Early Queen Anne Victorians, false-front store facades, a Mission Revival-style church and City Hall, remind us of Larkspurs’ past. Downtown Larkspur is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “an irreplaceable American turn-of-the-century town”. Stores and restaurants line Magnolia Avenue along with dozens of historic buildings, including the Blue Rock Inn and the newly-restored Lark Theatre, a 1930’s art deco movie house. Downtown, the world-famous California restaurant, the Lark Creek Inn, sits nestled in a redwood grove beside a creek. Unfortunately a fire destroyed the restaurant in March 2014 and it never reopened. San Francisco restauranteur Perry Butler purchased the Victorian Murphy House, and the historic structure now hosts Perry’s in Marin.
Larkspur is divided into two distinct areas adjoining Highway 101. Its historic downtown is west of Highway 101, and an old quarry area, Larkspur Landing, lies to the east of the highway along the San Francisco Bay shoreline (across from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal). Known as Marin Country Mart, the Larkspur Landing is a rambling outdoor shopping and dining area with outdoor tables, a fountain, and a large center courtyard which hosts farmers markets and numerous family style community events (http://marincountrymart.com/calendar)
The Landing hosts live music on Friday evenings and a Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings during the summer months. A foot bridge over the highway allows visitors to access the futuristic Larkspur Ferry terminal, a departure point for travelers going from Marin to the San Francisco Ferry Building. The ride offers spectacular views of Mt. Tamalpais, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge, and is a commuter’s solace, especially on the way home sipping some of Napa’s best.
The Larkspur School District serves Larkspur and parts of Corte Madera with enrollment at just over 1,100 students. Both Neil Cummins Elementary School and Hall Middle School have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools, the state’s highest honor for overall program excellence.Larkspur hosts numerous hiking trails, waterways to kayak and paddleboard, trails to mountain bike, and numerous parks for other outdoor sporting events and related activities.
Larkspur and Mill Valley hosted a very similar home value paradigm until a recent price surge catapulted Larkspur 12% ahead.