On the one hand, Fairfax is the gateway to West Marin, a final stop that offers a chance to gas up, grab a sandwich and drink a cup of coffee before heading out. On the other, Fairfax is one of the most distinctive and self-contained towns in Marin. The unincorporated area has a history of doing things its own way, reflected in the unique shops and restaurants, the passionate townspeople and, of course, the rich music scene where you can listen to a different band every night. It’s these charms that entice many who are passing through to decide, instead, to hang out awhile.

Grab and Go

EAT So you’re heading out to West Marin and you realize, “I’ll need something to eat and drink when I get where I’m going.” Well, no problem — Fairfax has many great places where you can buy sustenance to take on the road.

1. AVATAR’S 769 Center Blvd, 415.457.5773, enjoyavatars.com

2. FAIRFAX COFFEE ROASTERY 4 Bolinas Road, 415.256.1373

3. FAIRFAX SCOOP 63 Broadway Blvd, 415.453.3130

4. GRILLY’S MEXICAN FOOD (pictured) 1 Bolinas Road, 415.457.6171, grillys.com

5.. PERRY’S DELICATESSEN 1916 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415.456.3580

A Museum in Motion

6. PLAY We know that mountain biking took off as a sport in Marin: in the 1960s and ’70s, groups like the Larkspur Canyon Gang decided to explore the trails and fire roads of Mount Tamalpais on modified Schwinn, Colson and Columbia bikes. So it makes sense that here would be a great place for a Museum of Bicycling, along with a Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (the latter of which had been based in Crested Butte, Colorado, since 1988). The bicycle cultural center opened in June and has a wealth of information about the sport’s history, with plans to feature talks, movies, live streams of cycling events, films and more within its 3,000 square feet. The museum is also offering memberships for those interested in support, admission discounts and invitations to special events. mmbhof.org

The Good Shop

SHOP If Marin is a haven for people interested in sustainably and ethically made products, Fairfax residents take it even further. Here are four places you can shop and feel good about it.

7. GOOD EARTH NATURAL FOODS (pictured) With a motto like “organic to the core since 1969,” Good Earth is clearly serious. And everyone else seems to know it. Marin’s oldest independently owned community-based natural foods store has stood the test of time for a reason. genatural.com

8. LOLA’S DEPOT Nothing is more sustainable than passing down products you no longer need. The items don’t end up in the landfill and no new item needs to be produced. So whether you are looking to sell or buy, stop by Lola’s for kids’ clothes, jewelry, CDs, knickknacks, Star Wars items and much, much more. lolasdepotfairfax.blogspot.com

9. O’DONNELLS FAIRFAX NURSERY Way before it was popular, in 1990 to be exact, O’Donnells put California native habitat restoration and organic horticultural practices at the top of the priorities list. That focus has earned it a Marin Golden Acorn Award and lots of loyal customers. odonnellsnursery.com

10. THE HERBAN GARDEN With an eye toward where and how her products are created or derived, the owner of this cutely named store makes sure you are buying only responsibly made vintage textiles, wall art, quilts, organic bedding, baby products and the like. theherbangarden.net