OVERVIEW: Mill Valley, which stands in the shadow of Mount Tamalpais, has a charm all its own. Besides the quaint downtown, home to antique stores, bookstores, a theater, nightclub, art gallery, coffee shops, and the Depot Bookstore cafe, Mill Valley offers hiking and biking trails, a dog run, a nine-hole public golf course, and the annual Dipsea foot race. For those with an artistic bent, there's a noted film festival every fall, as well as an outdoor arts fair, festival of wine and Memorial Day crafts festival in Bayfront Park.
HOUSING: Housing prices in Mill Valley tend toward the high side, but condominiums and townhouses are availavle for more moderate incomes. Real estate sales have been steady over the last two years, although the number of new homes built dropped dramatically in 1996. Zoning restrictions vary. Tax rates are steady.
EDUCATION: Students attend one of four elementary schools in the Mill Valley School District, then feed into the local middle school. After that, they attend Tamalpais High School, part of the Tamalpais Union High School District. There are also several private schools in town.
TRANSPORTATION: Despite relatively low travel times to key destinations, some workers choose public transit to commute. Parking availability depends according to neighborhood. Travel times may vary.
PUBLIC SAFETY: Most of Mill Valley is served by the Mill Valley Police Department and the Mill Valley Fire Department. Crime is low, as is earthquake danger, but parts of town, especially in the hills, are high wildfire danger areas.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Mill Valley has one of the larger populations in the county, as well as one of the highest education levels. The age breakdowns tend towards an older populace, working in a wide range of professions.
PARKS AND RECREATION: Mill Valley offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for its residents. Besides a public golf course, the town has three parks and two recreation centers, one with a pool, gym, and ball fields. There are numerous youth programs through the Parks and Recreation Department.
AMENITIES: Mill Valley has no shortage of shops, restaurants, parks, or recreation opportunities. There are numerous churches, a movie theatre, nightspots, and a range of annual events.
WEATHER: When Mount Tamalpais blocks fog from rolling into central Marin, this is where it ends up, but it usually burns off by early afternoon. Mill Valley is near the bay, so is cooler than its inland neighbors, with average temperatures ranging from 40 to 74.