Marin County’s collection of unique communities has long represented one of California's most desirable places to live. The area’s abundance of excellent schools, phenomenal outdoor spaces, and eclectic roster of activities all contribute to Marin's family-centric vibe. They also make it one of the state’s most idyllic communities to start and raise a family.
Beyond its charming, historic ambiance, life in Larkspur offers easy access to all of Marin County and beyond. Napa Valley’s expanse of wineries, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife are just 38 miles from downtown Larkspur—and Sonoma Valley is even closer. Half Moon Bay's stunning seaside vistas are just 39 miles from Larkspur, with San Francisco in between.
Its ease of access and central location make Larkspur a perfect place for adventurous families who want to experience all the Bay Area has to offer.
Point Reyes National Seashore
InvernessTravel time from Larkspur: 70 minutes
Living in the shadow and serenity of Mt. Tam, it's easy to forget that the Pacific Ocean is just on the other side of the Marin Hills and California Coast Range.
Point Reyes National Seashore
boasts 71,000-acres of protected coastal preserve, and for a family of nature lovers, it's a recreational paradise. The region has more than 150 miles of hiking trails with opportunities for mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking. Other wonders include the Alamere Falls tide fall, the Cypress Tree Tunnel, the S.S. Point Reyes shipwreck, numerous beaches to explore, and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
If you or anyone in your family are keen observers of nature, Point Reyes offers an abundance of riches. In addition to being a refuge for almost half of North America’s migratory bird species, visitors can catch glimpses of badgers, bobcats, coyotes, elephant seals, elk, owls, and even whales.
If you and your family need a day at the beach or a closer destination for beachside hiking, Stinson State Beach
is 40 minutes closer to Larkspur. The popular gathering spot is located in the western foothills of Mt. Tam, featuring miles of trails for all skill levels.
Muir Woods National Monument
, an old-growth coastal redwood forest, is located on the way to Stinson Beach and is worth the side trip to view the towering trees — most of which range in age from 500 to 1,200 years old.
Charles M. Schulz Museum
Travel time from Larkspur: 45 minutes
One of the most family-friendly attractions in the North Bay, the Charles M. Schulz Museum
details his life and artful contributions as a famed illustrator, cartoonist, and creator of Charlie Brown. Featuring the world's most extensive collection of Peanuts artwork, the non-profit also showcases Peanuts-related specials and documentaries in the museum theater, alongside a recreation of Schulz's studio.
Doubling as an exhibition space and educational mission, the museum features both permanent and traveling exhibitions, as well as the opportunity for visitors to create their own cartoons. Truly a must-see for anyone who loves the Peanuts cartoons or has an interest in illustration.
Although the Charles M. Schulz Museum is the most notable attraction in the area, it sits directly next door to the Children's Museum of Sonoma County
. A standout facility that sparks wonder and curiosity amongst visitors of all ages. The Children’s Museum is a fun, educational, and hands-on experience for the whole family.
Just down the street is the Redwood Empire Ice Arena
—better known as Snoopy's Home Ice. Inspired by an Alpine village, the indoor ice rink first opened in 1969 and is worth visiting even if you don't skate.
You can easily make a day out of visiting all three attractions, including having lunch or dinner at one of the numerous restaurants in or around nearby Coddingtown Center
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Travel time from Larkspur: 45 minutes
Image courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle
For the thrill-seekers, the popular Six Flag Discovery Kingdom
is located in Vallejo, directly across San Pablo Bay. The park first opened in 1965 and has gone through numerous iterations and themes before its most recent rebranding in 2007. Today, the park features ten roller coasters, six family rides, four thrill rides, and three water rides. Additionally, there are more than 20 attractions and rides designed for small children.
In addition to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, there's also a Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
just to the south of Vallejo in Concord, approximately 60 minutes from Larkspur.
Family-friendly tip: To save money on your visit, buy your passes ahead of time via the park's website. You can purchase tickets at the gate, but they will be considerably more expensive.
Marine Mammal Center
Image courtesy of BusinessYab
Travel time from Larkspur: 30 minutes
The Marine Mammal Center
, located in Sausalito in the heart of the Marin Headlands, provides comfort and lifesaving care to marine mammals—with the goal of releasing its patients back into the wild. The center employs world-class veterinarians and caregivers and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world.
The non-profit serves as both a rescue center and rehabilitation hospital for numerous marine wildlife. Its primary focus involves the care and treatment of seals, sea lions, and otters, but the center treats any animals that live in or near the Pacific Ocean or rely on its waters for survival.
Though the center is currently closed for renovations, upon reopening, visitors are always welcome on the grounds, with tours recommended. The $10 tour fee (children under four receive free admission) helps fund the center's mission.
As a working animal hospital, this center is perhaps less physically exhilarating than roller coasters or ice skating. However, the center is a must-see destination for families and children with a love of animals and a specific appreciation for the marine mammals native to Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Given the marine center's location within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
, you can include numerous other attractions as part of your visit. Stay for just a few hours, or explore the entire area throughout the day.
When in the area, consider a trip to the Bay Area Discovery Museum
, located in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge and offers science and art-related activities for children under 10. Or you can simply hike the area with your family, enjoy a picnic, and take in the area's natural treasures.
Game Day at Oracle Park and Chase Center
Travel time from Larkspur via ferry: 60 minutes
A significant advantage of calling Larkspur home is the direct access to Larkspur ferry terminal. No more than a 10-minute drive from any point in the community, the ferry features two routes traversing San Francisco Bay.
The first takes you directly to San Francisco's Embarcadero neighborhood, docking near the famous Port of San Francisco Ferry Terminal Building. It’s great anytime—but especially for those days when you don't feel like battling San Francisco traffic.
Image courtesy of TripAdvisor
The second ferry route is a direct link to the city's upscale South Beach and Mission Bay neighborhoods—the respective homes of Oracle Park
and Chase Center
. Oracle Park is the home field of MLB’s San Francisco Giants, and Chase Center is home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Both are championship-caliber franchises that are just an hour's boat ride away from your home in Larkspur.
Fares for the Oracle Park and Chase Center ferries are $15 each way. Children under four ride for free when registered in advance. Check the Golden Gate Ferry
website for updates or changes in schedule.
Looking for Larkspur homes for sale?
If you’re ready to explore more of what the Larkspur’s luxury neighborhoods have to offer, reach out to Eric Schmitt Real Estate
today. From Corte Madera real estate to Marin and Mill Valley homes for sale, you can trust Eric's local knowledge to be your guide to Marin County's luxury real estate market. When you’re ready to tour Larkspur with an expert—or to list your own home on Marin County’s hot seller’s market — contact Eric Schmitt Real Estate