Nestled in the heart of Marin County’s Ross Valley, San Anselmo is a charming and laid-back town with captivating views of the valley. San Anselmo is surrounded by the hillsides of Red Hill and Grove Hill to the north, Moore Hill to the east, and Bald Hill to the southwest. Mount Tamalpais is visible to the south. San Anselmo Creek cuts through the town, with numerous downtown businesses located along its banks. San Anselmo is located 20 miles north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge.
The town’s diverse, tree-shaded neighborhoods contain eclectic and attractive architecture. The flatlands around San Anselmo’s downtown are home to quaint California cottages with wonderfully landscaped gardens, and spacious contemporary hillside homes offer incredible views. Brookside and Hawthorne Hills feature in-demand Spanish-style properties. At San Anselmo’s western edge, Sleepy Hollow is known for its large lots with grand estates and equestrian ranches.
San Anselmo has a rich cultural heritage. Formerly a major hub of silent film in the early 1900s, George Lucas wrote the script for Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope while living here and staged its first screening for fellow filmmakers in the community.
San Anselmo is known for its warm climate, with the surrounding hillsides protecting it from ocean mist. One extremely rare bout of snowfall in the 1970s was the inspiration for the Van Morrison song “Snowfall in San Anselmo.” The climate and scenery make this is an exceptional place for outdoor pursuits. San Anselmo’s defining features are its relaxed pace and close-knit community feel.
The downtown area is centered on the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Red Hill Avenue. The space is known as an antiquing hotspot, with many unique stores carrying rare finds. There’s also a great selection of cafes and restaurants. Highlights include delicious Italian cuisine and wine at and , al fresco dining and great French bistro fare at , vegan-friendly Mediterranean fine dining at , and scrumptious casual eats at , , and . is a popular spot for coffee and breakfast, with outdoor seating and live music on weekends.
San Anselmo is surrounded by trails and open space. The 60-acre Sorich Ranch Park 404 at the town’s northeast boundary is full of hilly and scenic hiking trails. More paths and views can be found in the 14-acre Faude Park 404. Located in the heart of the community, this natural space contains oak and madrone forest, grassy meadows, and off-leash dog walking areas.
Imagination Park 404 was bequeathed to San Anselmo by George Lucas, with statues commemorating iconic characters such as Yoda and Indiana Jones. Just outside San Anselmo, Phoenix Lake Trail offers wonderful views along the banks of its namesake reservoir.
San Rafael enjoys access to excellent schools through the and districts. Some highlights include:
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