The Fall Bounty of Marin
Posted Wednesday, September 25, 2019 by MCVB Staff
A pumpkin-spice cornucopia of fall foodie getaways awaits in Marin County, northern California’s premier destination for farm-to-table food. The “backyard of the Bay Area” is ripe for picking great seasonal outdoor activities during the autumn months when the celebrated Marin County Agri-tourism hotbed gets cool and crisp with pumpkins, apples and harvest festivals.
Marin County shows its true colors when the autumn leaves turn, and the fruits and vegetables are plump and bountiful. Here are some of the finest fall activities in Marin County.
You’ll find world-class fresh seasonal produce any season of the year in Marin County, but Marin County Farmers Markets are especially magical during autumn. The Marin Civic Center Certified Farmers Market is one of the largest and best-recognized farmers' markets in the country, with more than 200 chefs and organic farmers presenting their finest organic foods from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday and Sunday, rain or shine. The market goes into full fall mode in October, when a pumpkin patch is open every day.
Another can’t-miss culinary boutique food shopping experience is the Marin Country Mart’s Farmers Market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday at Larkspur’s outdoor shopping and restaurant bazaar Marin Country Mart. Youngsters will enjoy the pony rides, petting zoo and face painting, while the grown-ups will want to make dates for Friday Night Jazz and the Sunday Folkish Festival series there to bookend the weekend.
To get your pumpkin from a genuine pumpkin farm, the Nicasio Valley Farms pumpkin patch is open every day from Sept. 28 to Oct. 31, 2019, with barbecue, ice cream and live music on the weekends.
For pumpkin hunters with an interest in protecting Marin County’s unparalleled natural beauty, there’s a special one-day pumpkin patch event. The Marin Agricultural Land Trust Day at the Pumpkin Patch on Sunday, Oct. 20 is free, with proceeds of every pumpkin sale benefitting a land trust that preserves and protects Marin County’s unique farmland. Make sure to carve out time for that pumpkin party’s tractor ride and a farm animal petting zoo too.
Tastings and festivals
It’s an autumn day to play with the baby goats, chickens and even to enjoy a scarecrow parade at the Fall Harvest Celebration at Slide Ranch in beautiful Muir Beach (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19). Beehives, live music and farm-fresh cheese classes round out this fall festival, which offers a fabulous view of the ocean and the visiting gray whales frolicking.
Ever dream of stomping grapes with your own two feet? You’ll get the chance at the 4th Annual Novato Harvest Festival brought to you by Trek Winery from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. The tasting room at Trek Winery in Novato plays host to live music, craft beer and of course their famous wine.
Yodeling, polka and steins are the signs that Oktoberfest Corte Madera is coming (noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 ) at the Old Corte Madera Square. There will indeed be beer, live music, German attire and plenty of activities where kids can do the dirndl-est things.
And don’t forget that Marin County’s organic apples are in full harvest. Get to meet these beauties up close at AppleGarden Farm Tours at the organic apple farm in Tomales, with weekend farm tours of the apple orchard along with a hard cider tasting offered all season long Fridays (noon to 5 p.m.), Saturdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sundays (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). A nominal admission fee is waived with the purchase of cider.
You can make an autumn weekend or getaway with a range of places to stay in Marin County that fit every budget. So come enjoy the unique harvest charms of Marin County, and you’ll fall hard for a feast of unforgettable autumn attractions and celebrations.