Welcome to San Anselmo
Rural, suburban “hub” of activity in Marin County
Boarded by San Rafael to the east and Fairfax to the west, San Anselmo is a small, incorporated town located in Marin County, California. It lies in the Ross Valley Watershed, is dissected by several small creeks that meander through town, replete with hilly scenery, and offers gorgeous views of Mount Tamalpais to the south. Ensconced in beautiful forestry, San Anselmo has a laid-back vibe that mixes effortlessly with its natural scenery.
With a history fueled by railroads and emerging pathways, San Anselmo was first incorporated in 1907 and named after a Native American leader who was buried in the area. The city’s small shops and central business district have allowed it to become a flourishing community for its 12,000 residents, who enjoy the small-town lifestyle just 20 miles north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge.
As far as residential housing goes, you’ll find everything from effortlessly cool, mid-century remodels just a short walk from the vibrant downtown to historic adobe bungalows set along the hills and even stylish new-builds in highly desirable neighborhoods. It’s easy to find the home that suits your personal style in San Anselmo, and the views alone make each property spectacular.
What to Love
- Sunny Mediterranean climate and natural landmarks
- Quick access to major cities like San Francisco
- Historic architecture that gives the town a quaint magic
- The lovely and active University of Redlands, Marin Campus
People & Lifestyle
Though well-blended between family and non-family households, San Anselmo is known for being an idyllic place to start and raise a family, thanks in part to its excellent school system. The majority of housing in San Anselmo is historic—pre-1940—and this helps to give the town its hip, charming aesthetic.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
In San Anselmo, the restaurants run from familiar to exotic, upscale to casual, while shopping is centrally located for the convenience and ease of community building. Easily meet all of your needs at the center of it all, the Red Hills Shopping Center, where you’ll find venues for grocery shopping, apparel and retail, spa and beauty, dining, and other daily necessities. For more retail therapy, shoppers can take the short drive to Northgate in San Rafael, which features brand name stores like Express and H&M, as well as a movie theater.
For a delicious meal out, San Anselmo has a plethora of noteworthy choices to pick from. Inspiring Mediterranean fare can be found at Insalata’s, an upscale eatery with a friendly atmosphere and tapas, mezze, and piccoli that all pair perfectly with their hand-crafted cocktails, wines, and craft beers. You won’t want to miss out on the fresh seafood and inspiring wine menu at Bistro Viz, a local fine-dining favorite offering everything from flat-iron steaks to perfectly grilled octopus.
Prefer dazzling Latin flavors and mouth-watering margaritas? Head to Marinitas to sample their high-quality mixed drinks and locally-sourced, authentic dishes. And if it’s comfort food and sweet indulgences you’re after, then Comforts Cafe is the place to be. From their house-baked pastries and desserts, all the way to their full-flavored classics menu and family-feel, it’s easy to see how Comforts Cafe has been consistently voted among the best eateries in Marin County.
Things to Do
San Anselmo facilitates plenty of events that help build a sense of community, and this little town will keep you busy throughout the year with its many opportunities for fun. Head downtown for Friday Nights on Main and Picnics on the Plaza to take advantage of the live music and outdoor dining options. For a free, laid-back time, you can visit Creek Park for the Music in the Park concert series, held on Sundays during the summer, and watch local artists perform. Residents and visitors can also celebrate the arts with the annual, always-fun, San Anselmo Art and Wine Festival that includes over 200 artist exhibits, live entertainment, gourmet food, rides for the kids, and of course, incredible wine.
If you need an escape from the crowds, hit up the trails in the Sleepy Hollow Preserve. The area has over 1,100 acres of open space and easy trails that are perfect for walking, hiking, taking your furry friends for fresh air, and viewing the majestic panoramic vistas of Mt. Tamalpais and Big Rock Ridge.
San Anselmo is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Ross Valley Elementary School District, well-rated public school district serving grades K-8
- St. Anselm School, 1-8, highly-rated private Catholic school
- San Domenico School, K-12, #7 boarding school in the entire state