Marin County, California, USA
Marin is one of the most affluent counties in the state. Excellent schools, a moderate climate and plenty of open spaces give it a semi-rural feel despite its location just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
Huge swaths of acreage along the 70-mile ocean coastline as well as in the county’s interior are dedicated to parkland, farms and national protected areas like Muir Woods National Park and the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge. As a result, both commercial and residential development is limited, which serves to keep Marin County real estate prices stable and strong. A 40-mile bay shoreline is where some of the most exclusive neighborhoods are and where residents enjoy comfortable year-round sea breezes.
The hilly Tiburon Peninsula juts out in the waters of San Francisco Bay. Homes in the peninsula’s tiny city of Belvedere--less than one square mile in size--have one of the highest average per-square-foot prices. Belvedere means “beautiful view” in Italian and the name lives up to the vistas with exquisite views in every direction. The Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island and Mount Tamalpais are all within sight. The adjacent community of Tiburon along the peninsula’s southern tip is a municipality of historical landmarks, groomed greenbelt trails and a lively main street dubbed “Ark Row” for the houseboat lifestyle that was prevalent a century ago.
Residences set high in the attractive Central Marin neighborhood of Greenbrae have views of Mount Tamalpais and San Francisco Bay. Proximity to the freeway makes for easy commuting to San Francisco. Ferry service to the city is also available. On the southern tip of Marin is the popular waterfront town of Sausalito, which supports a sizeable houseboat community. Young professionals, empty nesters and retirees gravitate to this charming enclave, reminiscent of a Mediterranean village.