Nestled below the majestic Mt. Tamalpais, Mill Valley is reminiscent of a charming European village. Surrounded by national parks, including Muir Woods, an ancient coast redwood forest, Mill Valley’s lush landscape of hills and canyons are a favorite place for visitors who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, walking and running.
Mill Valley started out as a large mill, hence the name Mill Valley. The town grew rather fast as word spread of the beautiful Mt. Tamalpais and the wonderful ocean on the other side. People started buying up lots from $100.00 an acre to $5,000.000 for 3 acres. People built summer homes to get away from the big cities nearby, San Francisco and Oakland.
Two financial magazines, MONEY and CNN/Money, recently named Mill Valley as one of the 10 top cities in America in which to live. It is noted that millionaires and well-known names in the film and music industries, like Bonnie Raitt, Bob Weir and Sammy Hagar, make their homes in this quaint community.
Downtown activities center around Lytton Square, where people gather for coffee at the Book Depot Café or for a game of chess while conducting some serious people-watching. Fashionable boutiques and restaurants fill the downtown.
Mill Valley is host to a range of cultural activities. The Mill Valley Film Festival, held in October, is an internationally recognized festival that has attracted leading filmmakers and movie aficionados for the past 29 years. The Mountain Play, produced in June in an outdoor amphitheatre, on Mt. Tamalpais, attracts thousands of theater-goers to watch Broadway musicals performed by talented local actors. The Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club, a state historical landmark, was designed in 1904 by internationally known architect, Bernard Maybeck. Particularly notable for its unusual roof truss system, the Arts and Crafts style building exemplifies Maybeck’s creative use of natural materials.
Mill Valley, home of the Marin Mountain Bike, hosts the annual Dipsea Race, the second oldest footrace in the United States. The race takes runners over a 7.1 mile course, beginning with 676 stairs up and then over Mt. Tamalpais to one of the most beautiful California beaches on the Pacific Ocean.
The Fall Arts Festival is one of the cultural events that occur in Mill Valley each year in September. It is the longest running festival in the County, celebrating its 51st year in 2007.