Quite a trendy, fun, and irreverent place to live.

Welcome to Fairfax

Progressive and irreverent small town cherished for its history of mountain biking glory and beloved live music venues
Don't let the small stature of Fairfax fool you. Fairfax might be a tiny town paired next to the quiet and peaceful San Anselmo, but it's quite a trendy, fun, and irreverent place to live. Tucked against the steep northern face of Mount Tamalpais, Fairfax comprises hills and valleys, making it a veritable paradise for mountain bikers.
Further solidifying Fairfax's status as a sports capital is the migration of the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame to the Marin Museum of Bicycling. Fairfax is home to a very active and outdoorsy community, which isn't surprising considering the area's gorgeous landscapes and beautiful natural scenery. Home to some of Marin's most beloved live music venues, like Mac's on 19, Fairfax is a vibrant and diverse spot that caters to young families with its walkable downtown featuring several taprooms, hip cafés, and upscale artsy boutiques.

What to Love

  • Home to some of Marin’s most beloved music venues and nightclubs
  • An excellent area for mountain biking and hiking
  • Festivals and events held year-round

People & Lifestyle

Considered one of the best places to live in Marin County, Fairfax is a funky little town with a proud sense of nostalgia. There are tons of little shops in the area perfect for shopping vintage or finding unique gifts. It's a progressive place to live with an easygoing vibe, many art festivals, gorgeous scenic views, and various bars and restaurants. A cinema downtown retains its art-deco flair as the centerpiece of the vibrant nightlife, with well-known jazz clubs and music venues surrounding it.

Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment

Despite being a small town, Fairfax is home to a diverse mixture of residents. The culinary options reflect that diversity, ranging from quaint, all-organic cafés like Barefoot Café to fast-casual Mexican chains such as Más Masa and everything in between.

Sisters Sonia and Soyara run the family-friendly Italian eatery Sorella Caffe (fittingly, Sorella means "sister" in Italian). Customers can't get enough of their butternut squash ravioli, and the large wheels of Grana Padano cheese are quite the crowd-pleaser. Run by Fairfax native Margaret Ruiz and her partner David, Stillwater is the go-to hotspot for oysters, local cheeses, and fresh produce.

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans at Fairfax's most popular breakfast joint, The Hummingbird. Fried chicken and waffles, gumbo, and beignets are all on the menu. If you're craving international fare, try Village Sake. Opened by former Sushi Ran chef Scott Whitman, this Japanese-style pub is known for its sushi, skewers, and fantastic sake. Top off your evening with a delicious scoop of organic ice cream from Fairfax Scoop.

Fairfax is also home to many charming vintage boutiques and eclectic gift shops. Jewelry designer and vintage collector Emma Rose opened the women's clothing store Emma's Shop, where you can purchase items from her carefully curated collection.

The Potting Shed is ideal for anyone seeking unique gifts or inspired floral arrangements. Beach House Style perfectly captures the relaxed California lifestyle with locally made jewels, handmade woven art, organic candles, crystals, vintage furniture, and more.
Considering Fairfax's reputation as a hip and progressive small town, there are a few different options for local nightlife. The best places to go after dark are on Broadway, where you'll find the local cinema and Mac's at 19, an upscale cocktail lounge that recently reopened as a piano bar. This premier music venue is a long-running Fairfax nightclub named for one of the area's most beloved and iconic bartenders. If you consider yourself a beer enthusiast, Gestalt House is a local beer garden and fun place to relax, have a sausage and play games

Things to Do

Learn more about Marin County's long and fascinating bicycle history at the Museum of Bicycling, a museum and cultural center displaying bikes and related items from the 19th century to the present day. Highlights include the Igler Collection, showcasing the evolution of the bicycle, and the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Families looking to get active and go outside will appreciate the easy and rewarding hike to the Cascade Falls, a seasonal waterfall in Mill Valley's Cascade Park. This short out-and-back loop is excellent for all skill levels, particularly if you have children with you. The waterfall is stunning right after recent rainfall.

Fairfax has plenty to keep families entertained year-round when it comes to festivals and events. The Fairfax Festival is the premiere community celebration hosting an EcoFest where guests can indulge in organic food, locally grown musical acts, view art, and shop organic goods and services. The little ones also love visiting the Easter bunny during the annual Easter egg hunt at Bolinas Park. Bring your basket and hunt for eggs, get your face painted, blow bubbles, and more!
For the adults, there's the Fairfax Brewfest held each March to kick off the tasting season. Usually, at least 20 microbreweries participate, and there is even a tasting competition for ticket-holders to vote on their favorite beers. Similarly, Biketoberfest offers a great combination of bicycling and beers. Savor delicious brews, listen to live music, participate in family activities, and check out bike displays. Additional festivities include the annual Fairfax Car Show and the Fairfax Craft Faire held at the Pavilion.


Fairfax is a small town without a central school district. Elementary and middle school students attend schools in the Ross Valley School District, and most high school students attend Sir Francis Drake High School in the Tamalpais Union High School District.

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