Marin Blog · Summer in Marin Collection

Start Planning for Marin County’s Best Summer Events

Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2024 by MCVB Staff

By Whitney Butler


If there’s one way to tell summer has arrived in Marin County, it’s at a number of events dedicated to the season. More than a dozen summer festivals, fairs, parades and markets will take over your calendar if you’re headed to Marin.

Summer events in Marin deliver opportunities to explore what the county is known for: farm-fresh ingredients, beautiful backdrops, and skillful artists. This year, everyone can enjoy her favorite foods at Marin’s most popular summer events. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.


Mill Valley Music Fest 

The inaugural Mill Valley Music Festival is a two-day outdoor arts and culture event presented by the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce and will take place at Friends Field, located adjacent to the Mill Valley Community Center.  Nestled below the slopes of Mount Tamalpais, this new destination festival looks to serve as Mill Valley’s signature event drawing attention to the longstanding cultural contributions of Mill Valley throughout the greater Bay Area and far beyond.

Featuring a heady, multi-genre mix of diverse national acts and local lights, coupled with world-class food, drink and art for your best friends and ones you’re yet to meet.

This all-ages gathering embraces the Bay Area’s rich diversity with eyes, ears and arms wide open. Arts and culture have long lived deep in the bones of our community.


Novato Art, Wine, and Music Festival

Novato is a charming city east of Point Reyes and just north of the San Francisco Bay. The city is known for promoting a healthy and athletic lifestyle, showcased in the city’s 2,600 acres of open space.

On June 8 and 9, Novato hosts the 41st Annual Novato Festival of Art, Wine & Music: a family-friendly street fair celebrating the area’s unique art, wine and popular music. Join the Chamber of Commerce for this free event in downtown Novato along Grant Avenue. 

Kids will enjoy carnival-style games and attractions, craft stations, and a chance to greet members of the Novato police and fire departments. The event also features two stages for live music, beer and wine tastings, and some of Novato’s best bites. Don’t miss the microbrews from Hopmonk Tavern or a vintage from Trek Winery; they’re both popular local spots in Novato.


Fairfax Festival

During the summer, the farmer’s market in Fairfax Park attracts hundreds of weekly visitors. Fairfax is a small city in the middle of Marin County, and it hosts dozens of cultural events throughout the year, including the annual Fairfax Festival.

On June 8 and 9, head to Fairfax for a morning parade, live music, outdoor vendors and flea market treasures. You’ll come for the great shopping, but you’ll stay for the great food.

Fairfax is home to some of Marin’s favorite food destinations, including the popular Taste Kitchen & Table, known for its baked goods and farm-fresh ingredients. 


Marin County Fair

The Civic Center Fairgrounds in San Rafael is home to Marin’s most beloved summer tradition: the Marin County Fair. If there’s one place to pig out on all your favorite foods, it’s here, July 3rd through July 7th - Make A Splash!

The 2024 fair will focus on outdoor headline entertainment, performers roaming the grounds such as jugglers, unicyclists, and stilt walkers, and interactive art experiences for fans of all ages. Returning fair favorites will include traditional carnival rides, the Global Marketplace, food and drinks, and fireworks over the Civic Center’s Lagoon Park. The always-popular competitive exhibits program will take place online as it has in the past.

While fairgoers enjoy live music, carnival rides and games, dozens of outdoor grills will be cooking crowd favorites like grilled corn on the cob, turkey legs, fried artichokes, churros and other goodies it’s best to only eat once a year.

Celebrated as the Healthiest and Greenest County Fair on Earth since 2008, the Marin County Fair proudly features a solar-powered carousel, a solar-powered stage, and a 92% waste diversion rate. The Fair offers fresh and healthy food choices, alcohol-free sponsorships, and a smoke-free environment for the enjoyment of all.


Corte Madera/Larkspur Fourth of July Festival

The Corte Madera/Larkspur Fourth of July Festival is a hometown parade along Magnolia Avenue to the Town Center. Last year was the parade’s 100th anniversary and featured a marching band, classic cars, high school athletic teams, elaborate floats and more; it’s a hometown event, and everyone’s invited this Fourth of July.

Before catching the parade and fireworks, head over to Larkspur Landing for a farm-raised steak dinner at The Farmshop. For dessert, don’t miss Rustic Bakery, a farm-to-table restaurant also located at Larkspur Landing.


Annual Downtown Hops and Vines Stroll

This beer & wine tasting event will feature the numerous new (and established) Downtown breweries/taprooms boutiques and businesses offering tastes, with light refreshments, inside their stores along the Fourth Street corridor to the West End Village.

The Second Annual Downtown San Rafael Hops & Vines Stroll will be held on Saturday, September 21 from 2 pm to 7 pm. Celebrating the craft beer and premium wine scene in Marin, the festive tasting event will take place along the San Rafael Downtown Fourth Street corridor through the West End Village and feature a FREE trolley, music and numerous downtown breweries/taprooms, boutiques and businesses offering wine and beer tastings as well as light refreshments inside their establishments.


Western Weekend at Point Reyes Station

Point Reyes is the coastal gem of Marin County. The history of this nationally protected seashore spans from the early settlements of the Miwok Indians to its current emphasis on progressive animal husbandry, renowned dairy products, and family-run farms and businesses.

To commemorate its roots in ranching, Point Reyes sponsors a Western Weekend every year in June. The two-day event includes all your favorite fixings, including a livestock show, homecoming queens, local art and, of course, West Marin’s most delicious farm fare.

Point Reyes is a hot spot for many of Marin’s favorite bites; this is where much of Marin’s fresh dairy and meat come from. Enjoy fine cheeses, fresh cider and locally grown produce from a variety of purveyors and Point Reyes business owners. Don’t miss Ranch Tours, the Marin French Cheese Company or more of Marin’s most beloved food traditions that thrive on the coast.


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