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Mosey Around Mill Valley


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Nestled at the base of Mount Tamalpais, this former mill town became a haven for Summer of Love alums in the early ’70s. They liked the charm of its (then) cheap cottages reached by narrow, winding streets, some connected by hidden stairways. These nouveau bohemians started the internationally renowned Mill Valley Film Festival, held this month. Although Mill Valley went upscale in the ’80s and ’90s with an influx of yuppies and dot-com millionaires, it retains its funky, small-town charm.
 

9:30am

Breakfast goodies at the Plaza's Depot Bookstore and Cafe; photograph by Joe BuddThe plaza is the all-day gathering spot for stroller-pushing moms and young hipsters. At the plaza’s Depot Bookstore and Café, charge up with a latte and a muffin or a bowl of fruit. 87 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 383-2665, www.depotbookstore.com.
 

10am

At the bookstore, buy a map of the paths and stairways through the redwoods and neighborhoods around town. A 1.5-mile stroll from the plaza takes you past Old Mill Park to a short trail that ends at the 20-foot Cascade Falls.

Noon

For lunch, locals consider Italian D’Angelo Ristorante as the place to see and be seen. 22 Miller Ave., (415) 388-2000, www.piazza dangelo.com.

1:30pm

Relax with a facial, massage, or tub soak at the serene, upscale Tea Garden Springs. 38 Miller Ave., (415) 389-7123, www.teagardensprings.com.

3:30pm

A selection of cookware from celeb chef Tyler Florence; photography by Joe BuddStroll or shop downtown, including at celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s stylish new cookware shop. 59 Throckmorton Ave., www.tylerflorence.com.

6pm

In 2006, chef Keiko Takahashi added an Asian touch to the French fare at the nearly 40-year-old El Paseo, an intimate restaurant with a nightly fixed-price menu. an early dinner at El Paseo; photograph by Joe Budd
17 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 388-0741, www.elpaseorestaurant.com. This fall, San Francisco’s popular Balboa Café is set to open a sister location at 38 Miller Avenue. www.balboacafe.com.

8pm

Check out a show at the beautifully restored playhouse, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, where Robin Williams occasionally stretches his comic muscles with impromptu stand-up performances. 142 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 383-9600, www.142throckmortontheatre.com.
 

If you go during the Mill Valley Film Festival (October 2–12), buy tickets in advance at (877) 874-6833 or www.mvff.com
 

WEBEXTRA

The Mill Valley Film Festival, October 2-12. You can catch a new independent or foreign-language feature or documentary at Mill Valley’s CinéArts at Sequoia Theatre, San Rafael’s Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center and other venues. This year’s festival pays tribute to the late, great director Ingmar Bergman and bestows an honorary award on one of Bergman’s regular stars, the Swedish actress Harriet Andersson. The festival also runs its Children’s FilmFest, presenting films from around the world that are geared to young cineastes. Tickets for most films, except for opening and closing night galas, should be available by calling (877) 874-6833, or www.mvff.com).

The Outdoor Art Club is a private, 106-year-old women’s civic organization that owns the Bernard Maybeck-designed building and surrounding gardens across Throckmorton Avenue from the Sequoia Theatre. The glass-and- wood clubhouse with cathedral ceilings is a popular place for weddings and private parties. The club invites the public into its clubhouse and to stroll through its gardens at various times throughout the year. The club hosts literary programs, and its clubhouse is used as a venue for parties and other events related to the Mill Valley Film Festival. For more information, call (415) 388-9886 or visit www.outdoorartclub.org

During a hike around town, you can really challenge yourself by climbing the equivalent of a 50-story building: three staircases west of Old Mill Park that runners charge up each June to launch the annual Dipsea Race to Stinson Beach.

Old Mill Park sits in the midst of redwoods with Old Mill Creek tumbling through it. It has picnic benches and play structures for kids. The town’s beautiful library sits next to the park. Although built in the 1960s, it is fashioned after the Bernard Maybeck-designed Outdoor Art Club with a cathedral ceiling in the main room, fireplace, and tall glass windows that look out on the redwoods. It also has an outdoor deck for reading on pleasant days and a room dedicated to Mill Valley history. 375 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 389-4292, www.millvalleylibrary.org.


The Robert Green Fine Arts Gallery, in Mill Valley since 1969, sells works by top Abstract Expressionist and Bay Area figurative artists of the past 60 years. 154 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 381-8776, www.rgfinearts.com.
 

The Mill Valley Film Festival, October 2-12. You can catch a new independent or foreign-language feature or documentary at Mill Valley’s CinéArts at Sequoia Theatre, San Rafael’s Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center and other venues. This year’s festival pays tribute to the late, great director Ingmar Bergman and bestows an honorary award on one of Bergman’s regular stars, the Swedish actress Harriet Andersson. The festival also runs its Children’s FilmFest, presenting films from around the world that are geared to young cineastes. Tickets for most films, except for opening and closing night galas, should be available by calling (877) 874-6833, or www.mvff.com).


The Outdoor Art Club is a private, 106-year-old women’s civic organization that owns the Bernard Maybeck-designed building and surrounding gardens across Throckmorton Avenue from the Sequoia Theatre. The glass-and- wood clubhouse with cathedral ceilings is a popular place for weddings and private parties. The club invites the public into its clubhouse and to stroll through its gardens at various times throughout the year. The club hosts literary programs, and its clubhouse is used as a venue for parties and other events related to the Mill Valley Film Festival. For more information, call (415) 388-9886 or visit www.outdoorartclub.org


During a hike around town, you can really challenge yourself by climbing the equivalent of a 50-story building: three staircases west of Old Mill Park that runners charge up each June to launch the annual Dipsea Race to Stinson Beach.


Old Mill Park sits in the midst of redwoods with Old Mill Creek tumbling through it. It has picnic benches and play structures for kids. The town’s beautiful library sits next to the park. Although built in the 1960s, it is fashioned after the Bernard Maybeck-designed Outdoor Art Club with a cathedral ceiling in the main room, fireplace, and tall glass windows that look out on the redwoods. It also has an outdoor deck for reading on pleasant days and a room dedicated to Mill Valley history. 375 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 389-4292, www.millvalleylibrary.org.


The Robert Green Fine Arts Gallery, in Mill Valley since 1969, sells works by top Abstract Expressionist and Bay Area figurative artists of the past 60 years. 154 Throckmorton Ave., (415) 381-8776, www.rgfinearts.com.
 

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