Honest Pros and Cons of Living in Larkspur

Honest Pros and Cons of Living in Larkspur

  • Eric Schmitt
  • 08/16/23

As the coastal fog peels back from the San Francisco Bay each morning, it reveals one of the Golden State's most charming communities: Larkspur. Nestled between the bay and the lush rolling hills of Marin County, Larkspur is a picturesque town with a bounty of endearing qualities. Yet, like any place, it has its fair share of challenges.

Discovering Larkspur: A closer look

To truly understand the joys and drawbacks of residing in Larkspur, one must look beyond the surface. The town's postcard-perfect streets, painted with pastel-hued Victorian homes and flowering Magnolia trees, tell a story of a quiet, community-oriented lifestyle. This narrative extends to the town's downtown, where one can find locally-owned shops, charming cafés, and historic structures that add character to the cityscape. A stroll through downtown Larkspur often feels like a step back in time, a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

On the other hand, Larkspur's serene demeanor, while comforting to some, may be too tranquil for those yearning for a dynamic urban environment. The town's quiet streets and smaller population, when compared to larger Californian cities, might not be as stimulating for those seeking constant novelty, cultural diversity, and a plethora of social and professional opportunities.

Pros and cons of living in Larkspur

Remember, the pros and cons can greatly depend on an individual's circumstances, lifestyle preferences, and needs. What works well for one person might not work as well for another.

One of the key attractions of Larkspur is its exceptional livability. The town is enveloped by nature, with its residents accessing many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and boating. The robust local economy, coupled with ample high-end real estate options, further enhances the town's appeal, providing residents with various amenities ranging from artisanal boutiques to gourmet eateries.

But living in Larkspur isn't devoid of challenges. The town's high cost of living, a common theme in many California locales, is a significant consideration. Housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation costs can be steep, which could be a potential drawback for those looking to move into the town. And finally, Larkspur's small size, while intimate and community-focused, could be viewed as a limitation by those who thrive in larger, more vibrant cities.


Larkspur's climate

The charm of Larkspur extends beyond its endearing communities and picturesque landscapes to its inviting weather. Residents will appreciate the area's mild and temperate climate that graces the city year-round, creating an environment that encourages an active, outdoor lifestyle.

The Mediterranean climate of Larkspur is characterized by warm, dry summers and moderate winters. Throughout the winter, the temperatures average between the mid-40s and low 50s, offering relatively mild weather compared to many parts of the country. Rainfall is moderate during these cooler months, creating an atmosphere of quiet serenity.

As the calendar turns to summer, temperatures typically range from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit, providing an ideal setting for various outdoor activities. From strolling downtown to exploring the area's numerous hiking trails, the summer weather invites residents to make the most of the city's natural beauty. However, rainfall during these warmer months is sporadic, aligning with the region's characteristic Mediterranean climate of dry, hot summers.

Larkspur is a city that loves the sun. And while the average annual rainfall in Larkspur is slightly higher than the US average — 41 inches compared to the national average of 38 inches—the city typically doesn't experience snowfall, in contrast to the US average of 28 inches per year. Rainy days in Larkspur amount to approximately 78 days of measurable precipitation annually.

For those who appreciate pleasant warmth, July in Larkspur doesn't disappoint. The high average is around 78 degrees making it an ideal month for outdoor exploration and community events. Contrastingly, January ushers in cooler climates, with an average low of around 42 degrees — a gentle reminder of winter in an otherwise temperate climate.

In essence, Larkspur's climate plays a pivotal role in shaping the town's lifestyle, making it a destination for those who prefer mild winters, sunny summers, and an overall weather profile that gently swings between soothing warmth and cool breeziness.

A vibrant and eclectic culinary scene

For the epicureans among us, Larkspur presents a vibrant food scene replete with a variety of enticing dining options. With a rich array of flavors to cater to diverse taste buds, Larkspur restaurants run the gamut, from casual eateries to upscale dining experiences, contributing significantly to the city's vibrant lifestyle. At Locanda Marin, you'll find an inviting space offering a menu brimming with Italian classics. Dishes here are prepared with an artisanal touch, providing an authentic taste of Italy in the heart of Larkspur. Over at Don Antonio, diners are treated to a blend of traditional and innovative Italian cuisine. The cozy environment complements the thoughtfully prepared dishes, making it a great spot for casual and special occasions.

Meanwhile, Restaurant Picco offers a unique, modern Californian dining experience. Their menu, which changes daily, is dictated by the season's freshest ingredients, ensuring that diners always have something new and exciting to try. Pizza lovers will rejoice at Pizzeria Picco. They serve up some of the best wood-fired pizzas in town, along with other Italian classics, in a lively and casual setting. For a slice of classic American dining, Perry's on Magnolia offers various dishes in a relaxed, friendly environment. No visit to Larkspur would be complete without stopping by Emporio Rulli, a charming Italian bakery and café. Their selection of pastries, cakes, and coffee will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Larkspur’s close proximity to San Rafael and other communities provides an endless array of swoon-worthy restaurants to choose from. For those in the mood for some Mediterranean-inspired dishes, Il Davide in nearby San Rafael is a must-visit. Their extensive wine list perfectly complements the menu, providing an unforgettable dining experience. At The Kitchen Table, you'll find a refined menu based on classic American cuisine, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy. A touch of northern Italian flavors can be found at Valenti & Co in San Anselmo. The restaurant offers a warm and intimate atmosphere where patrons can enjoy the true flavors of Italy. Last, but not least, Marin Joe's Restaurant is a local institution in Corte Madera serving up Italian-American classics. Its inviting atmosphere makes it a great place for family meals and special occasions.

Each of these restaurants provides a unique dining experience, adding to the richness of the culinary landscape in and around Larkspur. Make sure to explore them on your next visit!

High-quality schools

Larkspur is home to some highly-rated schools, demonstrating the city's commitment to quality education. The Larkspur-Corte Madera School District, Tamalpais Union High School District, and a number of prestigious private institutions provide a range of choices for families seeking both academic excellence and enrichment activities for their children.


A higher cost of living

Living in Larkspur comes with its unique financial considerations. As a thriving city in California, the cost of living in Larkspur tends to be higher than the state and national averages. 
Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference, with the median home cost in Larkspur significantly higher than national averages, at a whopping $1,950,000 in June 2023. Keep this in mind when considering a move to or within Larkspur.

Ready to make living in Larkspur a reality?

Born and raised in Marin, expert Eric Schmitt leverages his extensive knowledge of the local area to excel as a top-producing realtor. Specializing in Marin County properties, Eric has spent over a decade gaining experience in luxury sales, marketing, negotiation, and customer service. His proficiency has earned him a spot among the top 1% of Coldwell Banker Agents Worldwide, and he was even ranked as the #1 New Agent in all of North America for sales volume in his first year with Coldwell Banker.

Over the years, Eric has also amassed considerable commercial and residential real estate investment experience. He is a savvy negotiator, having closed thousands of luxury car deals and real estate transactions. His impressive track record includes involvement in over $200 million worth of real estate transactions, spanning single-family homes, multifamily properties, specialty land use, and value-add development properties.

If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the Larkspur real estate market, contact Eric Schmitt today.

Work With Eric

Born and raised In Marin County, Eric Schmitt specializes in helping clients buy and sell their Marin homes. Including an extensive background in sales, marketing strategy, customer service and negotiation.

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