There’s more to San Anselmo than meets the eye — and what meets the eye is pretty great. The eponymous San Anselmo Avenue is the obvious attraction, snaking in storybook fashion through the center of town, offering food, shopping and Imagination Park (hello Yoda and Indiana Jones) to locals and visitors. For residents, though, the allure of San Anselmo lies in its quiet neighborhoods — Yolanda Park with its stately vintage homes, leafy Seminary on the edge of Ross, Barber/Lincoln Park in the center of town and, of course, sunny Sleepy Hollow, named for the famous Washington Irving tale.
EAT It’s easy to eat well in San Anselmo, especially along the town’s main drag, San Anselmo Avenue. Make like the locals and start with a Marin-style breakfast at M.H. Bread and Butter, lunch on Chinese chicken salad at Comforts and choose between fresh Thai, modern French or classic Italian for dinner.
1. BAAN THAI (pictured) 726 San Anselmo Ave, 415.457.9470, baanthaimarin.com
2. COMFORTS 335 San Anselmo Ave, 415.454.9840, comfortscafe.com
3. L’APPART RESTO 636 San Anselmo Ave, 415.256.9884, lappartresto.com
4. M.H. BREAD AND BUTTER 101 San Anselmo Ave, 415.755.4575, mhbreadandbutter.com
5. VALENTI & CO. 337 San Anselmo Ave, 415.454.7800, valentico.com
SHOP A San Anselmo Avenue stroll will lead you into chic personalized shops that make little girls prettier than they already are and outfit their mothers (and aunts, cousins and sisters) in dresses for success or bikinis for the beach.
6. ALL THINGS ROSE Is your young daughter pretty in pink? Would she rather be remarkable in red? Then this is the place for her. Designer Rose Cage sells darling dresses and more — all of a certain hue. 415.456.7673
7. BEACH BELLA From street to sand — that’s the motto here, and it’s all done with California style. Tops, bottoms, wraps, dresses, shirts, shorts, skirts and shoes, and totes to lug it all around in. shopbeachbella.com
8. BLANC Founder Nancy Mayer was born with elegance in her blood. Her father was a Hollywood boutique owner. That sense of golden-era style is evident in her shop, which features modern European and Japanese lines. blancboutique.com
9. KISMET On a corner facing Yoda and Indiana Jones in Imagination Park, Kismet is a style fixture in San Anselmo, with labels ranging from Diane von Furstenberg to J Brand Jeans. shopkismet.net
PLAY Officially, it’s Post 179 of the American Legion. Locals just call it the Log Cabin, and Marin military veterans have called the downstairs Dugout Bar their home away from home since the cabin — handmade, without power tools, from local redwood — was dedicated on Memorial Day 1934. Today, in addition to hosting its own long-running Veterans and Memorial Day events, the Log Cabin is a rustic rental space for wedding receptions, birthday parties and other events where the emphasis is more fun than formal and where guests don’t mind being greeted by a pair of 75 mm World War II–era artillery. (It’s also been the site of Grateful Dead family gatherings.) The Dugout Bar, replete with pool table, shuffleboard and darts, is open to all comers Wednesdays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. until late. americanlegionlogcabin.com