Terrapin Crossroads
#The Lowdown

Arts and Culture in Marin County

By Travel Savvy

It's no secret that Marin County is an outdoor lover's paradise. Mild weather year-round means that visitors and locals have endless access to any number of water sports, and can enjoy hiking, camping, biking, wildlife watching...the list goes on.  However, weekend vacationers looking to pursue art, culture, music, and good food will also fall madly in love with this amazing coastal destination!

That's because Marin is home to countless art galleries, museums, music venues, and more. You'll be delighted to know that the North Bay area hosts many great festivals and events year-round. Check out Visitmarin.org for more information, and click through for a taste of some of our favorite things to see and do in Marin.

Art Works Downtown, Inc 1

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Art Works Downtown, Inc

Art Galleries

Desta Art and Tea Gallery: 417 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo; Open Tuesday through Friday 10:30AM - 5:30PM, Saturday 11:00AM - 5:00PM

Lorraine Almeida Fine Art: 18856 Highway One, Marshall; Open by appointment only

Emmeline Craig's Blissful Gallery: 3415 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach; Open Saturday 11:00AM - 5:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM - 4:00PM, Weekdays by appointment. 

Marin, the perfect weekend destination for art lovers, is home to endless avenues at which to peruse everything from contemporary to traditional fine art, glass art, prints, sculpture, photography--the list goes on!

Visit the area's unique galleries, including Desta Art & Tea Gallery, a conceptual gallery featuring contemporary artwork made by artists both local and worldwide and organic teas; Lorraine Almeida Fine Art Studio, where you'll likely meet the artist at work; or Emmeline Craig's Blissful Gallery, to enjoy the painter's zen-inspiring odes to nature.

If you're in town during the 2nd Friday of any month, year-round, you can head to downtown San Rafael for their monthly Art Walk along bustling Fourth Street. From 5PM - 8PM, pop into the participating galleries to enjoy open studios, art exhibits, live music and refreshments. Similarly, you can join Mill Valley's 1st Tuesday Art Walk, which happens from 5:30 - 7:30PM.

Sweetwater Music Hall 2

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Suzy Perler

Music and Food Venues

Sweetwater Music Hall: www.sweetwatermusichall.com; 19 Corte Madera Avenue Mill Valley; Open daily from 9:00AM to closing

Terrapin Crossroads: www.terrapincrossroads.net; 100 Yacht Club Drive, San Rafael; Open Monday through Friday 4:00PM - 9:30PM, Saturday and Sunday 11:00AM - 9:30PM

Hopmonk Tavern: www.hopmonk.com/novato; 224 Vintage Way, Novato; Open daily at 11:30AM

Along with a million ways to enjoy the great outdoors, Marin offers you just as many ways to enjoy music and food--together! Local Phil Lesh, of the Grateful Dead, opened Terrapin Crossroads in 2011 along the canals of San Rafael, and since then it has become the "ultimate living room," featuring local bands and farm-fresh food. (You can view why Phil loves this town here.)

Another rockin' food venue is located in Mill Valley's Sweetwater Music Hall where musical luminaries have rocked the stage, including Bob Weir, Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello -- to name a few! Check out their farmer's market inspired menus here. Another popular hotspot, Hopmonk Tavern, resides in Novato and serves in-season craft beers and tavern classics like Kellerbier and Dunkelweizen. To see their upcoming performances and purchase tickets, click here.   

Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame 3

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame


Marin Museum of Contemporary Art: www.marinmoca.org; 500 Palm Dr, Novato; Open Wednesday through Friday 11:00AM - 4:00PM; Saturday through Sunday 11:00AM - 5:00PM

The Space Station Museum: www.thespacestationca.org; 464 Ignacio Boulevard at Pacheco Plaza, Novato; Open Saturdays and Sundays 12:00PM - 4:00PM

Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame: www.mmbhof.org; 1966 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax; Open Thursday through Sunday 11:00AM - 5:00PM

Your options to explore the past, present, and future are endless in Marin County. You can find museums that are very much centered on local history, such as the Bolinas Museum and the Novato History Museum. Art lovers will enjoy the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art located in Novato, which is made up of two galleries, a museum store, a classroom, and artist studios that provide an air of creative energy, enabling contemporary art to flourish.

While in Novato, check out The Space Station Museum, which aims to educate the public about the history of US space travel. This topic is particularly important in California because many spacecrafts were birthed in the state, including: the Apollo Command Module, the Space Shuttle, the Hubble Telescope. If you prefer earth travel via bicycles, then you should head to the Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in Fairfax, to trace the evolution of the bicycle to as far back as the 1860s. For more information on the museum, click here.

Marin County 4

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Dennis Anderson, Local Art Festival


The natural tranquility of Marin County adds a bit of je ne sais quoi to the many festivals that call Marin County home, year-round. In fact, lovers of special events will be happy to learn that you can find something to attend every month! There's always something going on for every interest. 

The 5-day Marin County Fair is one of the area's biggest summer events, featuring a concert series, food trucks and culinary contests, pig races, fireworks and much more. This August, the county is all about hiking, and you can find the best of the best trails here. You can also download the the Visit Marin app right onto your smartphone for easy access to each month's events and relevant information.   


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