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Old 01-21-2013, 01:01 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,891 times
Reputation: 14

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My family is looking to move to the San Francisco/Marin/Wine country area. I say this generally, because we haven't found an area yet to zero in on. I work from home, so I don't need to be near the city, per say. I've got 2 children, 4 and 1, so I would be looking for somewhere that has good schools near it, private or public. Obviously somewhere safe. And somewhere that has good amenities like restaurants and shopping and a Whole Foods (my wife's one demand). Our budget is pretty high, around $2-$2.5m. As I mentioned, we love the Napa/Sonoma area but are not sure which areas are nice and safe and good to raise a family. Other than that, we would probably be looking in Marin Co. And and all suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:32 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
357 posts, read 332,507 times
Reputation: 173
I haven't lived in the North Bay for a long time, but no one else has responded, so I'll go first:

The only parts of Marin I've ever heard would-be residents warned away from are the Canal district in San Rafael, and Marin City ... and I might feel comfortable moving into either area. If you can afford it, you're likely to be pleased by just about any other town in Marin.

I strongly suggest a scouting trip here, for a first hand impression.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:00 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
32,435 posts, read 18,439,037 times
Reputation: 22594
Definitely check out Mill Valley (Marin)--a jewel of a town full of redwood parks, small-town feel but close to the City. (Does have a Whole Foods.) Mill Valley also is cooler than most other north Bay towns, if heat is an issue for you. Tiburon (Marin) is also good for kids, and is on the Bay. Santa Rosa is a bit farther north, and right in the middle of wine country, but it is more of a city. If you visit Mill Valley, I guarantee you'll be enchanted! What struck me about it is how safe it is for kids; kids play together in the redwood groves just like kids used to before parents throughout the US decided it wasn't safe for kids to run around the neighborhood and play without supervision.

Maybe others here have more experience with Napa and Sonoma than I do.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:09 PM
 
70 posts, read 104,106 times
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A second vote for Mill Valley. Your housing budget works just fine and your wife will be pleased that there are TWO Whole Foods stores in MV. Excellent school district and lots of outdoor areas to enjoy. The wine country is not far away. Only question is how much land do you want around your house. MV does not have the acreage parcels that you would find in Sonoma or Napa areas. Other Marin communities that would work are Kentfield or Ross, although you would have to drive to San Rafael for Whole Foods. Kentfield or Ross have larger lot sizes on average than MV, and both have good schools. More rain when it rains due to Mt.Tamalpais and the summers are warmer than MV. Woodlands market in Kentfield is comparable to WF. I recommend a visit.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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Thanks so much for the replies! I definitely do need to/am in the process of planning a scouting trip. I just wanted to try and narrow the search a little before heading out there. Santa Rosa really intrigues me and I will definitely check out Mill City. Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:00 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
32,435 posts, read 18,439,037 times
Reputation: 22594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob561 View Post
Thanks so much for the replies! I definitely do need to/am in the process of planning a scouting trip. I just wanted to try and narrow the search a little before heading out there. Santa Rosa really intrigues me and I will definitely check out Mill City. Thanks!
Mill Valley.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
88 posts, read 77,393 times
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I absolutely adore Sonoma county and definitely recommend you check it out. Santa Rosa is a nice city in the middle of a beautiful area, but it's not overly distinguished (if that matters to you). The smaller towns surrounding have more charm/personality in my opinion. My favorite is Sebastopol, which has a big presence of things I love such as holistic health practitioners (acupuncture, chiropractor, massage, etc.), a strong local food movement (really all of Sonoma county but especially this area - they have a Whole Foods as well), yoga, and family-friendly events/festivals (the Apple Blossom Parade/Festival and the Gravenstein Apple Fair are my 2 favorites). The county has a huge, wonderful regional park system (Sonoma County Regional Parks) if you're into outdoorsy activities, and the coast, redwood forests, and amazing scenery are all within 30 - 45 minutes driving distance. I have found people in Sonoma county to be overall very down-to-earth and cool. And there is so much great stuff for kids here, for example: Environmental Discovery Center at Spring Lake Regional Park, and the Tolay Fall Festival in Petaluma is a family favorite as well! I'm not sure if Marin and Napa counties have the level of organization of these types of things as Sonoma seems to. As the mother of a young family (one 19 month old son) I would say Sonoma and Marin would be the more desirable areas to settle. Not to mention the nice proximity to San Francisco for outings/excursions to all that city has to offer (also a lot of great stuff obviously!). I've only spent a small amount of time in Napa but it's not a place I'd be interested in living, but that's just my perspective.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:08 AM
 
415 posts, read 342,024 times
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Mill Valley. Enough said.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:55 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,891 times
Reputation: 14
I really appreciate all of these replies. It looks like Sonoma/Mill Valley really fit the bill of what we are looking for. Again, thanks for taking the time to help us out in our search! And if anyone would like to add anything, my ears will remain open.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:57 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,891 times
Reputation: 14
Does anyone know anything about San Anselmo?
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