Mill Valley Top 5
1 142 Throckmorton Theatre Whether you are there for a famous musician, a comedian or a wedding, this restored venue is a gem. It opened as the Hub Theater in 1915, when tickets to Charlie Chaplin movies were 25 cents. 142throckmortontheatre.com
2 The Book Depot This former railroad terminus turned cafe/bookstore is the undisputed town center. Enjoy a latte, a scone and the newspaper in the fenced-off patio. depotbookstore.com
3 Bungalow 44 Meeting friends for a drink, or drinking to meet friends—here is the place. Oh, and the food is great too. Run by the Real Restaurants group, this spot works for all ages. bungalow44.com
4 Mill Valley Market Besides being the town’s grocery store since 1929, Mill Valley Market is also a great place to grab lunch. Vegans, carnivores, locavores—there’s something for everyone. Owned and operated by the Canepa family from day one. millvalleymarket.com
5 Tim Floreen’s power yoga class at Red Dragon Yeah, there is a lot of great yoga in Mill Valley, but Tim’s Monday and Wednesday class is a guaranteed hour of side-twisting, organ-cleansing, sweat-beading bliss. It is so popular they’ve scheduled two per day: 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. reddragonyoga.com
Wake up early with a view of Mount Tamalpais at the Acqua Hotel on Redwood Highway. Hop in a hybrid and head to Peet’s—the first place to open downtown every day. Grab a tea or coffee and savor its awakening buzz across the street on a bench in Lytton Square, then head to the summit of Mount Tamalpais (2,571 feet) for some serious perspective. Park in the lot and walk the paved 1.2-mile Verna Dunshee loop.
Drive back to sea level for breakfast (including house-made fresh biscuits) at the Dipsea Cafe, a local favorite for over three decades.
A prearranged trail ride at Miwok Stables in Tennessee Valley starts off with a 30-minute lesson in the arena, followed by an hour-long scenic tour of the Marin Headlands. After the ride, stroll west 1.7 miles to Tennessee Beach, where you can sit on a log and nibble on a made-in-Marin Can Do Kid energy bar.
As the sun ticks toward noon, head to Strawberry Village for a therapeutic massage at EVO Spa. During the treatment, contemplate lunch in the mall: Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Italian, French or Mexican? If it’s sunny, take advantage with an outdoor table and a wild salmon salad and mashed potatoes at Asqew Grill. Head back to your hotel room for a shower, and nap if you’re so inclined.
Stroll back to town, past a youth soccer game at Hauke Park, over a footbridge constructed of reclaimed redwood, and through the picturesque Sycamore Park neighborhood. Share a bite of a Magic Mushroom pizza at Tony Tutto’s to stave off hunger until dinner.
Spend time shopping in downtown Mill Valley — Margaret O’Leary, Canvas, Summer House — and choose an outfit for the opening party of the Mill Valley Film Festival, featuring national and local celebrities and a world premiere. No festival? Take in a movie at the Sequoia Theater or a performance at 142 Throckmorton and have dinner at one of the downtown hot spots.
This town has gone to the dogs, literally. Most retail businesses offer doggie bowls and treats for four-legged shoppers. Doggie Styles (grooming service) always has a waiting list, and supply shops such as Alpha Dog, Critterland, Woodlands and Pet Pro draw a loyal clientele. Canine socializing? Don’t miss Friday Nights in the Park (millvalleydogpark.org).
Did You Know?
• Mill Valley was incorporated on September 1, 1900.
• The Dipsea trail includes 672 wooden steps.
• The Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club, designed in 1904 by Bernard Maybeck, is a state historical landmark.