Experience the Romance of Marin County
Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, February 3, 2020 by MCVB Staff
By Megan Eileen McDonough
While the holidays are a great time to reconnect with friends and family, don’t forget to pay extra attention to your special someone. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, now is the best time to start planning that romantic Marin getaway. Here are a few tips for making the most of your stay.
For a bit of rest and relaxation mixed with outdoor adventure, book a stay at Mill Valley Inn. The hotel is a short walk from downtown Mill Valley, with boutiques, restaurants and art galleries mere minutes away. That said, the hotel has a quiet, almost remote feel to it, with European sophistication mixed with the charm of a historic mill town. Best of all, it’s located at the foot of Mount Tamalpais and a gateway to soft adventures.
If you’re seeking a private, bed-and-breakfast experience, book a few nights at AppleGarden Cottage. Located just outside the historic town of Tomales, the cottage has all the modern conveniences we’re used to and is fairly spacious, with a private kitchen included. Best of all, the cottage rests on a farm known for its best-selling ciders. Guests are even greeted with a bottle and a cheese plate.
Another charming bed-and-breakfast is the Panama Hotel in San Rafael. The historic inn is midway between San Francisco and California wine country, giving it quite the ideal location. Along with cozy accommodations designed in European style with shared baths, its restaurant features an elegant, historic dining room and an outdoor patio reminiscent of the tropics. Panama Hotel even has special rooms designed specifically for pet owners.
Feasts for Two
Marin’s culinary scene is very focused on farm-to-table fare, with restaurants like Piazza D'Angelo perfecting that craft every season. The Mill Valley hotspot has created a special San Valentino Dinner Menu to celebrate the Love Holiday. Splurge on fresh house-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas, antipasti, as well as fresh fish, prime meats and their abundant choice of desserts.
You’re in for a wild ride at Wildfox Restaurant, so strap on your seatbelt. The menu is as decadent as the ingredients on your plate. Serving up American comfort food with a twist, every dish is packed with flavor. Start off with a shared plate like the finger chicken potstickers or tempura calamari before indulging in filet mignon, bistro steak frites and braised beef short ribs. To up the romance factor, dine on the outdoor patio.
Located on the town square in Nicasio, Rancho Nicasio offers rustic ambiance, California cuisine, and LIVE music! Get ready for a Valentine's Day Night filled with stirring French Chanson, Gypsy Jazz, and Romantic American Standards by Bandjango Collectif! Bandjango plays with global rhythms that famously inspire dancing, and the dance floor will be open! Reserve your table and purchase tickets for this magical gypsy jazz Valentine's treat!
Get inspired by a night of gallery hopping as part of San Rafael’s Art Works Downtown. The galleries are open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but on every second Friday of the month (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) the spaces stay open after hours for an evening of art admiration, wine and live music. Mix and mingle with fellow art lovers and maybe even meet one of the featured artists! Afterward, wander over to one of the many local restaurants.
For a romantic outing on the water with some of the most iconic and breathtaking views in California, Red and White Fleet offers three unique cruises to visitors around the world including special sails to help celebrate the holidays. On February 14, pamper your partner with Red and White Fleet's Valentine's Day Starlight Cruise! Cuddle up on their cozy vessel, share a toast and create a moment that will last a lifetime. Angel Island Tiburon Ferry, Marin's only family-owned and operated ferry service, invites you and your loved one onboard The Tamalpais while the sun sets over San Francisco Bay for their Valentine's Day Sunset Cruise or Romantic Bay Lights Cruise! Enjoy the breath-taking views of the bay while enjoying complimentary light appetizers and a glass of bubbly (age 21+).
Up for a road trip? Take a scenic drive along the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail. Either follow the suggested route or carve out your own itinerary. Remember to plan ahead, as several of the cheese farms are appointment-only. That said, there are plenty of farms open to the public, no reservation needed. Swing by Bohemian Creamery to meet some of Lisa Gottreich’s Alpine dairy goats or stop at Bravo Farms for some fresh cheddar.
When you’re all wined out, head to Heidrun Meadery, a facility that creates naturally sparkling varietal meads using the traditional French méthode champenoise. The tasting room is open every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (5 p.m. on weekends). The meadery also offers hour-long tours for small groups and couples, booked in advance. Before leaving, enjoy a glass of mead on the outdoor patio or pack a picnic.