Alison's Guide to in and around Larkspur

Alison
Alison's Guide to in and around Larkspur

Natural wonders

Marin is filled with trails, mountains, bay shore and seashore. The natural beauty is awesome.
This is our neighborhood hike. The trailhead is at the end of Madrone Avenue. It’s a 10-15 minute walk out our front door or you can drive 5 minutes to the trailhead. The hike itself is in a magical redwood canyon. It is a great 2-3 mile out and back or you could continue up Mt. Tam and end up at the East Peak or at Stinson Beach!
Dawn Falls Trailhead
This is our neighborhood hike. The trailhead is at the end of Madrone Avenue. It’s a 10-15 minute walk out our front door or you can drive 5 minutes to the trailhead. The hike itself is in a magical redwood canyon. It is a great 2-3 mile out and back or you could continue up Mt. Tam and end up at the East Peak or at Stinson Beach!
This is our other local trailhead, 5 minutes out our front door. You climb up a wide fire road with expansive views of Larkspur, Corte Madera ridge and the Bay (San Quentin can be seen in the distance). Then you can hike clockwise or counterclockwise on a delightful undulating single track loop trail with views of Mt. Tam, the Ross Valley, and Madrone Canyon. The loop trail is 3.3 miles. There is also a connector trail, the Ladybug trail, that you can take down to connect with the Dawn Falls trail.
King Mountain Loop Trail
This is our other local trailhead, 5 minutes out our front door. You climb up a wide fire road with expansive views of Larkspur, Corte Madera ridge and the Bay (San Quentin can be seen in the distance). Then you can hike clockwise or counterclockwise on a delightful undulating single track loop trail with views of Mt. Tam, the Ross Valley, and Madrone Canyon. The loop trail is 3.3 miles. There is also a connector trail, the Ladybug trail, that you can take down to connect with the Dawn Falls trail.
Our local town park, it has tennis courts, a community garden, picnic tables and a great flat dirt path that circles the big green playing fields (you see baseball, soccer, and cricket being played for example). Piper Park is adjacent to Corte Madera Creek and there is a wooden boat dock too far away from the parking lot to actually launch a boat, but it is a fun place to watch the rowing sculls go by. If you circle the dirt path 4 times, you’ve walked a mile. Great views of Mt. Tam and Corte Madera Creek.
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Piper Park
250 Doherty Drive
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Our local town park, it has tennis courts, a community garden, picnic tables and a great flat dirt path that circles the big green playing fields (you see baseball, soccer, and cricket being played for example). Piper Park is adjacent to Corte Madera Creek and there is a wooden boat dock too far away from the parking lot to actually launch a boat, but it is a fun place to watch the rowing sculls go by. If you circle the dirt path 4 times, you’ve walked a mile. Great views of Mt. Tam and Corte Madera Creek.

Food scene

My family has been going here from the beginning. They have kept the same staff which is impressive. It’s our favorite breakfast and lunch spot in town. The huevas rancheros and the BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) are my favorites, but the whole menu is stellar. Both indoor and back patio seating.
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Farm House Local
25 Ward Street
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My family has been going here from the beginning. They have kept the same staff which is impressive. It’s our favorite breakfast and lunch spot in town. The huevas rancheros and the BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) are my favorites, but the whole menu is stellar. Both indoor and back patio seating.
One of the best restaurants in Marin if not the best restaurant is 5 minutes from my home. Reservations are a must. Ahi tuna tartare and avocado bruschetta with chorizo we order every time. The menu is seasonal and splendid. And every Wednesday night is fried chicken night (I’m a big fan).
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Picco Restaurant
320 Magnolia Avenue
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One of the best restaurants in Marin if not the best restaurant is 5 minutes from my home. Reservations are a must. Ahi tuna tartare and avocado bruschetta with chorizo we order every time. The menu is seasonal and splendid. And every Wednesday night is fried chicken night (I’m a big fan).
The onion soup, the pate, the cone of pomme frites, the hamburger, the steak tartare, the fondue, the trout almondine, the niçoise and lyonnaise salads, the beef bourguignon, the profiteroles! Great bar scene with both early and late happy hours. Patio is perfect when the weather is nice. Continuous service during that lull between lunch and dinner everywhere else. We love that we can grab a bite at 3:30pm!
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Left Bank Larkspur Brasserie
507 Magnolia Avenue
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The onion soup, the pate, the cone of pomme frites, the hamburger, the steak tartare, the fondue, the trout almondine, the niçoise and lyonnaise salads, the beef bourguignon, the profiteroles! Great bar scene with both early and late happy hours. Patio is perfect when the weather is nice. Continuous service during that lull between lunch and dinner everywhere else. We love that we can grab a bite at 3:30pm!
Great bar scene with a good happy hour. Comfort food - meatloaf, burgers, ahi tuna burger, potato skins. Indoor and outdoor seating options.
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Perry's on Magnolia
234 Magnolia Ave
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Great bar scene with a good happy hour. Comfort food - meatloaf, burgers, ahi tuna burger, potato skins. Indoor and outdoor seating options.
Mamasan runs the front of the house while her son runs the kitchen. Fresh sushi/sashimi/nigiri options with 20 rolls. Lovely tempera, katsu, gyoza, udon, sukiyaki, and teriyaki. Big bottles of Sapporo or saki (hot or cold). The eggplant appetizer is a favorite of mine.
Fukusuke Restaurant
578 Magnolia Avenue
Mamasan runs the front of the house while her son runs the kitchen. Fresh sushi/sashimi/nigiri options with 20 rolls. Lovely tempera, katsu, gyoza, udon, sukiyaki, and teriyaki. Big bottles of Sapporo or saki (hot or cold). The eggplant appetizer is a favorite of mine.
I always order their plate of al pastor pork with refried beans, rice, salad, tortillas and guacamole. Then I load up on their condiments-4 kinds of fresh salsa, jalapeños and hot carrots, and cooling radishes. Their burritos are massive.
BurritoVille Mex Food
531 Magnolia Ave
I always order their plate of al pastor pork with refried beans, rice, salad, tortillas and guacamole. Then I load up on their condiments-4 kinds of fresh salsa, jalapeños and hot carrots, and cooling radishes. Their burritos are massive.
An institution in Larkspur. Italian pastries, paninis, gelato and of course espresso. They made my wedding cake (the San Francesco). Great people watching inside that spills out onto the sidewalk tables. Local hangout.
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Emporio Rulli
464 Magnolia Avenue
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An institution in Larkspur. Italian pastries, paninis, gelato and of course espresso. They made my wedding cake (the San Francesco). Great people watching inside that spills out onto the sidewalk tables. Local hangout.
A relative newcomer to Larkspur, it’s fun to sit outside around gas fire pits on the main drag sipping wine and nibbling.
BACKSTAGE wine tasting room
295 Magnolia Avenue
A relative newcomer to Larkspur, it’s fun to sit outside around gas fire pits on the main drag sipping wine and nibbling.
It’s a local chain that offers an alternative coffee scene to the venerable Emporio Rulli. The outdoor space attracts a younger crowd, some in bike groups.
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Equator Coffees
240 Magnolia Ave
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It’s a local chain that offers an alternative coffee scene to the venerable Emporio Rulli. The outdoor space attracts a younger crowd, some in bike groups.
I love this wine bar. Kyle, the owner, was able to pick me a Zin that I did not reject and I am a pain in the tush when it comes to wine. Our friends, Sal and Rich, just played there last Friday evening. It is a gem of a community gathering place. Great nibbles to go with the wine.
Zinz Wine Bar
207 Corte Madera Avenue
I love this wine bar. Kyle, the owner, was able to pick me a Zin that I did not reject and I am a pain in the tush when it comes to wine. Our friends, Sal and Rich, just played there last Friday evening. It is a gem of a community gathering place. Great nibbles to go with the wine.

Entertainment

Our local movie theatre shows a repertory of popular and indie movies as well the Met HD Opera, the National Theatre of London, the Bolshoi Ballet, documentaries of great composers and many film festivals. The popcorn is made with coconut oil and topped with real butter. Beer and wine are served.
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Lark Theater
549 Magnolia Avenue
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Our local movie theatre shows a repertory of popular and indie movies as well the Met HD Opera, the National Theatre of London, the Bolshoi Ballet, documentaries of great composers and many film festivals. The popcorn is made with coconut oil and topped with real butter. Beer and wine are served.
Our local dive bar. Great big square bar with the bartenders in the middle, several pool tables, great diverse crowd from 21 to 81, and Janis Joplin’s piano in the corner. (She used to live here in Larkspur).
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Silver Peso
450 Magnolia Avenue
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Our local dive bar. Great big square bar with the bartenders in the middle, several pool tables, great diverse crowd from 21 to 81, and Janis Joplin’s piano in the corner. (She used to live here in Larkspur).

Neighborhoods

Tucked behind Hall Middle School off Doherty Drive is the Local “Ark” community. These houses are on stilts in Corte Madera Creek accessible only by a wooden boardwalk. It is fun to walk out to the last house jutting out into the creek. Great views of Piper Park and Mt. Tam. Look for friendly Boardwalk cats.
Boardwalk One
107 Boardwalk One
Tucked behind Hall Middle School off Doherty Drive is the Local “Ark” community. These houses are on stilts in Corte Madera Creek accessible only by a wooden boardwalk. It is fun to walk out to the last house jutting out into the creek. Great views of Piper Park and Mt. Tam. Look for friendly Boardwalk cats.