Greenbrae is a small community situated in the heart of beautiful Marin County. Its neighborhoods are bordered by downtown Larkspur to the south, Larkspur Landing to the east, the unincorporated area of Kentfield to the west, and the city of San Rafael to the north. In fact, part of Greenbrae is an unincorporated community of Marin while the remaining area is inside the city limits of Larkspur. This unique location only adds to the town’s identity, and homes can be found directly on the bay waters to the east or on the Mt. Tamalpais hillside to the west.
Brae means “hill” in Scottish, and the real estate set within these lush, green, oak covered hills have magnificent views. Minutes away from the East Bay and San Francisco, and set amongst untouched natural parks and preserves, Greenbrae enjoys great weather all year round and outdoor recreation is easily accessible. The Greenbrae Marina along the Corte Madera Creek welcomes visitors to walk along its banks where rowers and boaters enjoy the water. There is great shopping at the Bon Air shopping center and Marin Country Mart which hosts weekly farmer's markets, food trucks, live music, and events for the entire family. Marin General Hospital and Marin’s Acute Care Hospital are located in Greenbrae as well. The nationally recognized schools, thriving local economy and active, engaging population also make Greenbrae a highly sought after location. Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty continues to represent the most luxurious homes in this classic Marin County community. Contact us to help you call Greenbrae home.
Located half in Larkspur and half in the County of Marin, Greenbrae still manages to stand out as a specially designed, functional community. Before reaching its current developed state, however, Greenbrae's hills played home to a variety of diverse dwellers and projects.
For thousands of years, the Coastal Miwoks would make their way to the area now known as Greenbrae during the summer and winter months to take advantage of the berry bushes that covered the hills. In 1840, the area was granted to Captain Juan Bautista Cooper as the Punta de Quentin Rancho. Eventually it came to be owned by James Ross. Under Ross' ownership, the land was cleared of lumber in order to start the Greenbrae Dairy. After Ross's death in 1862, the land was sold to earn much needed cash for his family. The area switched hands a number of times until 1890, when the archbishop of the Catholic Church of San Francisco, Patrick William Riordan, purchased the ranch for $50,000. The Catholic Church subleased the Greenbrae dairy ranch for the next 50 years.
In the later 1800s other projects were also thriving in Greenbrae. In 1891, the Remillard brothers of Canada founded Remillard brickworks. Many Remillard bricks were used to rebuild San Francisco after the quake of 1906. The kiln was shut down in 1915, but was preserved after becoming part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In the late 1980s, the French restaurant Remillards incorporated the kiln into its design, and the site has continued as home to a restaurant since. Another popular establishment was the swanky Bon Air Hotel. Erected in the late 1800s, it functioned as a summer resort near the Corte Madera Creek. The hotel lured guests in with its swimming pool, dance hall, and bowling alley. By 1920, the Bon Air had been sold and demolished.
In 1949, the site of the former hotel got a new look when it was chosen as the site for Marin General Hospital. The location was convenient because at that time nearly 90 percent of Marinites lived within five miles of it.
From the 1940s onward was a time of development of Greenbrae's residential areas. Developer Niels Schultz, Sr. sought to build Greenbrae into a united community that included its own shopping centers, schools and churches, along with lovely homes. He wanted all of these structures to complement and enhance Greenbrae's natural beauty. By 1947, 90 homes were occupied and another 107 lots were ready to be developed. The Schultz Company quickly gave 7 acres of the former Greenbrae dairy land to the Kentfield School District to build an elementary school. In 1952 the Bon Air Shopping Center opened.
Although Greenbrae has relied on Larkspur, Kentfield, and other Marin towns for services such as postal delivery and education, it has, through its natural harmony and cohesive design, remained a community all its own.
Location, Climate, and Weather in Greenbrae
Greenbrae is a quaint town, situated between Larkspur, Corte Madera, Kentfield, and San Rafael to the north. Greenbrae is less than 15 miles from San Francisco and attracts people who want to live close enough for the attractions a big city offers, yet far enough from the city to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. With accessible transportation options, like Larkspur Landing Ferry Terminal and the 101 freeway, residents like the small size and the privacy of this little town.
Experiencing a Mediterranean climate, Greenbrae's temperature ranges from an average low of 44 degrees to a high of 80 degrees. The rainfall averages 46 inches per year. This temperate weather and amazing location is perfect for outdoor recreation.
Greenbrae Real Estate
Greenbrae's warm weather, surrounding scenery, excellent schools, and convenient location are features that will keep property values up. Many of Greenbrae's properties have views of the Bay, Corte Madera Creek and Mt. Tamalpais, which makes them even more desirable. You will find all the beauty, calmness, and privacy you desire.
Greenbrae is the entryway to Ross Valley and some of Marin County's best kept treasures. Greenbrae consistently has a higher percentage of homes in contract than any other town in Marin County. In 2013 the minimum single family home price was $475,000, average was $1,343,710 and the maximum was $3,900,000. That's an increase of 12% from 2012. Overall Greenbrae is a great place to make a real estate investment.
Greenbrae students attend nearby Kentfield's schools.
A.G. Bacich Elementary School is a California Distinguished School that hosts grades kindergarten-4. During the 2009-2010 school year, Bacich Elementary School served approximately 600 children. As of 2012, Bacich has a California Department of Education Academic Performance Index (API) of 944 out of 1000, putting it in the top ranking in the state of California.
Adeline E. Kent Middle School is a California Distinguished School that hosts grades 5-8. Kent Middle School serves 543 students in the school year of 2013-14. As of 2012, Kent has a California Department of Education Academic Performance Index (API) of 960 out of 1000, putting it in the top ranking in the state of California.
Marin Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic co-educational college preparatory, grades 9-12. The student population currently numbers around 725. The administrators, faculty and staff of Marin Catholic work hard to maintain a dynamic, student-centered environment, one that affords its young women and men every opportunity to achieve excellence.
Residences of Greenbrae are fortunate to attend Redwood High School; it is nationally ranked and recognized as one of the premier high schools in the nation with some of the State's highest test scores, rates of graduation, and college acceptance. Please visit the Quick Links section for more information.
Transportation and Commuting from Greenbrae
Greenbrae has commuter buses to speed you into downtown San Francisco in 45 minutes. Estimated drive time is 30 minutes without commute traffic. And alternatively, the Larkspur Ferry Terminal is located just down the road in Larkspur Landing. The ferry ride takes 40 minutes to cross the Bay to San Francisco. For a schedule and fees, please visit the Golden Gate Transit site or more details.
Activities and Things To Do in Greenbrae
Greenbrae is a terrific place to live, with many restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques—you will never feel bored. Visit Bon Air Center for its excellent restaurants, shops, services, and special events all year. There's Larkspur Landing's Country Mart that has unique shopping, outstanding restaurants, farmers markets, food truck days, and mulitple events for the whole family to enjoy. Located in Country Mart is Marin Brewing Company which opened it's doors in 1989, becoming Marin County's very first microbrewery.
Greenbrae has a great walking path along the Corte Madera Creek and Bay; you will admire amazing views of the East Bay, the hills of Marin, waterfront homes, marinas, and sailboats on the water.
Outdoor Recreation and Parks in Greenbrae
Greenbrae is perfect for biking, jogging, and hiking in the beautiful hills surrounding the community. Windsurfing is a popular activity along with rowing and boating in the Bay along Greenbrae's Larkspur Landing. Mount Tamalpais is at your doorstep. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area and numerous Marin County Open Spaces offer adventures galore.
Best Restaurants in Greenbrae
Most of the Greenbrae’s restaurants are located in Bon Air Center and Larkspur Landing's Country Mart. There are many places to choose from; casual, laid back eateries along with upscale fine dining all exist here. To name just a few; Bistro Vis a Vis, Jason's, Hunan First Restaurant, Victoria Bakery and Cafe, Wipe Out Bar and Grill, Belcampo Meat Co, El Huarache Loco Mexican, Farmshop Marin, Sushi Ko, and Tha Siam. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more restaurants.
Nightlife and Entertainment in Greenbrae
Nightlife in Greenbrae is centered in its many fine restaurants. Beginning with Jason's Restaurant—an upscale establishment that offers an array of seafood dishes and global favorites in a romantic atmosphere with a full service bar. The Wipe Out Bar and Grill has an open patio and outdoor bar, roaring fire pit, celebrity-signed surfboards, and world-famous beach signs, and is a terrific hangout spot. Marin Brewing Company is the area's perennial favorite for gastro pub dining, serving the finest and freshest beers brewed on the premises. Farmshop Marin serves local farm to table fare and boasts a fabulous bar and lounge. For the music lover there's Friday Night Jazz - Live! In the Marin Country Mart Courtyard. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more information.
The year kicks off in February with Ergathon, a 12 hours of continuous team erg-machine rowing, an annual fundraising event for Marin Rowing Association’s junior program. The annual Marin Open Studios begins in the Bon Air Center. Visit the Preview Gallery Exhibition at Bon Air Center. Each of the participating artists has one of their works on display, and artist docents are on hand to answer questions. The Exhibition at Bon Air Center stays open from April 22 – May 11 daily. The Preview Gala on April 26th from 5pm to 8pm is the Art Party of the Year, is open to the public, and kicks off the event. Also in April there's the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Marin Country Mart where family fun abounds.
May brings the annual Spring Fair—a celebration of local food, recreation, health, and living located in Bon Air Center. In September there's the annual Greenbrae Mini Maker celebrating the imagination and ingenuity of our community. It's a day of sharing knowledge and talents in a family-friendly event that is fun, entertaining, and educational, and encourages the "maker" in all of us. In October there's the Bon Air Center’s annual Invitational Car Show that gathers over 100 classic cars for a day of auto appreciation. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more information.
Shopping in Greenbrae
Shop Bon Air Center for all your service needs such as banking and pharmacy. There are many charming shops such as David M. Bryant for housewares and gifts, Sole Desire Bon Air for fancy footwear, and visit Johann Paul Jewelers for traditional and contemporary jewelry, specializing in custom designs.
In Marin Country Mart located in Greenbrae's Larkspur Landing there are services available from shoe repair, spinning classes, optometry, and a post office, but its mostly known for its unique collection of eclectic shops such as DIESEL, an urban California aesthetic independent neighborhood bookstore. Also, visit Erica Tanov for original fine women's garments. George Pet Store offers high-design products with eye appeal for dogs, cats, and their keepers. Calypso St. Barth features items inspired by travel, culture, and the arts. The Unionmade shop is known for its outstanding selection of men's casual and fine clothing, shoes, new and vintage books, and men's grooming products. Check out the Quick Links for additional shops.