Marin Blog · Marin Nightlife Collection

Best Places to Dance the Night Away in Marin

Posted in Blogging Marin on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by MCVB Staff

By Whitney Butler


There’s a reason Marin’s nightlife is so authentic, and that’s because the area is home to several famous musicians, and is the birthplace of many more. Classic rockers like Sammy Hagar, Phil Lesh and Huey Lewis have had a huge impact on the music community here, which has also been a home to music greats Tony Bennett and Carlos Santana. 


Music roots run deep in these parts, spurring a medley of restaurants, lounges and live music venues that honor the musicians who continue to inspire us.


Whether you’re looking for an intimate venue, celebrity sightings or great cocktails to motivate some dance moves, here’s a list of places in Marin County known for delivering a good time on and off the dance floor.  


Hopmonk Tavern


Known for house-made microbrews like the Hopmonk IPA and refreshing Hopmonk Hefeweizen, this live music haven is also a great place to get your groove on. Hopmonk Tavern in Novato features several musical genres you won’t find elsewhere in Marin, like reggae, beat music and punk, as well as popular varieties like classic rock, R&B and acoustic tribute bands.


The Session Room is an intimate space where Hopmonk Tavern puts on several shows throughout the week. These include an open mic night every Wednesday and, typically on weekends, scheduled performances from popular local bands and national talent.


Kick back a cold one and enjoy a juicy burger before a live performance. Aside from great beer, the food here is great at pleasing a crowd, with seating options available outside.


The outside beer garden is another place that features live music, and during the summer it’s the hottest place to bust a move.


Terrapin Crossroads


Speaking of The Grateful Dead, Bob Weir isn’t the only famous guitarist with a trendy music venue in Marin. Phil Lesh, the band’s bass guitarist, also celebrates his roots in Marin County, at a place he opened with his family called Terrapin Crossroads.


Lesh and his gang of local musicians can be seen performing at his swanky restaurant/lounge located near the water in San Rafael nearly every night of the week. He plays for happy hour guests and weekend brunchers—the brunch menu, by the way, is nothing short of amazing.


Terrapin Crossroads has a large, separate music venue, where touring bands come in for intimate shows at ticketed events.


While there’s no telling who will show up for impromptu jam sessions, Terrapin Crossroads is a sure bet when it comes to finding a good beat.


Dugout Bar and Log Cabin


If you’re looking for a place where you can dance to your own special rhythm, San Anselmo’s Dugout Bar and Log Cabin is the perfect place to enjoy a laidback evening dancing to music you play on the jukebox.


This self-proclaimed dive bar is only open Wednesday through Saturday, but they keep the lights on till 2 a.m. It’s a popular place for those who wanna boogie into the late, late night.


There are also pool tables, darts, shuffleboard—all the classic staples you might expect—but it’s a cash-only bar, so don’t forget to hit up an ATM before you make the trip.


For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page, or download the mobile app.

Tags: Dancing