About West Marin
Marin is separated into four primary areas:
- Southern Marin: Sausalito, Mill Valley, Tiburon, Belvedere
- Central Marin: Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield, Greenbrae, Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax and southern parts of San Rafael
- Northern Marin: Northern parts of San Rafael, Ignacio and Novato
- West Marin: Stinson Beach & Bolinas, the towns west of Fairfax from Woodacre, San Geronimo, and Lagunitas to Nicasio and Point Reyes Station, to Inverness, the Dillon Beach area.
West Marin is an incredibly beautiful, rural area pressed up against both the inland and coastal side of the Marin Headlands. There are three primary ways to access these areas:
- First, you can take Highway 1 from Mill Valley up and over Mt. Tamalpais' shoulder, weave your way down and drive Highway 1 through Stinson Beach, Bolinas, on to Inverness and beyond.
- Second, you can also take Sir Francis Drake Blvd. all the way-- through Fairfax, through many of the West Marin towns of San Geronimo, Lagunitas, Woodacre to Olema-- and then turn south to Bolinas and Stinson Beach or north to Point Reyes Station, Inverness and beyond.
- Last, you can take Lucas Valley Road west through Nicasio, to Point Reyes Station, Inverness and beyond to Dillon Beach and Bodega Bay.
All three are charming ways to spend an afternoon (or longer). There are restaurants, B&Bs and hotels that border all routes, and you can easily make a weekend out of any one of them.
Point Reyes National Seashore is a stunning 65,000 acre wilderness that includes Drakes Bay Estero and offers a vast selection of beaches, hiking and nature watching including over 1,000 species of plants and animals. Places of interest are Bear Valley Visitor Center, Point Reyes Lighthouse and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory.
The weather in West Marin varies significantly the farther west one drives. The towns closer to Fairfax have weather similar to Fairfax which is warmer than most of Marin-- beautifully warm, long summer days, and much less fog than both Southern and Coastal Marin. As you continue west along Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (or Lucas Valley Road), you reach a point where the weather becomes more maritime affected. Once you reach the coast, the towns north of Point Reyes Station have weather very similar to San Francisco proper, with the exception of Stinson Beach, which is south of Point Reyes and is sheltered by several points (the largest of which is Point Reyes). Summertime in Coastal Marin is dominated by the Marine Layer and, when it isn't foggy, it can be breezy to downright windy. Most importantly, however, all year around there are absolutely delightful beach days mixed in!!!
Commuting from West Marin is possible but not recommended. Most professionals who make the commute either work East Coast hours or are doctors who work non-traditional hours (e.g. 24 hour shifts twice a week).