About Larkspur CA
Halfway between Sausalito and San Rafael, nestled between Mount Tamalpais and the Bay, lies a city of almost magical charm and sweeping beauty called Larkspur. This beautiful area was named for the lupine found here, which was mistakenly identified as larkspur. Millions of people fly past on Highway 101 or Sir Francis Drake Boulevard noticing little but a blanket of trees and a few rooftops. There are treasures among those trees scattered like gems on a jeweler’s velvet.
Larkspur presents very special places to play, to relax, to shop, to dine and to enjoy many of the loveliest things Marin County has to offer. For play there are winding trails and waterways, ten parks and every sport from horseshoes to windsurfing. For relaxation there are lush redwood groves and historical walking tours that are available through City Hall. World-renowned restaurants such as Bradley Ogden’s Lark Creek Inn and the all-raw, all-vegan sensation Roxanne’s, along with cozy neighborhood and intimate coffeehouses make Larkspur a destination dining spot. Shopping needs are covered with local, unique boutiques and stylish shopping centers that include larger, well-known stores.
The original highway through southern Marin was mapped out in 1909 (a year after Larkspur was incorporated), and Magnolia Avenue 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 downtown/Magnolia Avenue area is listed in the national Register of Historic Places as “an irreplaceable American turn of the century home town”. 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 past. The buildings along the street between the lark Theater and the Lark Creek Inn are unique because they are examples of historic commercial architecture of the 1890’s, early 1900’s, 1920’s, and 1930’s. The Escalle Winery, built in the 1890’s by a young Frenchman who planted the northern hillsides of Larkspur in wine grapes is a sight not to be missed and the exquisite Murphy mansion, constructed in 1888 is now home to the world famous restaurant, the Lark Creek Inn. There is hardly a period of architecture that isn’t reflected in the homes and buildings including log cabins, Victorians, Mission-style, New England, Spanish, Tudor, and modern designs.
Most of the town lies inland, but the area that fronts the water is home to the county’s largest ferry terminal, Larkspur Landing. The ferries offer dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the City skyline as you make your way towards the historic San Francisco Ferry Building. Once a quarry near San Quentin State Prison, the Landing now features an array of unique shops, restaurants, relaxing outdoor areas and a movie theater.
All of these treasures of Larkspur CA are available without the congestion, parking problems and hassles of the “touristy” cities of the Bay Area.