San Anselmo cherishes its history. The central Marin town anchored by the russet slopes of Red Hill and the meandering path of Corte Madera Creek is known for its antiques stores and vintage clothing shops.
But last winter many mementos were lost over New Year's weekend, when the creek overflowed and 4 feet of water smashed through downtown.
Businesses were shuttered for months. But owners mucked out, locals donated materials, and now it's community pride that overflows on the strip. With festive white lights lining the avenue, several new on-the-pulse boutiques, and parties through the end of the year, San Anselmo today is looking ahead. Visitors will delight in browsing for unusual gifts, sampling super meals, drinking local wine ― and knowing newly installed floodgates are securing this town's future.
San Anselmo is 15 miles north of San Francisco. Shops run along San Anselmo Ave. and Sir Francis Drake Blvd.