San Anselmo | Fairfax

San Anselmo and Fairfax are neighboring towns in scenic Marin County and are situated just north of the city of San Rafael.

Welcome to San Anselmo/ Fairfax

Peaceful neighboring cities rich in natural beauty

San Anselmo and Fairfax are neighboring towns in scenic Marin County and are situated just north of the city of San Rafael. The area was largely pastoral land until 1875 when the North Pacific Coast Railroad built a new line connecting the two towns. Further development soon followed, and it became a center for silent film production for a period in the 1900s. Although the area has experienced substantial growth and development over the decades, it has retained its natural beauty and peaceful small-town charm. 
San Anselmo is the larger of the two, but both towns feature great schools and a close-knit and active community. Both sit amongst scenic rolling hills and provide easy access to parks and nature for outdoor recreation, hiking, biking, and picnicking. However, each town offers residents something unique. San Anselmo features a charming shopping district with a small-town feel as you stroll down San Anselmo Avenue with friends and family.

What to Love

  • Peaceful, small-town charm
  • Within a 10-minute commute of bustling downtown San Rafael
  • Abundant natural beauty
  • Plenty of family-friendly indoor and outdoor recreation

Local Lifestyle

San Anselmo and Fairfax are known for their close-knit communities that value and support local family-owned businesses. Residents tend to be health-conscious and community-oriented. The area offers everything from vibrant nightlife to serene equestrian-oriented neighborhoods in the hills. San Anselmo/ Fairfax offers peaceful neighborhoods in the hills within easy reach of vibrant downtown areas.  Local events like Summer Fairfax Festival and San Anselmo Film Festival bring residents together.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Both San Rafael and Fairfax residents enjoy easy access to numerous excellent dining, entertainment, and shopping options. Charming Downtown Fairfax features a concentration of unique restaurants, including Italian restaurant Sorella Caffè. It boasts an extensive menu of traditional and innovative Italian dishes and offers indoor and outdoor dining. Popular menu items among locals include Sliced Prosciutto over honeydew melon and Portobello & Shitake Mushroom Ravioli. Those seeking a quality cup of coffee, tasty pastries, and an inviting place to hang out with friends and family will find themselves at home at Coffee Roastery. 
Comforts Cafe in San Anselmo specializes in serving gourmet, homestyle comfort food. Its extensive menu includes everything from soups and salads to artisan sandwiches and house-baked pastries. It also features a retail section with magazines, an assortment of wine, and packaged food. Cucina Sa is also in San Anselmo and is a cozy and casual Italian restaurant that has been a staple in the neighborhood since 1998. In addition to southern Italian dishes and wood-fired pizza, it also features a full bar serving handcrafted cocktails, fine wine, and beer.

Things to Do

There is no shortage of fun things to do in the San Anselmo/ Fairfax area. Summer Fairfax Festival is the town’s annual community party. Residents gather to celebrate their city with a day of live music, art, food vendors, and a parade. 

The Fairfax Inkwells are natural swimming pools that sit alongside Lagunitas Creek about 30 minutes outside town. The pools are a popular destination among residents seeking natural beauty and outdoor fun on a hot day. They are about a 30-minute commute north of the city. Lush Lagoon Park is another popular spot to enjoy the outdoors. It features 10 acres of parkland, a natural lagoon, a playground, and plenty of birdwatching. It is a great place to enjoy a picnic in the park with friends and family or to stroll the walkway that runs alongside the lagoon.


San Anselmo/ Fairfax is served by Ross Valley School District


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