The Beginner’s Guide to Marin County

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Whether you travel near or far, Marin County is a hidden gem of a trip.

Lulled by the vast landscape of San Francisco Bay, nomadic tourists and California natives agree that it is an idyllic destination for the whole family.

Straus Home Ranch.

For the B&B lover

Don’t let your next road trip be an uninspired stay at a motel serving free microwave meals. Instead, be inspired by Marin County’s fresh, sustainable farm-to-table agriculture. Scenic solitude can be found at many Marin-owned bed-and-breakfast inns.

There’s simply no place like the Straus Home Ranch, a beautifully renovated and furnished 150-year-old farmhouse nestled among towering eucalyptus and cypress trees and surrounded by 160 acres of organic pasture. What’s truly spectacular, besides the charming house, is the setting: a romantic garden, two porches overlooking historic red-painted barns, rolling pastures and Tomales Bay.

At the Bear Valley Inn, if active living is your thing, this might be the place for you. It is surrounded by extensive land suitable for hiking, horseback riding and cycling. The land has a natural oasis where you can visit chickens and roam the gardens when you are not exploring the surrounding land.

These and many other Marin B&Bs are just a short, scenic 35-mile drive from San Francisco.

For the adventurous artist

Fresh air and art are good for your health, and you’ll find both in Marin County. Whether your idea for art is a Mozart concerto or a drum solo from a jam band, Marin County has you covered. Thanks to our proximity to the cultural and counter-cultural mecca of San Francisco, artistic expression has always thrived here and today it is stronger than ever. So feed your soul at the outdoor Mountain Play, Mill Valley independent cinema, Marin Symphony, plus museums and sculpture gardens to suit all tastes. In Marin, when the time comes to get into culture, there is something for everyone.

For the foodie

If you’re obsessed with farm-to-table fresh bites and locally sourced meals, then the organically-oriented Marin is perfect for your inner chef. Newcomers should consider registering online for a food and farming tour. Each event cultivates the best of culinary tourism, whether hosted at one of the region’s top farms or restaurants.

Farm-to-table eating is a phrase that can mean different things to different people. Basically, however, farm-to-table means that the food on the table comes directly from a specific farm. For true foodies, try one of Marin’s fresh farm-to-table recommendations, especially the new Michelin-starred Madcap restaurant in San Anselmo.

For the perpetual parent

Call of the Sea sets sail with Summer and Fall Youth Day Camps in 2022. Join an exciting adventure of sailing, hiking, watercraft and more for experiential environmental education under sail for your family. Voyages with Call of the Sea offer young people a meaningful connection to their bay and coastal waters while offering the benefits of an extended onboard sailing program or a youth sailing day.

If your kids love nature, you can’t miss The Marine Mammal Center. This is not a zoo and will be unlike any wildlife park experience you have ever had. Here, a partnership between man and nature nurtures the recovery and sustainability of local marine wildlife.

// For more information, visit visitmarin.org.

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