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Olivia Decker
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Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty home
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Greenbrae is a small community situated in the heart of beautiful Marin County. Its neighborhoods are bordered by downtown Larkspur to the south, Larkspur Landing to the east, the unincorporated area of Kentfield to the west, and the city of San Rafael to the north. In fact, part of Greenbrae is an unincorporated community of Marin while the remaining area is inside the city limits of Larkspur. This unique location only adds to the town’s identity, and homes can be found directly on the bay waters to the east or on the Mount Tamalpais hillside to the west.

Brae means “hill” in Scottish, and the real estate set within these lush, green, oak covered hills have magnificent views. Minutes away from the East Bay and San Francisco, and set amongst untouched natural parks and preserves, Greenbrae enjoys great weather all year round and outdoor recreation is easily accessible. The Greenbrae Marina along the Corte Madera Creek welcomes visitors to walk along its banks where rowers and boaters enjoy the water. There is great shopping at the Bon Air shopping center and Marin Country Mart at Larkspur Landing which hosts weekly farmer's markets, food trucks, live music, and events for the entire family. Marin General Hospital (now known as MarinHealth Medical Center), UCSF Health and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital are located in Greenbrae as well. The nationally recognized schools, thriving local economy and active, engaging population also make Greenbrae a highly sought after location. Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty continues to represent the most luxurious homes in this classic Marin County community. Contact us to help you call Greenbrae home.

Greenbrae History

Located half in Larkspur and half in the County of Marin, Greenbrae still manages to stand out as a specially designed, functional community. Before reaching its current developed state, however, Greenbrae's hills played home to a variety of diverse dwellers and projects.

For thousands of years, the Coastal Miwoks would make their way to the area now known as Greenbrae during the summer and winter months to take advantage of the berry bushes that covered the hills. In 1840, the area was granted to Captain Juan Bautista Cooper as the Punta de Quentin Rancho. Eventually it came to be owned by James Ross. Under Ross' ownership, the land was cleared of lumber in order to start the Greenbrae Dairy. After Ross's death in 1862, the land was sold to earn much needed cash for his family. The area switched hands a number of times until 1890, when the archbishop of the Catholic Church of San Francisco, Patrick William Riordan, purchased the ranch for $50,000. The Catholic Church subleased the Greenbrae dairy ranch for the next 50 years.

In the later 1800s other projects were also thriving in Greenbrae. In 1891, the Remillard brothers of Canada founded Remillard brickworks. Many Remillard bricks were used to rebuild San Francisco after the quake of 1906. The kiln was shut down in 1915, but was preserved after becoming part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In the late 1980s, the French restaurant Remillards incorporated the kiln into its design, and the site has continued as home to a restaurant since. Another popular establishment was the swanky Bon Air Hotel. Erected in the late 1800s, it functioned as a summer resort near the Corte Madera Creek. The hotel lured guests in with its swimming pool, dance hall, and bowling alley. By 1920, the Bon Air had been sold and demolished.

In 1949, the site of the former hotel got a new look when it was chosen as the site for Marin General Hospital. The location was convenient because at that time nearly 90 percent of Marinites lived within five miles of it.

From the 1940s onward was a time of development of Greenbrae's residential areas. Developer Niels Schultz, Sr. sought to build Greenbrae into a united community that included its own shopping centers, schools and churches, along with lovely homes. He wanted all of these structures to complement and enhance Greenbrae's natural beauty. By 1947, 90 homes were occupied and another 107 lots were ready to be developed. The Schultz Company quickly gave 7 acres of the former Greenbrae dairy land to the Kentfield School District to build an elementary school. In 1952 the Bon Air Shopping Center opened.

Although Greenbrae has relied on Larkspur, Kentfield, and other Marin towns for services such as postal delivery and education, it has, through its natural harmony and cohesive design, remained a community all its own.

Location, Climate, and Weather in Greenbrae

Greenbrae is a quaint town, situated between Larkspur, Corte Madera, Kentfield, and San Rafael to the north. Greenbrae is less than 15 miles from San Francisco and attracts people who want to live close enough for the attractions a big city offers, yet far enough from the city to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. With accessible transportation options, like Larkspur Landing Ferry Terminal and the 101 freeway, residents like the small size and the privacy of this little town.

Experiencing a Mediterranean climate, Greenbrae's temperature ranges from an average low of 44 degrees to a high of 80 degrees. The rainfall averages 46 inches per year. This temperate weather and amazing location is perfect for outdoor recreation.

Greenbrae Real Estate

Greenbrae's warm weather, surrounding scenery, excellent schools, and convenient location are features that will keep property values up. Many of Greenbrae's properties have views of the Bay, Corte Madera Creek and Mount Tamalpais, which makes them even more desirable. You will find all the beauty, calmness, and privacy you desire.

Greenbrae is the entryway to Ross Valley and some of Marin County's best kept treasures. Greenbrae consistently has a higher percentage of homes in contract than any other town in Marin County. Overall Greenbrae is a great place to make a real estate investment.

Greenbrae Schools

Greenbrae students attend nearby Kentfield's schools in the Kentfield School District, which is a highly rated public school district. A.G. Bacich Elementary School is a California Distinguished School that hosts Kindergarten to 4th Grade and A.E. Kent Middle School is a California Distinguished School that hosts grades 5 to 8.

Marin Catholic High School is a Roman Catholic co-educational college preparatory, grades 9 to 12. The administrators, faculty and staff of Marin Catholic work hard to maintain a dynamic, student-centered environment, one that affords its young women and men every opportunity to achieve excellence.

Residences of Greenbrae are also fortunate to attend Redwood High School; it is nationally ranked and recognized as one of the premier high schools in the nation with some of the State's highest test scores, rates of graduation, and college acceptance. Please visit the Quick Links section for more information.

Transportation and Commuting from Greenbrae

Greenbrae has commuter buses to speed you into downtown San Francisco in 45 minutes. Estimated drive time is 30 minutes without commute traffic. And alternatively, the Larkspur Ferry Terminal is located just down the road in Larkspur Landing. The ferry ride takes 40 minutes to cross the Bay to San Francisco. For bus and ferry schedules and fares, please visit the Golden Gate Transit site or more details.

Activities and Things To Do in Greenbrae

Greenbrae is a terrific place to live, with many restaurants, cafes, and boutiques—you will never feel bored. Visit Bon Air Center for its excellent eateris, shops, services, and special events all year. There's Marin Country Mart in nearby Larkspur Landing that has unique shopping, outstanding restaurants, farmers markets, food truck days, and multiple events for the whole family to enjoy. 

Greenbrae has a great walking path along the Corte Madera Creek and Bay; you will admire amazing views of the East Bay, the hills of Marin, waterfront homes, marinas, and sailboats on the water.

Outdoor Recreation and Parks in Greenbrae

Greenbrae is perfect for biking, jogging, and hiking in the beautiful hills surrounding the community. Windsurfing is a popular activity along with rowing and boating in the Bay along Greenbrae's Larkspur Landing. Mount Tamalpais is at your doorstep. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area and numerous Marin County Open Spaces offer adventures galore.

Best Restaurants in Greenbrae

Most of the Greenbrae’s restaurants are located in Bon Air Center and neighboring Larkspur Landing's Marin Country Mart. There are many places to choose from; casual, laid back eateries along with upscale fine dining all exist here. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more restaurants.

Greenbrae Events

The year kicks off in February with Ergathon, 12 hours of continuous team erg-machine rowing, an annual fundraising event for Marin Rowing Association’s junior program. The annual Marin Open Studios begins in the Bon Air Center—visit the Preview Gallery Exhibition at the Center. Each of the participating artists has one of their works on display, and artist docents are on hand to answer questions. The Exhibition at Bon Air Center and the Preview Gala are both open to the public.

Throughout the year, Marin Country Mart hosts the Farmers Market from 9am-2pm every Saturday, rain or shine, and Sunday Lunch at the Food Trucks from 11am to 3pm every Sunday. Please visit this page's Quick Links for more information. 

Shopping in Greenbrae

Visit Bon Air Center for all your service needs such as banking and pharmacy. There are also many charming shops, fitness studios, and health and beauty services anchored by supermarket Mollie Stone's Market. 

In Marin Country Mart, located in Larkspur Landing, there are services available such as shoe repair, spin classes, optometry, and a post office. But it's mostly known for its unique collection of smaller shops and mid-size stores such as Birkenstock and Design Within Reach. Check out the Quick Links for links to shops in Greenbrae.

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