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Mill Valley

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Mill Valley [1] is a city in Marin County, in the North Bay region of the Bay Area of California. The city begins in the canyons and ridges at the base of Mount Tamalpais and extends into a broad valley that reaches the Richardson Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Mill Valley is easiest to see by car. From Highway 101 take the Mill Valley/Tiburon Blvd exit or the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach exit.

By bus[edit]

Buses from San Francisco drop off along the highway. Commuter buses run into downtown as well as to and from the ferry in nearby Tiburon.

Get around[edit]

While downtown is nice to see on foot, the parks and woods are best reached by car. Mountain bikes were invented near here, and remain a popular way to get around.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Mill Valley Mill -- Not much remains of the original structure, but it's a pretty spot in a redwood lined riverbed. A railroad car from the Old Railroad Grade--the main route up Mt. Tamalpais for sightseers in the early-1900s--stands opposite the mill.

Muir Woods[edit]

Muir Woods

Frank Valley (Muir Woods) Road (Marin Transit #66[2], summer weekends and holidays only), Phone: +1 415 388-2596, [3]. 8AM-sunset every day. $7.

Muir Woods National Monument [4]. is home to 560 acres (2.2 km2) of unlogged stands of old-growth redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens), and is one of the few remaining places where these trees (the tallest living things on the planet) can be seen in their full glory. Many of the redwoods are over 200 (60 m) feet tall, 10 feet (3 m) wide, and over 600 years old. The woodland is served by a number of board-walks and other walking trails where visitors can get a close look at the magnificent trees.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Hikes Mill Valley is the starting point for a number of long hikes in the redwood forests of Mount Tam and beyond to the coast.
  • Green Gulch Farms & Zen Center, 1601 Shoreline Highway, Phone: +1 415 383-3134, [5]. Daily Meditation 8:30AM. Weekend and longer retreats and various workshops in Zen practice and organic farming.
  • Mill Valley Film Festival, [6].

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Depot Bookstore A famously nice spot with a cafe and excellent selection of books.

Eat[edit][add listing]

For a small town, Mill Valley has a wide range of excellent restaurants from cozy local joints to upscale eateries.


  • Toast, 31 Sunnyside Ave. For great breakfast foods where the locals eat.
  • Small Shed Flatbreads, 17 Madrona St. Delicious local, organic artisan flatbread pizzas, fresh salads, and soul-warming comfort foods.
  • Piazza D'Angelo, 22 Miller Av. A Marin institution, D'Angelo's is no simple pizza place. Casual-dressy Italian food. Reservations recommended on weekends or holidays. $16-$20
  • La Ginestra, 127 Throckmorton Av. Great family-style Italian food including pizza and ravioli.
  • Joe's Taco Lounge, 382 Miller Av. Healthy Californian-Mexican. Seafood tacos and burritos are their specialty, but the decor is worth the trip. $5-$10
  • El Paseo Restaurant, 17 Throckmorton Ave. For a delicious, and rather expensive, dinner out, try this upscale Italian/California cuisine restaurant and Mill Valley institution.
  • Pearls Phat Burger, 8 E Blithedale, (415) 381-6010. Great burgers. $7-$10.  edit
  • Avatar's Punjabi Burritos, 15 Madrona St. Inexpensive Indian food wrapped in a burrito.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Sweetwater Saloon, 153 Throckmorton Av., Phone: +1 415 388-2820, [7]. Local bar and music venue with a surprisingly Big Name shows.
  • The 2AM Club
  • Buckeye Roadhouse, 15 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley CA 94941 415.331.2600

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget options (a relative word in Marin County) can be found along Highway 101 -- the further north you go, the more reasonable they will be. Other, more romantic options are scattered on the mountain behind town.

  • Mountain Home Inn, 810 Panoramic Highway, Phone: +1 415 381-9000, [8].
  • Alpine Lodge 730 Panoramic Hwy and Echo Summit Lodge. Located on Mt. Tamalpais are open to California Alpine Club Members and their guests, Alpine Lodge is open as a hostel-style B&B on some weekends in July and August.
  • Tam Valley Bed & Breakfast, 508 Shasta Way, Phone: +1 415 383-8716, [9]. $170-$190.
  • Mountain Meadow Inn, 3 Hart Ln., Phone: +1 415 388-2541, [10].
  • Holiday Inn Express, 160 Shoreline Highway, +1 415 332-5700, [11].
  • Acqua Hotel, 555 Redwood Hwy, +1 415 380-0400, [12]. Part of the Joie de Vivre Hotels collection of boutique hotels. Easy highway access and rooms with a view of Richardson Bay.
  • Mill Valley Inn, 165 Throckmorton Avenue, +1 415 389-6608, [13]. An intimate, small hotel tucked away in a redwood grove at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais, just steps away from the bustling town plaza.
  • Mill Valley Beer Works, (Downtown). checkout: $5-$12.  edit

There are a lot of Vacation Rentals by Home Owner (VRBO) and Home Away options available in this community as well, if one is interested in a more 'local' experience, people actually rent away their actual houses. There are great places usually very central to town and have great prices for weeks and nights!

  • Larkspur Hotel Mill Valley, 160 Shoreline Highway, 415.332.5700, [14]. Located in Marin County and recently remodeled, this hotel offers complimentary trail bicycles, S'mores kits and have free fanny packs for your hike.  edit


Stay Safe[edit]

Mill Valley has a very low crime rate, thanks to high property values and insulation by other exclusive towns like Tiburon, Larkspur, and Corte Madera. Prevalance of dangerous crimes is low enough to actually induce stricter enforcement of traffic infractions, since the police would not have much to do otherwise.

Common sense should prevail, though. Do not hike alone when rambling across the trails in Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais. The likelihood of having a negative encounter during a hike is minimal, but you will benefit greatly with the aid of another person should you meet an unsavory character--animal or human--along the way.

Get out[edit]

  • Tiburon and the ferry to San Francisco
  • Corte Madera. Home to a major shopping center and some nice parks.
  • San Francisco. The toll for the Golden Gate bridge is currently 6 USD.
  • Stinson Beach. Try to avoid the mid-day crowds. Leave early, and take backroads instead of Highway 1.


Routes through Mill Valley
Santa RosaCorte Madera  N noframe S  SausalitoSan Francisco




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