Marin Blog · The Best in Marin Collection

A Weekend in Larkspur: A Wealth of Wonder and Wellness

Posted in Best Marin Attractions on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 by MCVB Staff

By Joe Kukura


A classic California weekend getaway awaits in Larkspur, a laid-back yet up-and-coming Marin County destination that’s been a longtime favorite for rest and relaxation weekends. A weekend trip to Larkspur is easy to reach too — around 13 miles north of San Francisco on the “sunny side of the Golden Gate Bridge.”

Downtown Larkspur is a must-see gem whose classic architecture has earned it an official listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Larkspur has also served as the backdrop of famous Marin County movies like The Godfather, Dirty Harry, and Basic Instinct, among others. Easy weekend getaways are a quick ride from San Francisco via the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal in Larkspur or from wine country on the high-tech, super comfy and scenic SMART rail line.


And once you’re there, here are a few of the best things to do in Larkspur.


Playspaces for Kids (and Adults) of All Ages

Larkspur’s renovated Marin Country Mart is the darling of the Marin County shopping scene, an outdoor, open-air shopping space with artisan stores that have been groundbreaking in the Marin County farm-to-table dining and shopping movement. Kids will love the climbable play space of resculpted giant redwood trees, while grown-ups can enjoy a microbrew from the renowned Marin Brewing Company.

Every day all October long, Larkspur’s Marin Country Mart features a must-visit outdoor pumpkin patch experience. There are also recurring events every weekend throughout the year, including Friday Night Jazz, and the live folk music jam Folkish Festival every Sunday afternoon. The plaza also offers breathtaking scenery of the surrounding bay and has a delightful fish pond that never fails to delight.

If the great outdoors is more your speed, Larkspur offers outdoor experiences ranging from waterfall hikes to Marin County kayaking to Eastern Marin County biking trails for mountain biking and road-cycling riders from beginning to advanced.



A Vibrant Food and Dining Scene

The Marin Country Mart's Farmers Market puts on one of Northern California’s top farmers market every Saturday morning and afternoon. If you’re a food-truck cuisine lover, Off the Grid at Marin Country Mart takes over every Sunday with inspiring pop-ups covering every foodie category.

Permanent Marin Country Mart eateries include the famed Farmshop Marin, known as one of the best brunch spots in Marin County. The Rustic Bakery at Marin Country Mart is another foodie haven of breads, cheeses, pastries, and libations. The Marin Country Mart also features cult-hit culinary sensations like Wise Sons bagels and Johnny Doughnuts, and a Shake Shack that’s on the way this fall.

A quick walk inland, fondue-themed specialty restaurant The Melting Pot is the big cheese venue for hosting special event parties. Larkspur’s Belcampo Restaurant & Butcher Shop is known as one of the best foodie spots in Marin County.

Emporio Rulli is a Bay Area favorite everywhere from the San Francisco International Airport to Union Square, but these internationally renowned, lovingly handcrafted pastries were invented at this original flagship location in downtown Larkspur.

The charming, turn-of-the-century buildings of Larkspur are among the Marin County landmarks that make it an unforgettable spot for a weekend getaway, but Larkspur also features an array of uniquely Californian fitness, wellness, and self-care opportunities. With distinctive and relaxing places to stay in Larkspur, you’ll be rewarded by planning a weekend trip to Larkspur — or just visiting on a lark.


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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The New SMART Way to Get Around Marin County

By Joe Kukura


Northern California’s famed “sunny side of the Golden Gate Bridge” got a brand-new, super-high-tech, clean-energy train called the Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit. Better known by its...[Learn More]

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Marin Country Mart

The Marin Country Mart is an unanchored, open air, modern village in Larkspur, California, that houses independent shops, artisanal organic eateries, and family-friendly events.

Located on Sir...[Learn More]