Guidebook for San Anselmo

Jo
Guidebook for San Anselmo

Parks & Nature

Point Reyes National Seashore is a huge and rugged piece of coastline and countryside that begins 30 mins drive from our house. Our go to spot for beach walking, hiking, nature viewing. Allow another 30 mins drive from the visitors center to far points in the park.
Point Reyes Visitor Center
1 Bear Valley Visitor Center Access Road
Point Reyes National Seashore is a huge and rugged piece of coastline and countryside that begins 30 mins drive from our house. Our go to spot for beach walking, hiking, nature viewing. Allow another 30 mins drive from the visitors center to far points in the park.
At about 15-20 mins drive, this is our nearest beach. Originally a Chinese shrimp fishing community, now a state park centering on a small beach and picnic area and historic buildings. Its very calm and scenic. A great place for a picnic and photo op. There are also trails shared with mountain bikes. Fun for mountain bikes not so much for those on foot. Small daily use state park fee.
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China Camp State Park
100 China Camp Village Rd
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At about 15-20 mins drive, this is our nearest beach. Originally a Chinese shrimp fishing community, now a state park centering on a small beach and picnic area and historic buildings. Its very calm and scenic. A great place for a picnic and photo op. There are also trails shared with mountain bikes. Fun for mountain bikes not so much for those on foot. Small daily use state park fee.
People come here from all over the world to marvel at the costal redwoods, the tallest variety of tree on earth. The trees are stunning and there is a nice boardwalk around them and other longer walks in the surrounding hills. However, it can get exceedingly busy, so much so that they may be changing rules in future to restrict visitors. If you plan on driving arrive before 10am even on a midweek off season day, or better still take the park-and-ride shuttle bus. Check website for details. Tip: Take a jacket, it can be cool under the trees.
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Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Rd
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People come here from all over the world to marvel at the costal redwoods, the tallest variety of tree on earth. The trees are stunning and there is a nice boardwalk around them and other longer walks in the surrounding hills. However, it can get exceedingly busy, so much so that they may be changing rules in future to restrict visitors. If you plan on driving arrive before 10am even on a midweek off season day, or better still take the park-and-ride shuttle bus. Check website for details. Tip: Take a jacket, it can be cool under the trees.
Just 5 mins walk up the street from your garden gate and you are in Sorich Ranch Park. At the top of the road is a car park and flat area, there is also a little walk through a small redwood grove by a stream bed. If you walk through the car park you hit the main trail head which takes you uphill to a dirt firewood at the top. Great panoramic views of the bay, the civic center, Mount Tam, etc. You can follow the main path and eventually come out into the neighborhoods above our street (Tomahawk Rd) and walk back down completing the loop. This should take about an hour. There are other walks possible too.
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Sorich Ranch Park
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Just 5 mins walk up the street from your garden gate and you are in Sorich Ranch Park. At the top of the road is a car park and flat area, there is also a little walk through a small redwood grove by a stream bed. If you walk through the car park you hit the main trail head which takes you uphill to a dirt firewood at the top. Great panoramic views of the bay, the civic center, Mount Tam, etc. You can follow the main path and eventually come out into the neighborhoods above our street (Tomahawk Rd) and walk back down completing the loop. This should take about an hour. There are other walks possible too.
A small wooded hill where I often walk my dog. Again, a circular walk is possible including Memorial Park and taking about 40 mins. Note, its quite a steep walk up neighborhood streets to get to this one.
Faude Park
A small wooded hill where I often walk my dog. Again, a circular walk is possible including Memorial Park and taking about 40 mins. Note, its quite a steep walk up neighborhood streets to get to this one.
The local sewage treatment plant! Bear with me: The treatment water has been converted into a series of pools with reeds and islands for birds. Birdwatchers flock (excuse the pun) here. See swans, egrets, herons, pelicans, too many species of duck to mention, flocks of red winged blackbirds, marsh harriers, and more.
Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District
300 Smith Ranch Road
The local sewage treatment plant! Bear with me: The treatment water has been converted into a series of pools with reeds and islands for birds. Birdwatchers flock (excuse the pun) here. See swans, egrets, herons, pelicans, too many species of duck to mention, flocks of red winged blackbirds, marsh harriers, and more.
Above Fairfax, the Sky Oaks watershed (Marin Municipal Water Authority) offers a wide range of hikes in the shadow of Mt. Tam, including hikes around Bon Tempe, Alpine and Lagunitas lakes (reservoirs). So beautiful up here and at just 10 minutes drive away well worth a trip. Look out for terrapins, otters, osprey, herons, bluebirds, woodpeckers, kingfishers and other wildlife. You can also fish for trout here. There is a day use fee. Lake Lagunitas is 2.3 miles around; Bon Tempe is 5.2 miles around. Both as mostly flat. Walk that includes Some of Bon Tempe and Alpine and the ridge fireroad 5.6 miles with quite a bit of uphill. Lots of other walks possible.
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Lake Lagunitas
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Above Fairfax, the Sky Oaks watershed (Marin Municipal Water Authority) offers a wide range of hikes in the shadow of Mt. Tam, including hikes around Bon Tempe, Alpine and Lagunitas lakes (reservoirs). So beautiful up here and at just 10 minutes drive away well worth a trip. Look out for terrapins, otters, osprey, herons, bluebirds, woodpeckers, kingfishers and other wildlife. You can also fish for trout here. There is a day use fee. Lake Lagunitas is 2.3 miles around; Bon Tempe is 5.2 miles around. Both as mostly flat. Walk that includes Some of Bon Tempe and Alpine and the ridge fireroad 5.6 miles with quite a bit of uphill. Lots of other walks possible.
Nice small sandy beach and costal walks. Combine with a visit to Muir Woods, or the Pelican Inn.
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Muir Beach
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Nice small sandy beach and costal walks. Combine with a visit to Muir Woods, or the Pelican Inn.
Long sandy beach popular with tourists and surfers. Windy road to get here with scenic views.
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Stinson Beach
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Long sandy beach popular with tourists and surfers. Windy road to get here with scenic views.
You can see Mount Tam from our house. You can drive to the top on a winding road. You can also walk to the top (strenuous, it’s a mountain) or along the miles of fire roads in the watershed area.
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Mount Tamalpais
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You can see Mount Tam from our house. You can drive to the top on a winding road. You can also walk to the top (strenuous, it’s a mountain) or along the miles of fire roads in the watershed area.

Food Scene

Local coffee shop. After drinking at Peet's you will never want to go to another coffee chain again.
Peet's Coffee
896 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Local coffee shop. After drinking at Peet's you will never want to go to another coffee chain again.
There are several decent coffee shops in San Anselmo. This has nice table to sit outside on a sunny day and lunch snacks.
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The Coffee Roastery
701 San Anselmo Avenue
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There are several decent coffee shops in San Anselmo. This has nice table to sit outside on a sunny day and lunch snacks.
Best tasting coffee in San Anselmo and so much choice.
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Marin Coffee Roasters
546 San Anselmo Avenue
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Best tasting coffee in San Anselmo and so much choice.
10-15 Minutes walk or 5-8 mins in the car, just the other side of Redhill Shopping Center. Eat in or takeout. I like the Duck Red Curry or the claypot seafood.
Auryn Thai Cuisine
810 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
10-15 Minutes walk or 5-8 mins in the car, just the other side of Redhill Shopping Center. Eat in or takeout. I like the Duck Red Curry or the claypot seafood.
Take out Chinese food. Hot plate combos and cook to order specials. Solid rather than gourmet. You get a lot for your money.
Hot Wok Chinese Food
898 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Take out Chinese food. Hot plate combos and cook to order specials. Solid rather than gourmet. You get a lot for your money.
Porto Rican food. Eat in or take out also do delivery services. Probably the most popular restaurant in San Rafael. There is always a line around the block.
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Sol Food
901 Lincoln Avenue
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Porto Rican food. Eat in or take out also do delivery services. Probably the most popular restaurant in San Rafael. There is always a line around the block.
Seafood restaurant in a great spot. Some tables have great views. If like me you are allergic to gluten, there is a separate gluten free menu. White table cloths and good service. A nice place for a treat. Reservations recommended.
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Scoma's Sausalito
588 Bridgeway
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Seafood restaurant in a great spot. Some tables have great views. If like me you are allergic to gluten, there is a separate gluten free menu. White table cloths and good service. A nice place for a treat. Reservations recommended.
I love Sushi. I have several recommendations for sushi restaurants, but this is the best (also the most expensive). Can be noisy and busy and booking a must, but great sushi.
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Sushi Ran
107 Caledonia St
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I love Sushi. I have several recommendations for sushi restaurants, but this is the best (also the most expensive). Can be noisy and busy and booking a must, but great sushi.
Another Sausalito restaurant recommendation. We don't eat out much, but when we have guests we often take them to lunch in Susalito.
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Barrel House Tavern
660 Bridgeway
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Another Sausalito restaurant recommendation. We don't eat out much, but when we have guests we often take them to lunch in Susalito.
Good popular local restaurant for lunch or dinner within walking distance.
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Insalata's
120 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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Good popular local restaurant for lunch or dinner within walking distance.
Highly recommended Mexican restaurant. Everyone I asked for their food scene recommendations mentioned this place.
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Marinitas
218 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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Highly recommended Mexican restaurant. Everyone I asked for their food scene recommendations mentioned this place.
Fine dining Italian for a special occasion or treat.
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Valenti & Co. Ristorante
337 San Anselmo Avenue
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Fine dining Italian for a special occasion or treat.
Cafe/bakery/deli. Eat in, eat out on the patio, or takeaway, breakfast, lunch or coffee and snack, they do it all. Recommended for salad counter - everyone loves the Chinese chicken salad.
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Comforts
335 San Anselmo Avenue
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Cafe/bakery/deli. Eat in, eat out on the patio, or takeaway, breakfast, lunch or coffee and snack, they do it all. Recommended for salad counter - everyone loves the Chinese chicken salad.

Sightseeing

This small park with grass and benches in the center of San Anselmo was donated by George Lucas of Star Wars Fame, a local resident. Go here to hang our and see the bronze statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones.
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Imagination Park
541 San Anselmo Ave
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This small park with grass and benches in the center of San Anselmo was donated by George Lucas of Star Wars Fame, a local resident. Go here to hang our and see the bronze statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones.

Essentials

In the Redhill shopping center, just 10 minutes walk thru Memorial Park. Go here because its within walking distance only.
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Safeway
838 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
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In the Redhill shopping center, just 10 minutes walk thru Memorial Park. Go here because its within walking distance only.
Where we shop most often. A good balance of quality, choice and price and good service.
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United Markets
100 Red Hill Avenue
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Where we shop most often. A good balance of quality, choice and price and good service.
Great selection of organic, free-trade, sustainable and local foods. Some speciality items can be expensive, but the bulk buy stuff and seasonal fruits and veggies aren't. Try their grade B maple syrup darker richer and better imho, or the honey in a big warm vat, or their store made pizzas.
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Good Earth Natural Foods
720 Center Boulevard
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Great selection of organic, free-trade, sustainable and local foods. Some speciality items can be expensive, but the bulk buy stuff and seasonal fruits and veggies aren't. Try their grade B maple syrup darker richer and better imho, or the honey in a big warm vat, or their store made pizzas.
Large high quality grocery store with great range of goodies. Don't expect it to be cheap. Do expect to find more things to buy than were on your shopping list. Located in the Bon Air Center, which includes cafes and eateries and is located near to Corte Madera Creek, with picturesque creek walk.
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Mollie Stone's Markets
270 Bon Air Center
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Large high quality grocery store with great range of goodies. Don't expect it to be cheap. Do expect to find more things to buy than were on your shopping list. Located in the Bon Air Center, which includes cafes and eateries and is located near to Corte Madera Creek, with picturesque creek walk.

Shopping

Local new bookstore in the center of San Anselmo Ave
Town Books
411 San Anselmo Ave
Local new bookstore in the center of San Anselmo Ave
Sells flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Sample the different flavors and ask for flavor combination suggestions for dressings. Make great gifts.
Amphora Nueva San Anselmo Olive Oil Works
429 San Anselmo Ave
Sells flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Sample the different flavors and ask for flavor combination suggestions for dressings. Make great gifts.
Range of shops and eateries. Nice bookshop and upmarket clothes and gift stores.
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Larkspur Landing Circle
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Range of shops and eateries. Nice bookshop and upmarket clothes and gift stores.
San Anselmo's main street is lined with shops and eateries. Great place to get coffee or pick up a gift.
San Anselmo Avenue
San Anselmo's main street is lined with shops and eateries. Great place to get coffee or pick up a gift.
Large shopping mall: Nordstroms, Macys, Apple Store, Sundance, Lucky Jeans, Gap, Banana Republic, etc.
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The Village at Corte Madera
1618 Redwood Highway
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Large shopping mall: Nordstroms, Macys, Apple Store, Sundance, Lucky Jeans, Gap, Banana Republic, etc.

Everything Else

Corte Madera Town Center is actually a shopping area with ample parking, shops and eateries. Shops include Barnes & Noble, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table, Pottery Barn, REI, Eddie Bauer, etc. Plus a few coffee shops and lunch place.
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Corte Madera Town Center
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Corte Madera Town Center is actually a shopping area with ample parking, shops and eateries. Shops include Barnes & Noble, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table, Pottery Barn, REI, Eddie Bauer, etc. Plus a few coffee shops and lunch place.
Needs no introduction. Check out the online guides for information. If you want to go on an Alcatraz tour (highly recommended) you need to book well in advance. If you like modern art, the newly renovated SFMOMA is well worth a look. My other tip would be -- take layers -- the weather can be changeable, and is often more than 10 degrees colder than in San Anselmo.
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San Francisco
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Needs no introduction. Check out the online guides for information. If you want to go on an Alcatraz tour (highly recommended) you need to book well in advance. If you like modern art, the newly renovated SFMOMA is well worth a look. My other tip would be -- take layers -- the weather can be changeable, and is often more than 10 degrees colder than in San Anselmo.
Nothing says The Bay Area like the Golden Gate Bridge. If you plan to walk or cycle across it take a jacket, it can get chilly on the bridge.
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Golden Gate Bridge
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Nothing says The Bay Area like the Golden Gate Bridge. If you plan to walk or cycle across it take a jacket, it can get chilly on the bridge.

Arts & Culture

Has a small museum with irregular opening hours in its basement. Even when its closes you can view the old photos of the town.
San Anselmo Town Hall
525 San Anselmo Avenue
Has a small museum with irregular opening hours in its basement. Even when its closes you can view the old photos of the town.
Newly built 7 story modern art museum with a fantastic collection. If you like modern art you can spend all day here and still not see everything. There are iconic Andy Warhols, amazing Chuck Close heads, detailed Jess collages, sculptures and a wall of plants on the terrace.
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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 3rd St
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Newly built 7 story modern art museum with a fantastic collection. If you like modern art you can spend all day here and still not see everything. There are iconic Andy Warhols, amazing Chuck Close heads, detailed Jess collages, sculptures and a wall of plants on the terrace.