Marin Blog · Outdoor Adventures Collection

LGBT Traveler's Guide to Marin County

Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, September 13, 2021 by MCVB Staff

By Joe Kukura


San Francisco may be known as the world’s gay mecca, but there’s a well-kept LGBTQ travel secret on the “sunny side of the Golden Gate Bridge.” Marin County is sort of the backyard for the Bay Area, with a diverse and welcoming collection of community-oriented small towns that offer unparalleled scenery and charm. On the brighter side of the Bay just north of San Francisco, an inviting array of LGBTQ-friendly restaurants, bars, hotels and wedding venues sit nestled against the beautiful California backdrops of Mount Tamalpais and Point Reyes.

Marin County is an unbeatable destination for weekend staycations and LGBTQ-welcoming romantic getaways. Located perfectly between California vacation havens like Napa and Lake Tahoe, Marin County is packed with possibilities for shopping, restaurants and event venues like the ones we’ve listed below.


Best Bars

Entertainment and top-shelf spirits are built into the DNA of Marin County, and the LGBTQ nightlife scene in Marin goes beyond its theaters and galleries.

The Hopmonk Tavern in Novato is a great spot for microbrews and bar eats, and features fun pop cover bands and other live acts almost every night.

Wine enthusiasts will want to dig into the extensive list at Il Davide in San Rafael, whose Italian cuisine is also exquisite. 


Best Restaurants

You’ll love to “eat locally” at Marin County’s artisanal, farm-to-table restaurants, and the farmers’ markets are pretty outstanding, too. Whether you’re looking for brunch, seafood or Asian fusion, you’ll find it all at Marin County restaurants.

Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes is a local cheese manufacturer well-known across California, and it also offers a scrumptious cheese counter and fun tours of the farm. Cheese lovers won’t want to miss the upscale Larkspur fondue eatery The Melting Pot, which provides a rich experience for couples or large groups. Craft cocktails and fine Chilean wine are on the menu across town at Marinita’s.

And if you happen to be a fan of cult-hit guilty pleasures, you’ll find a Cheesecake Factory in Corte Madera and an In-N-Out Burger in Novato.


Best Places to Stay

Marin County is full of gay and lesbian-owned friendly accommodations along the Point Reyes and the Pacific coastline. There are a few boutique hotels that stand out for romantic getaways in Mill Valley, some hip yet extravagant bed-and-breakfast spots can turn a quick staycation into a memorable experience, and Marin County budget hotels still offer some fun kitsch and flair that are easy on your wallet.


Best Wedding Venues

Marin County is a bastion of support for same-sex marriage. And the region is light years ahead of the rest of the country for same-sex wedding accommodations.

Take a look at the wedding resources in Marin County to get started picking out caterers, stylists and photographers. Then take your pick of the best wedding venues or hotel wedding venues that have everything to offer to make your special day unforgettable.

With a world-class lineup of LGBTQ-welcoming resorts, restaurants, taverns and venues, Marin County provides the perfect getaway.


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

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From cozy and casual to elegant and refined, Marin County is home to more than 500 restaurants.  Every region of the world is represented with its own rich...[Learn More]