General Area in Larkspur>Question Details

William Maca…, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

What are the best family friendly neighborhoods in Larkspur and Corte Madera? (Sidewalks, other families, low traffic, etc...)

Asked by William Macaitis, San Francisco, CA Wed Apr 4, 2012

Hi there,

Considering moving to the Larkspur/Corte madera area. What would be some good neighborhoods for a family of 4 with two young children? (< 3 yrs old).

I've driven through the area and noticed that some neighborhoods have full sidewalks, some partial and some none at all.

Are there areas/neighborhoods where more families with other young children tend to congregate? Busy streets to avoid?

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance.

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Madeline Schaider’s answer
Hi William,

Happy to answer your questions again. Having lived in both CM and Larkspur!

As you know, Marin County has a varied terrain all throughout the county due to our famous Mt. Tamalpais and the Bay. So your interest is a common one with a growing family. It seems that most of my clients with small children prefer to be in or near the flats and in a kid friendly environment, like yourself.

Let's begin with Corte Madera:
1. On the West side you have the very flat neighborhood of Madera Gardens (Lakeside, Birch) near the local elementary public school (Neil Cummins) with ranch style homes and a VERY family environment. The whole family can walk or bike on these amazing paved sidewalk like trails - to school, the local town park, the CM Post Office and to shopping at the Town Center which has a fabulous weekly farmer's market. I just did a version of this walk on a loop this past weekend from the Old Town Square (Menke Park) thru Corte Madera and then looped thru Larkspur back to The CM Old Town Square - about 45 minutes to an hour. It's all flat, and families are on their bikes, etc...
Very scenic

2. Then there is Chapman Park right across Tamalpais - on the S. side of Tamalpais Drive (which is the main artery off Hwy. 101 to CM and LK. ) No too many sidewalks in this area, but it's very quaint with a mixture of different types of architecture, size, and level of remodel (not as much of a planned neighborhood lay out as Madera Gardens) This area again is VERY family oriented as well, and is another perfect neighborhood for your family. Prices can be quite varied in this area .
Both neighborhoods afford a great walk able score.

3. On the Bayside of Corte Madera (east of Hwy. 101) are again very flat neighborhoods. Some are in the CM schools and a section of E. CM is in the Tiburon School District as well.

a. Mariner Cove with lots of ranch style homes (Spindrift Passage, Pacific Queen Passage) with lots of sidewalks in this neighborhood, close to Paradise Foods, and the Bay Marsh. VERY family oriented.
Some of these homes require flood insurance as well due to the proximity to the Bay.

b. Mariner Highlands is also on the E. side, but is on the S. side of Paradise Drive with a mixture of homes in the flats but some slightly hilly. Some of these homes are in the Tib. school district. Lots of families here as well.
c. There is relatively new subdivision called Madera del Presidio which is a planned unit development comprising of about 150 single family detached homes built about 10 years ago. This neighborhood has a community toddler park and is full of families as well. Great hiking on nearby Ring Mt.

4. Larkspur is full of flat neighborhoods as well:
Heather Gardens, the streets on the west side of downtown, lower Palm Hill, and Hillview.
Hillview is a bit further N. of the downtown area - has great large ranch style homes.

Halloween in these neighborhoods are amazing. Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any additional questions about any of these neighborhoods.

Madeline Schaider
Madeline Schaider Real Estate
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 4, 2012
Thanks Madeline! Great answer.
Flag Wed Apr 4, 2012
Hi - I've lived in Corte Madera for over 20 years and work in downtown Larkspur. There are two excellent family neighborhoods in Larkspur. They are Heather Gardens which is also very close to downtown Larkspur and the Hillview neighborhood also easy access to downtown Larkspur just not as close as Heather Gardens. Heather Garden is centrally located and is an easy walk or bike ride to all schools - elementary, middle and high schools.

In Corte Madera the best family neighborhhod is Madera Gardens.

Generally the weather in Larkspur is a bit warmer and milder with less fog and wind tha Corte Madera.

I hope this info is helpful. Lou La Gatta, Marin Realty Group
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 4, 2012
Thanks Lou. Very helpful. Where is the Madera Gardens neighborhood? Looking at a map on bing but don't see it listed.
Flag Wed Apr 4, 2012
Don't forget to look at Madrone Canyon full of's worth looking at many families are very happy there. As a child it would be a magical place to grow up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2014
Check out Murray Park neighborhood on the Larkspur/Kentfield border ... easy stroll to Woodlands Market and short distance to great schools
Flag Thu Nov 13, 2014
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