Larkspur was first developed by Charles W. Wright in 1887 and opened its first post office in 1891. Larkspur was later incorporated in 1908. The original highway through southern Marin was mapped out in 1909, and Magnolia Avenue, the main street in downtown Larkspur, served as the major access road for much of Marin. Today, Magnolia Avenue looks much as it did when it was the main county road. The false-front store facades, the Mission Revival style church and City Hall, the early Queen Anne Victorians, and the Blue Rock Inn, all evoke the flavor of the city's illustrious past. Larkspur's downtown, between the Lark Theater and the Lark Creek Inn, has been designated as a state and city historic district and is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places because the buildings are representative of commercial architecture that was typical of small California towns at the turn of the century. This makes for a very charming, pedestrian-friendly area with upscale shopping, world-class restaurants, cafes, and an art deco movie theater.
Another popular part of town with historical relevance is Larkspur Landing. Built in the 1970s, "The Landing" is a regional hub receiving heavy service throughout the North Bay for commuter ferries to downtown San Francisco. It also has Marin Country Mart which is centered around a lovely outdoor seating area with gorgeous views of the Bay. Live music on Friday nights and a Farmer's Market on Saturdays make this another local hotspot and add to Larkspur's appeal.
Located in idyllic Marin County, surrounded by protected natural environment, and within minutes of major metropolitan areas, Larkspur is a fashionable town that continues to preserve its historic character.
Location, Climate, and Weather in Larkspur
Larkspur is a small town that covers just over three square miles and is located in Marin County with Corte Madera to the east, Kentfield to the west and is separated by a hill from Mill Valley to the south. The temperature ranges from an average low of 41 degrees, to an average high of 85 degrees. The rainfall averages 47 inches per year. Larkspur has two major areas, one is along the Highway 101 corridor and is the section of Larkspur that is on the San Francisco Bay. This includes the Marin Country Mart and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. The other section of Larkspur is adjacent to Madrone Canyon at the foot of Mount Tamalpais, west of Highway 101, along Magnolia Avenue. Larkspur's temperate weather and amazing location is perfect for outdoor recreation.
Larkspur Real Estate
Larkspur's downtown, between the Lark Theater and the original Lark Creek Inn, is designated as a state and city historic district and is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013 the minimum single family home price was $510,000, average was $1,436,086 and the maximum was $3,200,000. That's an increase of 20% from 2012. With Larkspur's outstanding schools, city services, shopping, activities, and easy commute, property owners enjoy a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Overall Larkspur is a great place to make a real estate investment. Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty's agents are the most experienced in the Larkspur area.
Larkspur schools are known for their excellence and diversity. Larkspur schools are part of the Larkspur - Corte Madera School District. This is a distinguished school district and is highly sought after. All schools in the districts have API's over 850, and all schools are ranked at a 9 or better on the state-wide ranking system.
Larkspur's public schools are Neil Cummins School for kindergarten through 4th grade, Hall Middle School serves grades 5 to 8, and The Cove School elementary school opened in the fall of 2014 to better educate this growing family friendly community.
There are numerous private schools such as St. Patrick School serving students 1 through 8 grades. Please see Larkpur's Quick Links for additional schools and links to their websites.
Marin Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic co-educational college preparatory, grades 9 through 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 Larkspur 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 Larkspur
Larkspur has commuter buses to speed you into downtown San Francisco in 40 minutes. Estimated drive time is 30 minutes without commute traffic. 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 for more details.
Activities and Things To Do in Larkspur
Larkspur is a terrific place to live, with many restaurants, boutiques, and galleries; you will never get 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.
Larkspur 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 Larkspur
Larkspur 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 Larkspur Landing.
Larkspur's hidden gem, Madrone Canyon, has magical paths to lead you up Mount Tamalpais through towering redwoods and majestic oaks. All unspoiled and saved for future generations to come. Piper Park has soccer fields, sitting and picnic area, tennis courts, and softball fields. Centennial Park has picnic tables, tennis courts, benches, a drinking fountain, greenbelt, and baseball fields. Larkspur also has Remillard Park located along the Bay with a freshwater marsh, wildlife sanctuary, and fishing from the levee.
In addition to all the outdoor activities Larkspur has to offer, at its door there's the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and numerous Marin County Open Spaces that offer adventures galore. Please visit Larkspur's Quick Links for more parks and information.
Best Restaurants in Larkspur
Larkpur's Magnolia Avenue is home to many fabulous restaurants including, but not limited to, The Tavern at Lark Creek, known for its farm-to-table sensibilities and cozy oak bar. Next door is Yankee Pier where one may dine on sustainable seafood. Picco Restaurant serves small plates of Cal-Italian eats served in a brick and redwood setting with a bustling bar scene. The Left Bank is an authentic Parisian-style brasserie located in the historic Blue Rock Inn. Fabrizio's serves a seasonal menu of fresh Northern Italian and Californian cuisine.
There are numerous restaurants located in Bon Air Center and Larkspur Landing's Country Mart. Casual, laid back eateries along with upscale fine dining all coexist in Larkspur. 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.
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 the 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. July 4th is the annual Corte Madera - Larkspur Fourth of July Festival and Parade along Magnolia Avenue to Town Center. This is a hometown parade for Marin’s Twin Cities, and is regarded to be Marin's finest. 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 Larkspur
Larkspur's historic Magnolia Avenue has packed with boutiques, galleries, and services. To mention just a few: visit Gallery Bergelli, featuring contemporary paintings and sculptures created by national and international artists; Embodies is an eco boutique carrying organic and sustainable women's fashion; and Coquelicot from Provence has unique gift and home decorating ideas.
Visit 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 Larkspur Landing there are services available such as 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 in Larkspur.
Nightlife and Entertainment in Larkspur
For a real bar experience, drop into Larkspur's locals' hang out, The Silver Peso. A funky bar in a century-old building offering pool, shuffleboard, and TVs tuned to the game. Restaurant nightlife abounds in Larkspur. 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. Larkspur's The Tavern at Lark Creek has a cozy oak bar that serves creative libations. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more information.
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