A Guide to the Best of Mill Valley

Nestled at the base of Mount Tamalpais and providing easy access to some of its most scenic trails makes Mill Valley a favorite among those who love to spend their weekends outdoors. But even if you're not the outdoorsy-type, with its upscale boutiques and galleries lining its quaint downtown, charming cafes and renowned restaurants, Mill Valley serves up an ideal location for a weekend escape or day trip.

This blog is the first of a series that will explore the best places to eat, drink, shop, stay and play in Mill Valley. In this inaugural blog, we share one of each category.

EAT

Tamalpie

477 Miller Ave. (Mill Valley), tamalpiepizza.com

This sleek, contemporary pizzeria specializes in artisan pies, each aptly named after various hiking trails. The Tenderfoot is a favorite, with its melted mozzarella and fontina topped with wild mushrooms. Lighter fare includes super-fresh salads, including the delicious Mill Valley Goddess created from butter lettuce, avocado, pistachios and Meyer lemon crème fraiche dressing.  

DRINK

Equator Coffee

2 Miller Ave. (Mill Valley), equatorcoffees.com

Equator Coffee has two locations in Mill Valley, with the original site in the Proof Lab Surf Shop in Tam Junction. The newer café is on the corner of Miller and Throckmorton in downtown. Indulge in their Scratch caramel latte, which, as the name suggests, includes made-from-scratch caramel. Then sit at one of the red outdoor café tables and relax. A great way to spend a leisurely afternoon, or even a mid-day break from work.

SHOP

Mill Valley Mercantile

167 A Throckmorton Ave. (Mill Valley), millvalleymercantile.com

 Mill Valley Mercantile, photo credited to Dorothy O'Donnell.

Mill Valley Mercantile, photo credited to Dorothy O'Donnell.

Pass through the doors of this inviting boutique and you'll think you've walked into a fashion designer's closet. Patty and Heather Holiday are the mother-daughter team that has owned Mill Valley Mercantile for 18 years. They offer an inventory of stylish, easy-to-wear clothing including basics like AG Jeans and oh-so-soft American Vintage tees. If you need something for a formal formal occasion, try Sula slip dress in satin or velvet.  Also available are luxurious cashmere sweaters and chic ponchos from White + Warren.  

STAY

The Mill Valley Inn

165 Throckmorton Ave. (Mill Valley), marinhotels.com

There's only one hotel in downtown Mill Valley—the Mill Valley Inn. This upscale boutique hotel with understated European charm is tucked in redwood grove overlooking Old Mill Creek. The inn is just steps away from the stunning beauty of Old Mill Park and an easy walk to all downtown has to offer. Each of the 25 rooms feature handcrafted furnishings and have very tasteful decor. Many have fireplaces and French doors that open to views of the stately redwoods. Enjoy delicious continental breakfast each morning as well as evening wine and cheese, as both are included as part of your stay. 

PLAY

Cascade Falls

 Cascade Falls, photo credit Dorothy O'Donnell.

Cascade Falls, photo credit Dorothy O'Donnell.

 This serene park is less than two miles from the square, but feels far removed from suburbia. To get there, head west on Throckmorton to Old Mill Park, then cross the footbridge over the creek to Cascade Drive. Turn right, and wander past Cascade Canyon's grand homes, A-frame cabins and cottages. When you reach the intersection of Cascade Drive and Throckmorton, turn left and cross the street. Look for the Cascade Falls sign, then follow the trail into the woods. Although the waterfall is in full glory during the rainy season, this idyllic spot is worth visiting year-round.

Stay tuned for the next Best Of Mill Valley blog!

Article excerpts from 7X7.