Check Out Mill Valley, California

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Miller Avenue

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Miller Avenue

Mill Valley is known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for its charm, natural beauty and cultural events. Located in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, Smithsonian Magazine named it one of the best small towns in America.

Mill Valley is surrounded by national parks, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Mount Tamalpais (Mt. Tam), is a beautiful mountain which is a dramatic backdrop for the rolling, hilly terrain and canyons that are part of the landscape. From its 2,600-foot peak, Mt. Tam plays an important role in the lifestyle of residents and visitors to the area. It is an ideal place for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and picnicking.

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Mill Valley Book Depot

The 14,000 residents are proud of Mill Valley’s excellent schools, low crime rate, strong economy and community spirit.

Mill Valley offers the quality of life desired by those who want to raise a family in a nurturing environment as well as entrepreneurs who want to start a business in a growing economy and creative community.

Mill Valley enjoys mild temperatures year-round. The cooling action of the ocean fog in the summer months keeps the average high at 76 degrees and the average low at 60 degrees.

History

By 1900 Mill Valley had about 500 homes and an estimated population of 1,000, but many of these were cottages for summer residents. For those residents who worked in San Francisco, there was a narrow-gauge steam commuter railroad that connected to the ferryboats in Sausalito.

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Sweetwater

From 1896 – 1929 you could ride a scenic train up to the summit, then glide back down in the “gravity cars” to Muir Woods. The railroad was discontinued in 1929 due to the increasing popularity of automobiles. Mill Valley, Mount Tam and Muir Woods continue to attract nature lovers.

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The Plaza

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The Plaza

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Redwoods

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Cascade Creek

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Cascade Falls

The Miwoks

The area’s earliest inhabitants were the Coast Miwok Indians, who called themselves “the first people”. They had a wandering life in the lush forest of vegetation and seacoast environment. Many artifacts still exist as a reminder of those early settlers, who eventually moved north to escape the developing civilization in Mill Valley.

The Old Mill

Logging started in the 1830’s and John Reed built his sawmill from redwood timbers in 1835. Recently rebuilt, the Old Mill is considered one of Mill Valley’s important historical structure (State Landmark No. 207).

Business

Mill Valley has a thriving economy powered by a dynamic business community. There are more than 1,000 small firms that offer professional services and a variety of retail shops. Businesses are primarily located within the central downtown area, along Miller Avenue and just off Highway 101. In addition, an estimated 600 businesses offer professional services from their residences. With electronic and technical conveniences currently available, this segment of the business community is growing and prospering. Mill Valley is proud of the strong partnership between businesses and local schools which Carrie Sherriff and other businesses support financially.

Housing

One of Mill Valley’s most unique aspects is the variety of its residential environments. The community includes cottages, bungalows and individually designed homes that are tucked into groves, canyons and hillsides.

Mill Valley’s desirable location and emphasis on maintaining the community’s size and uniqueness combine to keep home prices among the highest in the Bay Area.

Shopping, Dining and Accommodations

In addition to the shops providing for the daily needs of Mill Valley’s residents, its unique mixture of gift shops, galleries, boutique and specialty shops draw visitors from throughout the Bay area.

Mill Valley is known for its many outstanding restaurants. There are many fine dining choices whether you’re looking for a quiet bite or a multi-course gourmet meal.

There are a variety of stylish and comfortable hotel accommodations as well as facilities for meetings, conferences, parties or other special events.

Recreation

Dedicated to natural beauty and recreation, Mill Valley has open space areas as well as 14 municipal parks, a nine-hole golf course and several tennis courts. Parks are open year-round andhiking trails, playgrounds and picnic areas offer a variety of recreational choices. A 5 mile multi-use path runs along Richardson Bay from Mill Valley to Sausalito and is enjoyed by bicyclists, rollerbladers, walkers and runners. The Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Department also provides a wide variety of programs for every age group.

Muir Woods is ten minutes from Mill Valley and is home to spectacular Coast Redwoods. Their natural habitat is the fog-shrouded, salt water coastal areas. Muir Woods encompasses 560 acres with six miles of trail

Events

The Dipsea Race has been a popular June event since 1905. Approximately 1,500 runners begin in downtown Mill Valley and race over seven rugged miles on narrow, winding trails, climbing the dreaded 671 Dipsea Steps and end up on the other side of Mount Tamalpais in Stinson Beach.

The Mountain Play has been a popular attraction near the top of Mount Tamalpais for over 100 years. It stages top-notch musicals in an historic outdoor amphitheatre. Shuttle buses bring audiences up the mountain for an afternoon of picnic lunches and entertainment with San Francisco Bay as a dramatic backdrop.

The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival began in 1956 and is now held in Old Mill Park. Every September, artists from throughout California converge on the shady redwood grove to display their jewelry, woodwork, ceramics, sculpture, leather, fiber, mixed media and graphic arts.

Each October since 1977, the Mill Valley Film Festival draws international attention to Mill Valley as the town becomes host to premiere films, celebrities and an audience from around the world. The two-week event incorporates a variety of screenings, panel discussions and receptions.

Founded in 1966, the Marin Theater Company offers professionally staged productions in its 250-seat main stage theater. Its five-show season begins each September and draws audiences from around the Bay Area. Youth acting and production classes are offered in the summer.

The Gourmet Wine and Food Tasting event hosts more than 70 wineries, 35 gourmet food purveyors and a sampling of local restaurants. It is held in June in Mill Valley’s downtown plaza.

Mill Valley Business Expo is the premiere business trade show in Southern Marin. Held in April, Expo hosts more than 50 exhibitors and from 1,000 to 1,500 visitors each year.

The Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade is guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Beginning in downtown Mill Valley and winding its way up Miller Avenue, it provides a delightful “hometown” feel to the holiday.

The Mill Valley Library, an architectural gem has an outstanding History Room with a wealth of information not only about the history of Mill Valley but on specific properties.

Mill Valley Historical Society Scavenger Hunt involves the community in a fun event focusing on Mill Valley’s local history. Link: www.MVHistory.org

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For additional information about Mill Valley please contact Carrie Sherriff.