June 11, 2012

Marin County- A Perfect Blend of California

So we've spent the last week in Marin County, in an RV park in Larkspur. Larkspur is a small town that is on the water, and is known for its Larkspur Landing, where the commuters can catch the ferry to San Francisco.

The Larkspur Landing

We decided to stay in Marin County because of its super close location to San Francisco (Larkspur is just 10 minutes of driving to the Golden Gate Bridge!), its sizable collection of historic towns, and its proximity to the Route 1 beaches and numerous parks. We also picked this county because it is the BIRTHPLACE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING! When Sky accidentally stumbled on this fact on Wikipedia, we had no choice.

Biking around Larkspur. That's Mount Tamalpais towering in the background 
In the last week, we have ridden our bikes every single day. There are bike trails everywhere, and most roads have bike lanes, so getting around the county without a car is no problem. Sky got to bike in the actual birthplace of mountain biking, Mount Tamalpais. While shopping for groceries we met a local who rides over 90 miles a week on the mountain. He overhead us talking about biking, we struck up a conversation, and he invited Sky out to bike the mountain with him.

Biking on Mount Tamalpais
Sky also joined some locals on a 40 mile morning bike ride around the county, to the beaches on Route 1 and back. I've ran and biked along the waterways in Larkspur, and taken full advantage of the perfect weather here.

The local towns here all have historic down towns. There are almost no chain restaurants to speak of, and most places pride themselves on serving mostly local ingredients.

Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur
The historic downtown of Larkspur
I checked the Marin County website for the local calendar, and found a long laundry list of events for us to attend. Sunday was Marin County's main Farmer's Market, in the Civic Center in San Rafael. This is the third largest farmer's market in California. We stocked up on cherries, squash, basil, peaches, and plums. We got there an hour before closing, and most vendors were selling their goods for half off!

At the Marin County Farmer's Market
After the farmer's market we went to the Novato Art, Wine and Music Festival. This is an annual event that happens on their main street, Grant St. You can explore booth after booth of local wares. We finally got to try Barbecued Oysters!

Novato Art, Wine and Music Festival
BBQ Oyster
We finished out the day by going to the 35th Annual Fairfax Festival. Fairfax is known for its "hippie" side. I would say we saw plenty of evidence agreeing with that at the festival. :o) The neatest part of the festival was that it was set right in a redwoods grove. All the booths and the music stage were right under the towering trees. It was a nice reprieve from the hot late afternoon sun. We picked up a pizza, bought a 4 pack of cheap Chardonnay (for me) and a huge Heineken (for Sky), and set up camp in front of stage to listen to the music. I had a really fun time photographing the crowd around me. (See attached album)

Fairfax Festival
Pizza and cheap wine, sold!
At the Fairfax Festival
After the music ended, we walked to downtown Fairfax and picked up some ice cream from the Fairfax Scoop. I got strawberry, which was made from strawberries picked at the local Rodriguez Farm. Sky had the Love Parade (peanut butter with chocolate) and the Vanilla Honey Lavender (if those don't sound hippie, I don't know what does).

We all scream for Ice Cream!!
For more pictures of Larkspur, click here. For pictures of the festivals and farmer's market, click here.

Happy Marin County Exploring!


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