The Marin Art & Garden Center is a wonderful collection of special places, but you wouldn’t know it from passing it by on Sir Francis Drake. Its undulating brick wall presents a rather formidable barrier to outsiders, but once you pass through the entrance you realize that it serves the very functional purpose of separating the rushing, noisy traffic from the peaceful oasis of nature and art within.
First of all, the Marin Art & Garden Center is a quiet park with lush green lawns, towering shade trees, and a pond with rushes and water lilies. It’s an ideal spot for a quiet time with a book, a stroll with a baby or toddler in tow, or a morning of painting at an easel – I saw all of these taking place on my last visit.
But beyond this central area, there are a number of non-profit arts and nature-focused organizations that run their activities out of facilities here. Because there are so many, there is always something going on, and most are open to the public and many are free or have nominal fees. There are two libraries, two theatres, an amphitheater, a stage, a pavilion, a butterfly garden, a garden demonstration area, and a memorial garden.
Here are names to look for with links where they exist:
Garden Society of Marin
Ross Valley Players
Porchlight Theater Company
Laurel House Antiques
Marin Society of Artists
Ross Historical Society
Jose Moya del Pino Library
Pixie Park Playground
Where: 30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross, CA 94957 (map)
Hours: Each facility/organization has different hours, and many are seasonal, so contact them directly for the current schedule
Marin Art & Garden website