While the weather is typically beautiful in this cozy section of the San Francisco Bay area, you’ll undoubtedly experience a few rainy days in Marin County, California. If you’re looking to explore the arts, culture, and culinary world of Marin County with the whole family in tow, look no further than this comprehensive list of the best places to visit on the weekend, during summer vacation, or simply for an afternoon getaway. From unique museums to delicious coffee shops and an evening at the bowling alley, enjoy the best of Marin County! Here are our top five rainy day activities to experience in Marin.
Visit an independent bookseller
The primary mission of local booksellers is to serve their community and provide opportunities to learn something new. One such bookstore in Marin is Copperfield's Books
. Copperfield’s Books was once the 725-square-foot Myst Bookstore in Sebastopol, Sonoma County—owned by Paul Jaffa and Barney Brown since 1981. It has since proven to be a mainstay for the entire Marin community.
Copperfield's blossomed into a nine-store Indie-empire from that tiny operation, complete with their own online store and a rare and used book collection located beneath their Petaluma store. Copperfield’s Books provides the Marin community with a vast selection typically offered by chains but with a local business charm and personalized service.
Their nine stores are each located within the North Bay, including three in Marin:
Visit a museum
Marin features an eclectic and exciting roster of museums. A few of the region's more fascinating cultural centers include:
Angel Island Immigrant Station Foundation
Known as the Ellis Island of the West, take a trip back in time with the Angel Island Immigrant Station Foundation
. This museum highlights the spot in the San Francisco Bay where half a million immigrants ended their Trans-Pacific journey to begin life anew in the United States. A portion of your excursion will occur outdoors, including the Tiburon ferry ride. The museum also has several virtual exhibits you can visit from the comfort of your home.
Located on the far western edge of Marin along the Pacific coast, the Bolinas Museum
is a celebration of the fine arts focusing on the works and history of coastal Marin. The museum is an intimate experience, with each of the five interior galleries accommodating just a few guests at a time.
Marin History Museum
Marin History Museum
Located in San Rafael, the Marin History Museum
is home to 20,000 artifacts and 200,000 photos documenting the history of Marin.
Marin Museum of Bicycling
One of Marin’s unique museums, the Marin Museum of Bicycling
, is a wonderful tribute to the two-wheeled workhorse. The Fairfax-based museum tracks the history and evolution of the mountain bike—among many other two-wheeled machines. It’s also home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.
Photo courtesy of Bike Forums
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
The North Bay's most popular museum, the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
(MarinMOCA), is located in Novato and includes three primary galleries, an educational program, working artists' studios, and a museum store. MarinMOCA showcases permanent and temporary exhibits, with various exhibitions cycling through the museum. Currently, there are eleven showcases scheduled for 2022.
Nike Missile Site
Many residents and visitors consider the most fascinating yet unsettling museum in Marin, the Nike Missile Site
, sits near the southwesternmost point of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The historical location was in operation from 1953 to 1979 as a last line of defense against H-bomb-carrying bombers during the Cold War. The Nike Missile Site now serves as an insightful glimpse into one of the most controversial eras in US history.
Get cozy at a Marin coffee shop
There is nothing better than a cozy coffee shop experience on a rainy day! Stop by at least one of Marin's outstanding coffee shops for the perfect pick-me-up after exploring one of the many museums in town. Regardless of where you find yourself, there are exceptional, independently owned coffee houses nearby.
If you find yourself with some spare time before catching the Tiburon Ferry, use it wisely by stopping at one of the best coffee shops in the North Bay. Located in Tiburon's quaint downtown, Caffé Acri
serves breakfast, fresh-made sandwiches and salads, cakes, pastries, and daily delectable coffee.
This downtown Larkspur gem is an absolute delight, fashioned after classic Italian cafés, delis, and pastry shops. Emporio Rulli
is perfect for a quick bite to eat or a lingering coffee and dessert.
Photo courtesy of Enjoy Mill Valley
With eight locations spread across the area, including Mill Valley and Sausalito, Equator
is a local chain worth visiting. You don’t want to miss out on their outstanding brews and fantastic small bites.
Pink Owl Coffee
Pink Owl Coffee
has you covered if you love coffee and want to contribute to a great cause. A self-described Zen retreat for the coffee enthusiast, Pink Owl serves outstanding coffee, steeped teas, and select pastries. A portion of the café's yearly proceeds is donated to breast cancer research.
Try a cooking class
While this option might be more of an adult rainy day activity, it’s an opportunity to take what you’ve learned in class and test your skills at home with the kids. A cooking class date night or an evening with friends is a perfect opportunity to stay warm and beat the rain in Marin. There are several hands-on cooking services to provide you and your fellow aspiring chefs a fun night and a chance to sharpen your culinary skills. Learn insider secrets while sipping wine and snacking on delicious bites with the following cooking excursions:
is an online service that connects you with a local Marin chef who will either come to your home or invite you to theirs for a hands-on cooking demonstration.
Photo courtesy of Cozymeal
Kitchen on Fire
Kitchen on Fire
provides virtual cooking events you and your party can join remotely from the comfort of your Marin home. These courses offer the perfect opportunity for the whole family to get involved!
hosts small-group cooking classes from the San Rafael home of cooking teacher and personal chef Valerie Francescato Jackson.
Searching for Marin homes for sale?
If you’re searching for Marin County homes for sale, reach out to Eric Schmitt today
. From Corte Madera real estate to Larkspur and Mill Valley homes for sale, you can trust Eric's local knowledge to be your guide to Marin's luxury real estate market. When you’re ready to tour the area’s best listings—or to list your own home on North Bay’s hot seller’s market—contact Eric and his team