Larkspur and Corte Madera
The "twin cities" of Larkspur and Corte Madera are a pair of towns in Marin County in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Larkspur is the main gateway to Marin by ferry, while Corte Madera is known for upscale shopping.
Most people drive. Bus service is provided by Marin Transit.
It's very feasible to bike in from San Rafael, Mill Valley, or elsewhere, and it's also possible to walk to Larkspur from San Rafael using the bike path that hugs the SMART tracks. Walking from Mill Valley is more of a challenge; it's possible by walking on the Horse Hill bike path that hugs the west side of 101, but at the north end of this path you'll have to take Meadowsweet Drive, which has no sidewalks but is quiet enough that pedestrians do use it.
Aside from the downtown cores, this is not a particularly pedestrian-oriented area. Sidewalks exist but are sometimes inconsistent. Biking is convenient and popular, though.
- 1 Fourth of July Parade. Larkspur and Corte Madera have a shared Fourth of July parade every year, starting at Redwood High School in Larkspur and ending at Town Center in Corte Madera. If the county fair in San Rafael is a bit much for you, join the festivities here instead, where you'll see classic cars; local figures like the Twin Cities' mayors, citizens of the year, and beautification committees; local kids' sports teams; and maybe a marching band or a cheerleading squad. Food and handicrafts are sold nearby and the event has a community feel.
Corte Madera's twin upscale shopping malls, The Village and Town Center, are popular spots for locals to shop and eat. Residents of nearby towns often drive over for specific purchases.
- 1 The Village, 1618 Redwood Hwy, Corte Madera, ☏ . Monday-Friday 10AM-8PM, Saturday 10AM-7PM, Sunday 11AM-6PM.
- 2 Town Center, 100 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, ☏ . Monday-Friday 10AM-8PM, Saturday 10AM-6PM, Sunday 11AM-6PM. Hosts a farmers' market on Wednesdays from noon–5PM.
- 3 Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Cir, Larkspur (across from the ferry terminal). Outdoor shopping center with classic Marin eateries including Johnny Doughnuts, Rustic Bakery, and Hog Island Oyster Company. Also hosts a farmers' market on Saturdays with delicious food. On-site parking.
- 1 Marin Joe's, 1585 Casa Buena Dr, Corte Madera, ☏ . A great Italian restaurant with gourmet sandwiches and a beautiful atmosphere which features a wine bar and a piano.
- 2 Il Fornaio, 223 Corte Madera Town Center. Upscale Italian restaurant, branch of a regional chain.
- 3 Picco, 320 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur. Upscale Italian restaurant that also runs a wood-fired pizzeria next door.
- 4 Emporio Rulli, 464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, ☏ , [email protected]. Italian cafe and bakery with a wide range of pastries and a charming atmosphere. Expensive but delicious.
- 1 Best Western Corte Madera Inn, 56 Madera Blvd, Corte Madera, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- 2 Courtyard San Francisco Larkspur Landing/Marin, 2500 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, ☏ , fax: .
- Mill Valley, gateway to Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais
- San Rafael, the county seat
- San Francisco's Embarcadero is a ferry ride away
|Routes through Larkspur and Corte Madera|
|Santa Rosa ← San Rafael ←||N S||→ Mill Valley → San Francisco|
|Santa Rosa ← San Rafael ←||N S||→ END|
|Corte Madera, California|