Mill Valley, a small, charming town, located a few miles north of San Francisco, is perfect for senior visitors who enjoy history, museums and the arts.
Fodor’s calls the town “chic and woodsy.” Two financial magazines, MONEY and CNN/Money, named Mill Valley “One of the 10 top cities in America in which to live.”
For the more active senior citizen, Mill Valley has 8 beautifully designed hiking paths. There areattractions going on every month of the year. The Fall Arts Festival is one of the major cultural events each September. It is the longest running festival in Marin County having celebrated its 57th year in 2013.
When John Muir learned that William and Elizabeth Kent were naming a redwood forest near San Francisco in his honor, he declared… “This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.”
Mount Tamalpais State Park, just off Panoramic Highway, comes in a close second for senior visitors.
Towering Redwoods, Scenic Railroad Lure Senior Travelers
Historically, Mill Valley started out as a large lumber mill founded by John Reed. He built his sawmill in 1836 on Cascade Creek to provide wood for the construction of his house. The mill, which gave Mill Valley its name, is now restored and stands among the towering redwoods in Old Mill Park, a few blocks from downtown.
The mill became very important when it was used to cut wood to build the Presidio in San Francisco. Reed also raised cattle and horses, had a brickyard and stone quarry. The town grew rather fast as word spread of the beautiful Mt. Tamalpais and a great ocean view on the other side.
In 1896 Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railroad, called “the crookedest railroad in the world” because of its curvy tracks, began transporting visitors from Mill Valley to the top of Mt. Tam and down to Muir Woods. The town soon became a vacation retreat for city slickers.
Today Mill Valley is no lumber camp. Smart restaurants and chichi boutiques line the streets, and more rock stars than one might suspect live there.
Millionaires and well-known names in the film and music industries, like Bonnie Raitt, Bob Weir and Sammy Hagar, make their homes in this quaint community.
Enjoy the classic “Mill Valley” song by Rita Abrams, who put Mill Valley on the map. First Tuesday Artwalk is highly popular and held between 6-8 p.m. in venues throughout Mill Valley, including City Hall, the Library, the Community Center.
So whip the old Ford north across the Golden Gate Bridge on Hwy 101 and you will find Mill Valley. Have fun and plan to spend a day or two visiting. jeb