Sausalito is Marin’s first city. Rows of delightful shops and eateries anchor Sausalito at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. During its “pre-bridge” years, Sausalito served as a terminus for rail, car, and ferry traffic to the city of San Francisco. It experienced rapid development when the Bay Area became a shipbuilding center during World War II. The city’s industrial character gave way in its postwar years to a reputation as a wealthy and artistic enclave, a picturesque residential community (incorporating large numbers of houseboats), and a tourist destination. It is adjacent to and largely bounded by, the protected spaces of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Due to its location at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito receives a steady stream of visitors via the bridge and a ferry service from San Francisco. When the sun is out in Sausalito and reflecting off the houses on the hills, the city takes on an almost Mediterranean vibe.
Situated on the Tiburon Peninsula at the southeastern base of Ring Mountain, between Richardson Bay and the Town of Tiburon, Belvedere consists of two “islands,” with the aptly named “Belvedere Lagoon” situated between them. The larger of the two islands is Belvedere Island, and the smaller one is Corinthian Island, which is shared with Tiburon. Many Belvedere properties are renowned for their spectacular views of the Bay Area, Angel Island, and San Francisco, as well as Sausalito, the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais. As a result, land values are extremely high. No restaurants or stores are allowed in Belvedere, and the city enforces strict rules regarding house design and setbacks. This helps to preserve trees, views and the town’s spacious, wooded character. The adjacent town of Tiburon, however, is home to a wide range of services, shops and eateries. It is the nearest mainland point to Angel Island and a regular ferry service connects to the island. A charming assortment of waterfront cafes and gourmet restaurants capture the coastal town atmosphere.
Nestled below majestic Mt. Tamalpais, Mill Valley is reminiscent of a charming European village. Surrounded by national parks, including Muir Woods, an ancient coast redwood forest, Mill Valley’s lush landscape of hills and canyons is a favorite place for visitors who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, golf and running. Mill Valley is host to a range of cultural activities including the Mill Valley Film Festival – an internationally recognized event that has attracted leading filmmakers and movie aficionados for the past 28 years. Mill Valley hosts the annual Dipsea Race, the second oldest footrace in the United States. Whether it’s for cultural events, dining, shopping or recreation, Mill Valley is a draw for both visitors and residents alike.