connect. Open to the public through multiple storefronts, hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 10am-5pm and until 8pm on the 2nd Friday of every month for 2nd Fridays Art Walk. Check out Odalisque Cafe, a new restaurant that just opened in Art Works Downtown.
The mission of the California Film Institute is to celebrate and promote film as art and education. We achieve this goal through three core programs: year-round programming at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, the annual Mill Valley Film Festival, and the CFI Education Program. The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, a beautifully restored, state-of-the-art, three-screen theaters is one of few nonprofit theaters in the United States. The venue exhibits independent documentaries, classics, retrospectives, features, international works and hosts special events with filmmakers from around the world year-round. For weekly movie information, please click here.
In 1978, California Film Institute Director Mark Fishkin founded the Mill Valley Film Festival, the world-renowned 11-day festival is held every October, screening over 200 innovative US and international films. The annual event is consistently rated as one of the top film festivals in the nation.
Through innovative educational programs, CFI Education touches the lives of over 5,000 children annually with free screenings for school groups and their families, filmmaking workshops and a year-long cinema appreciation curriculum. CFI Education promotes tolerance and a sophisticated worldview by expanding classroom topics across borders and disciplines.
The Dance Palace
503 B Street
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Bay Area Green Business
The Dance Palace is a non-profit community center providing a wide variety of educational, recreational, cultural and community services to children, adults and seniors in western Marin County. The Dance Palace serves as the central community facility for the small, semi-rural coastal villages of West Marin including Point Reyes Station, Inverness, Olema, Nicasio, Marshall, Bolinas and Stinson Beach.
The Dance Palace works to respond directly to expressed community needs and to reach out to all segments of West Marin, encouraging involvement and communication at all levels. A fundamentally multi-purpose organization, the Dance Palace operates as a school, meeting space, theater and gallery. The Dance Palace serves as a unique model of a community center providing a highly multi-faceted program on a small budget through the ongoing participation of committed volunteers.
Falkirk Cultural Center
1408 Mission Avenue
San Rafael, CA
Falkirk, an 1888 Queen Anne-style Victorian building is the former home of shipping magnate Robert Dollar. The 17-room mansion was purchased by the community in 1974 to be preserved as a historic and cultural resource. This national landmark building is surrounded by 11 acres of formal grounds, natural wooded hillside, a sculpture garden and a restored green house. Falkirk exhibits contemporary art in the upstairs galleries and holds seasonal public events throughout the year. Admission is free.
Hopmonk Tavern Novato
224 Vintage Way
Novato, CA 94945
If you’ve been to our first two Taverns you’ll expect another original interpretation, this time in Northern Marin County, of the things we love. That’s serving fresh, in-season craft beers alongside our unfiltered Tavern classics, Kellerbier and Dunkelweizen. Preparing in our new exhibition kitchen tasty Tavern fare, this time adding wood fired pizza and ribs from our smoker. We bring the outdoors in by connecting the tavern to our beautiful beer garden under five California old growth oaks. Our Novato Tavern can comfortably entertain groups large and small in our music venue.
Hours of Operation: Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 9:00pm; Friday - Saturday 11:30am - 10:00pm. Hours for Bar Only are extended on concert nights.
Thousands of visitors come to Marin County each year to see the futuristic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center. It was Wright’s last major commission and is one of the famed architect’s most distinctive designs. It is now a national and state historic landmark.
The Civic Center, with its sculptural sky blue roof, scalloped balconies and golden spire are so extraordinary that it was the location for the 1997 science fiction movie Gattaca. The entire complex includes an 11-acre lagoon, 20-acre park and the Marin Center Auditorium and Exhibition Hall, which hosts large local, regional and national events and exhibits.
Marin Open Studios
Marin Open Studios is an annual, free, self-guided art discovery tour in Marin County. Artists open their doors to show the public their art. The artwork is for sale, but there is much more in the offering: ideas, inspiration, the conversation of creativity, and a glimpse into lives devoted to art.
Help us celebrate Marin Open Studios 20th Anniversary this year. Join over 260 participating artists for this well-loved tour that takes place on the first two weekends in May:
May 4 - 5: Studios open 11-6 in Sausalito, Mill Valley, Tiburon, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross and Central San Rafael
May 11 - 12: Studios open 11-6 in Nicasio, San Geronimo, Woodacre, Fairfax, San Anselmo, Northern San Rafael (Terra Linda) and Novato
177 E. Blithdale
Mill Valley, CA 94942
The Mountain Play Association’s mission is to produce an annual, spectacular, outdoor theatrical experience that nurtures an appreciation of Mt. Tamalpais, involves and strengthens the community, and builds on decades of tradition. The Mountain Play has been serving the Bay Area community since 1913. The Mountain Play isn't just a wonderful theater and outdoor experience; it can also be an incredible dining experience. Many attendees choose to pack along gourmet picnics, combining the stunning views and award-winning entertainment with a fantastic feast.
Our annual performances take place at the Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre (a.k.a. The Mountain Theater), in Mt. Tamalpais State Park, located at 801 Panoramic Highway in Mill Valley.
Please reserve your tickets now by calling us or visiting us online.
Sausalito Artists is a large group of talented, local artists. All of the studios are located in the historic Industrial Center Building. Nestled close to the San Francisco Bay, toward the North end of Sausalito, The Industrial Center building is steeped in the area’s ship building roots, and rekindled by the creative juices of a vibrant community of artists.
The first weekend in September Sausalito Artists host their big, annual event called Sausalito Artists @ Work. The studios are open for the 3 days over the long Labor Day weekend and the event coincides with the famous Sausalito Art & Music Festival. More information can be found on our events calendar.
Sausalito Artists offers guided art studio tours. We assemble each studio tour based on your needs and time restrictions. We also offer our guests catered meals in one of our beautiful loft style studios. To learn more please visit our “tours” page.
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Box Office: 415-388-1100
The much-anticipated Sweetwater Music Hall – a community gathering place and live music venue dedicated to bringing back the Sweetwater’s musical legacy to Mill Valley – opened in late January of 2012. The opening of Sweetwater Music Hall marked a rebirth of the landmark roots music venue and Bay Area treasure founded by original owner Jeanie Patterson nearly 25 years ago.
A local venture that is comprised of multiple investors including Bob Weir (Grateful Dead, Furthur) and other longtime supporters of Patterson’s club, the Sweetwater Music Hall is a state-of-the-art nightclub and café that not only presents nationally recognized top-quality entertainment but also will provide a comfortable home venue for local and emerging talent to perform and experiment.
The space is also available for private events. In addition to entertainment, the Sweetwater Music Hall includes a full-service restaurant and on-site catering led by renowned chef-restaurateur Gordon Drysdale.
Hours of Operation: 7:00am - 1:00am
100 Yacht Club Drive
San Rafael, CA 94901
Perched beautifully along the canals of San Rafael, Terrapin Crossroads is a fantastic new restaurant and music venue that pays homage to the abundant varieties of fresh ingredients and homegrown creative talent we are lucky to have around the Bay Area. A healthy down-home all-American eatery, taproom & lounge. A modern, comfortable, family-friendly restaurant, we are merging music with food, and are aiming to be a home away from home for everyone. We pride ourselves on a fresh and unique beer selection and an ever-changing seasonal, hyper-local menu. Menus
In addition to providing fresh farm-to-table food, we celebrate the arts at Terrapin Crossroads – music, culinary, poetry, dance, literature, visual arts, theatre, and other creative endeavors. Come enjoy the intimate setting with Phil Lesh and his special musical guests from far and near. Event Calendar
Terrapin Crossroads is the ultimate Living Room…enjoy the view, meet a friend for a drink or take in some live music. Consider it your “comfort zone” – we want you to feel right at home when you’re here.
Hours of Operation: Weekdays Tuesday - Thursday 4:00pm - 9:30pm; Friday 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Weekends: Saturday Brunch 11:00am - 3:00pm Saturday Dinner: 5:30pm - 10:00pm; Sunday Brunch 11:00am - 3:00pm Sunday Dinner: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Marin County has been called the San Francisco Bay Area’s park. Almost 85 percent of its land has been protected from development through open space purchases, federal parkland, watershed lands and strict agricultural zoning.
The spectacular Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area have been set aside for the enjoyment and use of the public. More than 2.5 million people travel to Marin each year to enjoy the beaches and unspoiled wilderness that make up the Point Reyes National Seashore.
They are joined by hundreds of thousands of national and international visitors who stroll through Muir Woods and marvel at this towering ancient redwood forest. The scenery and beauty of Marin County’s environment is an unusual treasure.
Agricultural Institute of Marin
76 Pablo Avenue, Suite 200
San Rafael, CA 94903
Our mission is to promote a viable food system, to educate the public about the benefits of buying fresh and locally grown food, and to bring farmers and communities together. Marin Agricultural Institute operates six markets in the Bay area, two in Marin County (Sunday and Thursday Civic Center) three in Alameda County (Oakland-Grand Lake, Newark and Hayward), and one in San Francisco (Stonestown). For more information, please click here to see our story.
Bay Conference Center / Romburg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies
3152 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920
The Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies is San Francisco State University’s marine and estuarine research facility. RTC is situated on a breathtaking 36 acre parcel of bay front property located just outside the town of Tiburon, California.
The Bay Conference Center, is an ideal setting for meetings, retreats and conferences, convenient for people who want to get away from it all . . . 20 miles from the heart of San Francisco. Surrounded by native oaks, bays, and madrone, the Center offers panoramic views of the North Bay from a secluded hillside. The neighboring four hundred acres of open parkland and private residences provide the Center with one of the most beautiful and unspoiled sites on the San Francisco Bay shoreline.
The Ohrenschall Guest House is an on-site location, with seven individual rooms for short term lodging for conference center guests, visiting scientists and students. For The Bay Conference Center and the Ohrenschall Guest House reservations, contact: Donna Shadowens, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.338.3543.
Bay Model Visitor Center
Sausalito, CA 94965
The Bay Model Visitor Center is a fully accessible education center administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It allows the public to view a three-dimensional working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System. The 1.5 acres model is capable of simulating tides and currents and is the only one of its kind in the world.
The Bay Model Visitor Center is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00am to 4:00pm.
From June through Labor Day the Center is also open on Sundays. Admission is free and donations are welcome. Please check our website for workshops and other special events. Group tours may be arranged with advance reservations.
Bear Valley Visitors Center
Located off Highway 1, 0.5 miles west of Olema,
CA along Bear Valley Road
Before exploring the Point Reyes National Seashore, a visit to the Bear Valley Visitors Center is in order. The Center provides an orientation to the park’s roads, trails and general history. It also offers ecological and historical exhibits including a seismograph, weather station and auditorium for films and educational programs. The Bear Valley Visitor Center was designed to blend in with the historically significant ranching culture of this area and is located in the heart of the Olema Valley. Reservations and permits for back-country camping can be obtained here. The Visitor Center is open year around and closed on Christmas. Hours of Operation: Weekdays from 9:00am – 5:00pm and on weekends and Holidays from 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Marin County Open Space District
Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 415
San Rafael, CA 94903
Photo Credit: www.marincountyparks.org
The Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) is the local government agency responsible for preserving public open space in Marin County, California. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in Marin through the acquisition, protection, and responsible stewardship of ridge and bay lands and environmentally ensitive lands targeted for preservation in the Marin Countywide Plan. MCOSD lands represent outstanding examples of northern California environments including oak-bay woodlands, savanna, grasslands and salt marsh. These habitats are managed to protect and enhance their natural, undeveloped character while accommodating educational activities and trail-oriented uses such as hiking, horseback riding and mountain bicycling. Lands of the Open Space District, together with Marin’s extensive federal and state parklands, contribute to Marin County’s reputation as a highly desirable place to live and work. The Marin Open Space Program offers seasonal trips and events for both families and individuals. View the 2013 Ranger Events for outdoor ideas.
Marine Mammal Center
2000 Bunker Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit hospital for sick and injured seals and sea lions, as well as an educational visitor destination, nestled in the Marin Headlands near Rodeo Beach. The Center’s mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Staff and over 1,000 volunteers rescue and provide medical care for hundreds of marine mammals each year – over 18,000 since the organization’s humble beginnings in 1975!
Everyone is invited to visit The Marine Mammal Center to learn from knowledgeable docents and engaging exhibits. Visitors can explore the facility, peer into large viewing windows to see meals for the patients being prepared, lab work activities and they can enjoy watching the seals in their pools from a beautiful outdoor observation deck.
The Marine Mammal Center is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Docent-led tours and group tours are available by reservation online at www.marinemammalcenter.org/visit for $5 - $7 or on site the day of your visit. Audio tours are also available and visitors can enjoy shopping at our gift store. All proceeds from tours and the gift store benefit the Center.
Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Visitor Information: 415-388-2596
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 1 grows an ancient coast redwood forest named Muir Woods. Within this isolated forest, visitors from all over the world continue to marvel at 1000 year old giant redwood trees that tower 260 feet high. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt declared Muir Woods a national monument. The forest was named for conservationist John Muir.
Visitors can stroll along the forest floor on marked paths viewing interpretive displays in this magnificent, natural setting. Hiking trails wind through the forest, but no dogs, bicycles, picnics or camping are permitted. Bird watching, nature walks and interpretive programs are part of the activities within Muir Woods. The park is open from 8:00am to sunset, daily including holidays. The Muir Woods Café and Gift Shop are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, September through May and from 9:00am to 6:00pm, June through August.
Summer months are the busiest and parking is challenging; vehicles over 35 feet long are prohibited. A free shuttle bus serves the park on weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Summer visitors are encouraged to use the shuttle to avoid parking hassles and to spare the environment. Admission is $7 for adults; children 15 and under are free.
NatureBridge Conference Center
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
1033 Fort Cronhkite
Sausalito, CA 94965
Bay Area Green Business
NatureBridge is a private nonprofit organization that offers environmental education opportunities for students and teachers, teen leadership programs, summer day camps for kids, and conference facilities in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area - Marin Headlands, just north of San Francisco. NatureBridge is dedicated to teaching science and environmental education in nature's classroom to inspire a personal connection to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it.
Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve
Photo Credit: www.marincountyparks.org
Located at the top of the Tiburon Peninsula, Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve contains some of the most unusual natural landscape in Marin County. Named for George E. Ring, county supervisor from 1895 until 1903, this rock-strewn site is a mélange, resulting from dramatic earth movements. Rocks such as blue and green schist, together with abundant serpentine, create soils which are toxic to most plant life. Plant communities which are able to survive this harsh environment, however, thrive in the absence of competition. For this reason, Ring Mountain harbors an unusual number of rare and endangered plant species, including the Tiburon Mariposa Lily, which is found nowhere else on earth. Hikers to Ring Mountain are rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area.
Please Note: Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve is closed between sunset and sunrise (at night). This is due to a stipulation in the title deed when the preserve was received from the Nature Conservancy.
Cowgirl Creamery & Cantina
80 Fourth Street
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Our creamery is located at Tomales Bay Foods, a restored barn at 80 Fourth Street in Point Reyes Station. There is also a cheese counter for tasting and purchasing local cheese, and a nice selection of books, knives, boards and condiments to pair with cheese. The Cowgirl Cantina is a shop located at the other end of the barn and offers delicious picnic food, espresso and a fantastic wine selection.
Peak through a glassed-in viewing window and watch as we make cheese -- Wednesday through Monday, from 10am to 6pm. Better yet, take a tour. These are held every Friday at 11:30 a.m. The tour consists of a 30-minute presentation, followed by a tasting of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. The charge for the tour is $5 per person and reservations are required. Special group tours can be booked here or calling 415.663.9335.
Drakes Bay Oyster Company
17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Inverness, CA 94937
Drake’s Bay Oyster Company's growing area has the finest water quality of any growing area in California. This clean, nutrient-rich water produces what are recognized as some of the finest oysters in the world. Drakes Bay Oyster is the only certified organic oyster farm in Marin and the only commercial oyster producer in California that performs its own remote seed setting, which enables the production of its own oyster seed (baby oysters) on site. Currently, the shellfish species produced in the Drake’s Estero include Pacific Oysters and Manila Clams. These shellfish continue to be produced as "singles" and are sold live in-shell as well as shucked and packed in various sized containers.
Everyone is welcome to visit our oyster farm during business hours. Stay and enjoy our freshly harvested shellfish for an authentic experience, or bring a cooler to take some home with you. To help ensure that oysters are available when you visit, please call ahead of time. If you are placing a large order, a phone call a day or two before pickup is recommended.
Free Oyster Farm Tours are available and are provided on a first come, first serve basis. Tastings within the tour are also available for a minimal charge. Although guests are welcome anytime for a tour, please do try to call in advance to schedule a tour time.
Hours of Operation: 8:00am-4:30pm Everyday
Marin Farmers Market
Marin County is known as a center for organic food and cutting-edge organic farming techniques. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Marin County in 2005 to learn more about the organic farming methods used by Marin’s growers.
The Marin Civic Center Certified Farmers Market has been chosen as one of the top ten markets in the country, and local residents flock to their favorite farmers market each week to take home fresh, locally-grown produce. Chefs from Marin’s top restaurants also select fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and artisan breads at the local farmers markets to create their culinary delights.
Marin Farmers Markets: Shop Them All:
SAN RAFAEL – MARIN CIVIC CENTER
Discover unusual varieties of produce alongside local restaurateurs at the “Chef’s Market”. Location and Time: Civic Center, Year-round; Thursdays and Sundays 8am-1pm.
Bring the whole family to explore the incredible selection of the third largest market in California.
Downtown San Rafael Certified Farmers Market Festival
A community celebration on Fourth Street every Thursday night. Thousands of visitors browse the wares of 150 vendors in the five-block festival. Free entertainment is offered at five different locations. In addition to certified farmer-direct produce, the Festival includes arts and crafts, barbeque and international dinners, clowns, balloons and activities for children. Open 6:00pm-9:00pm, Thursdays, April-September.
Town Center Corte Madera – Farmers Market
100 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Farm fresh produce and delicious baked goods are found at the year-round Corte Madera Farmers Market every Wednesday from Noon until 5:00pm, rain or shine.
Marin French Cheese Company
7500 Red Hill Road
Petaluma, CA 94952
A Favorite Destination for Visitors and Cheese Lovers from Around the World
Each year visitors from all over the world come to Rouge et Noir to learn how artisan cheese is made and sample the award-winning cheeses handmade in “the Cheese Factory” since 1865. Take a free tour of the creamery, sample our many styles of cheese and browse in our retail shop for cheese to take home. Visitors love our lush grounds for weddings, team meetings, barbecues, parties and relaxing picnics by the pond. Located at the gateway to West Marin as well as the Sonoma & Napa Valley wine regions, the Cheese Factory is a perfect gathering spot for cyclists and plein-air painters. Rain or shine, we have covered picnic tables, cold beverages (wine & beer), hot chocolate, coffee, soup and assorted sandwiches available in the deli.
Please call for current days and times to view the cheese making process. For groups of 6 or more please call in advance.
Store hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm seven days per week. Closed on these Holidays: New Years day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas day
Nicasio Valley Cheese Company
5300 Nicasio Valley Road
Nicasio, CA 94946
We are committed to sustainable agriculture. Being organic and pasture-based confirms this. The family dairy started in 1919 and in 2006 the organic conversion process began. Today, all of our cheeses are made from 100% organic farmstead cow's milk.
Establishing the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company has given us the opportunity to bring to fruition something our father had only dreamt of. Swiss master cheese maker Maurizio Lorenzetti has mentored our family in the art of making the cheeses of Valle Maggia to ensure they are as magical here as they are in Switzerland.
The Lafranchi family is extremely proud to bring our versions of the cheeses of our ancestors to the states. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Retail Hours: 7 Days a Week, 10:00am to 5:00pm. Tours Available by Appointment
1026 Machin Avenue
Novato, CA 94945
Come experience Trek Winery located in downtown Novato. Taste our distinctive, yet affordable wines in a comfortable indoor or outdoor setting with friendly and knowledgeable tasting room staff.
Trek Winery is available for all your meeting and private event needs. Please call and ask for Andy for more information.
Hours of Operation: Wednesday - Thursday 11:00am - 8:00pm, Friday - Saturday 11:00am - 10:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm - 7:00pm
Visitors to Marin County can choose from a variety of historic activities by either visiting State Parks that are scattered throughout, checking out local museums, walking the Earthquake Trail adjacent to the Bear Valley Visitors Center in West Marin or visiting historic Downtown Larkspur with its turn-of-the century buildings. Marin’s historical attractions offer all visitors a plethora of activities to choose from at any time of the year.
Angel Island State Park
Angel Island State Park is a 740-acre mountainous island in the San Francisco Bay offering a variety of activities including hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, and tram tours. It also has some of the best views of San Francisco and the entire San Francisco Bay. Angel Island was an Immigration Station from 1910-1950, designed to control the flow of Chinese into the county. Angel Island used to also be a POW processing center during World War II.
The island is open to the public from 8:00am to sunset all year around. The Angel Island Museum is open during the summer season, April - November. Please visit the following websites for ferry schedules servicing the park: www.angelislandferry.com.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
557 McReynolds Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor children’s museum at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, serving over 300,000 visitors per year on its 7.5 acre Sausalito campus. The Museum is recognized as the leading children’s museum dedicated to developing childhood creativity, nurturing future generations of creative thinkers and innovators. With this emphasis on creativity through play, we encourage children ages 6 months to 8 years to develop into curious, creative, adventurous lifelong learners and explorers.
The Museum's unique programs feature hands-on art, science and environmental exhibitions, performances, special events, cultural festivals and ongoing educational curricula... all with a focus on fun! Hours of Operation: 9:00am-4:00pm on Tuesday – Friday and 10:00am-5:00pm on Saturday – Sunday.
China Camp State Park
Four miles east of San Rafael on North San Pedro Road to the shore of San Pablo Bay
San Rafael, CA 94901
This 1,648-acre bayside park just outside of San Rafael, acquired its name from a Chinese fishing village that once flourished there. Visitors may view a preserved fisherman’s cottage and the China Camp Museum. Access the park from Hwy. 101, Exit North San Pedro Road, East.
*Due to budgetary cutbacks of our California State Parks, service reductions have been in place. Effective July 1, 2012 China Camp State Park has been saved from closure by a local group called Friends of China Camp.
General Park Hours: 8:00am to Sunset; Gate at Back Ranch Meadows Campground: Open 8:00am to 9:00pm. Gate is closed at 9:00pm
Golden Gate Bridge
Dial 511 (within the Bay area)
415-455-2000 (outside the Bay area)
A trip to Marin County wouldn’t be complete without a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. This historic bridge, which is 1.7 miles long, was opened to vehicular traffic on May 28, 1937. Pedestrians and bicyclists may access the bridge sidewalks during daylight hours.
Five acres of manicured gardens on the southeast side of the bridge allow visitors to wander along paths to view the bridge from different perspectives.
Marin History Museum
Located at the Boyd Gate House
1125 B Street
San Rafael, CA
Since 1935, the Marin History Museum has fostered the discovery of local history for both adults and children. Through programs, lectures, exhibitions, and artifact preservation, we bring the past to life. The Marin History Museum provides cultural programs and educational resources for the community at numerous sites throughout the county and beyond, as well as online.
Boyd Gate House, San Rafael - Showcases the Marin History Museum’s changing exhibitions and educational programs and offers a Family Activity Room. Built in 1879, the Boyd Gate House is a beautiful example of high Victorian Gothic architecture, set in a park setting, surrounded by a granite and iron fence. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com. Gallery Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Friday and the second and third Saturday of each month 11:00am - 4:00pm.
Mission San Rafael Arcangel
1104 Fifth Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
On December 14, 1817, Mission San Rafael was established as an assistencia or “helper” mission to Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Because its original purpose was to care for the sick, it was named after St. Rafael the Archangel, the angel of bodily healing. Mission San Rafael Arcangel is part of the Saint Raphael parish in downtown San Rafael. It is a 1949 replica of the original Spanish mission, which was constructed in 1817 and was second-to-last in the California mission chain. The
Mission Chapel is open for visitors Monday-Friday, 6:30am-5:00pm, Saturday, 8:30am-5:00pm and Sunday, 9:00am-5:00pm; self-guided tours are available. Admission is free, donations are welcomed.
Novato Historic Old Town
Historical buildings dot downtown Novato, including the Novato History Museum (1850), City Hall (a former Presbyterian church built in 1896) and Druid’s Hall (1899), among others. Novato’s old town is located along Grant Avenue.
Olompali State Historic Park
Novato, CA 94948
This 700-acre park overlooks the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay. It features several historic buildings, including the adobe house of Camilo Ynitia, the last headman of the Miwok community living at Olompali. The park’s name comes from the Coast Miwok language meaning “southern village”. The settlement at Olompali has been inhabited continuously since about 500 A.D.
The park is open for day use only. Olompali State Park is located 2 ½ miles north of Novato on U.S. Highway 101.
*Due to budgetary cutbacks of our California State Parks, service reductions are already in place: Effective July 1, 2012, the park is open for day use only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. The park is closed Mondays - Fridays.
Point Bonita Lighthouse
Sausalito, CA 94965
This active lighthouse dates from 1877 and sits on top of a rugged outcropping overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Access to the lighthouse is from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, down a one mile long road and across a suspension bridge. Access is restricted except for regularly schedule tours.
Open 12:30pm-3:30pm, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and for “full moon” tours.
Point Reyes Lighthouse
Lighthouse Visitor Center
Point Reyes, CA
The Point Reyes Lighthouse is located at the western-most point of the Point Reyes Headlands. Due to concerns that Point Reyes’ heavy fog could obscure the lighthouse, it was built 275 feet down the bluff. In 1975 the station was automated and in 1977 it was handed over to the National Park Service. The Lighthouse Visitors Center is located .04 mile from the parking lot and the lighthouse is down another 308 stairs.
During the winter months, Point Reyes Lighthouse is one of the best places along the California Coast to view the California Gray Whales on their annual migration from Alaska to Mexico.
The Visitors Center is open 10:00am-4:00pm, Thursday through Monday. The lighthouse is sometimes closed due to high winds. For tour reservations call after 10:00am the same day you wish to visit.
San Francisco Theological Seminary - San Anselmo
105 Seminary Road
San Anselmo, CA 94960
The Seminary was founded in 1871 in San Francisco as Presbyterian City College. In 1870 the College received a gift of a 14-acre hilltop in San Anselmo. Money to build the campus was also donated, and on September 21, 1892 the San Anselmo campus was opened. The Seminary is within walking distance of downtown San Anselmo and consists of numerous historical buildings, chapels, Victorian homes, and includes the “castles on the hill”, one which is patterned after the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. San Francisco Theological Seminary is located just 15 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Situated on 14 beautiful acres with views overlooking the Ross Valley and Mt. Tamalpais, many agree that it is a lovely, convenient place for weddings, receptions, concerts, conferences and retreats.
While the seminary does not offer guided tours, they do provide self-guided walking tour pamphlets at the library located in Geneva Hall at the top of Seminary Road. Address: 109 Seminary Road, San Anselmo, CA. Please visit the library website for hours and more information.
Speedway Motorsports Sonoma
29355 Arnold Dr.
Sonoma, California 95476
The fender-banging action of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series headlines the 2012 Big O Tires Racing Season at Speedway Motorsports Sonoma. The seven-race major event schedule, featuring everything from stock cars to motorcycles, will be highlighted by three of the top racing series in the country - the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and IZOD IndyCar® Series – as well as the North American debut of the FIA World Touring Car Championship and motorcycle racing with AMA Pro Road Racing.
Located just six miles east of Novato, the 1,600-acre facility is a year-round motorsports complex with events scheduled 340 days and 50 weekends a year combined on its road course, drag strip and kart center. The facility is also home to the Simraceway Performance Driving Center, as well as 75 businesses in its motorsports industrial park. The Speedway also features a comprehensive sustainability program since 2004, including an installation of nearly 1,700 solar panels in 2010.
For more information, visit RaceSonoma.com or call 800-870-RACE (7223).
Marin Bocce Federation
550 B Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
Bay Area Green Business
Located next to the San Rafael Community Center, the Marin Bocce Federation manages and operates a beautiful, family oriented, 10-court bocce facility open to the public seven days a week. Click here to view our video.
Hours of Operation: March - October 2012: SUN: 9AM - 4PM, MON: After 1PM *,TUE: 9 AM - 4PM, WED: After 1PM *, THU: After 1 PM *, FRI: 9AM - 4PM, SAT: 9AM - 4PM. Please note that reservations are required with an * mark. Hours subject to change due to weather.
The facility is perfect for corporate outings, fundraisers, family parties and small group events. The rose garden is a popular venue for special events such as weddings.