North of San Francisco a village offers noshing, shopping, and easy access to the outdoors.
Area code is 415.
Paint Off July 17. Local artists create competitively in a four-hour sprint. 721-1856. Curtain Theatre’s Free Shakespeare in Old Mill Park Aug. 28–29, Sept. 4–6, 11–12: As You Like It. 375 Throckmorton Ave., curtaintheatre.org . Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival Sept. 25–26. Music and crafts in Old Mill Park. 381-8090, mvfaf.org . Mill Valley Film Festival Oct. 7–17. Indie and world cinema, plus celebs. 383-5256, mvff.com .
TO DO AND SEE
Marin Theatre Company Intimate staging of Bay Area premieres, works in progress, and 20th-century classics. 397 Miller Ave., 388-5208, marintheatre.org . Mill Valley Public Library Redwood views, reading deck, local history room. 375 Throckmorton Ave., 389-4292, millvalleylibrary.org .
Dipsea Trail Steep 7.4-mile route up Mount Tamalpais and down to Stinson Beach. Catch the bus back to town: marintransit.org/stage.html . Miwok Livery Stables Guided horseback rides with views of San Francisco and the Pacific. 701 Tennessee Valley Rd., 383-8048, miwokstables.com . Muir Woods National Monument Majestic redwood grove ribboned with walking paths. 388-2596, nps.gov/muwo . Tennessee Valley Trail An easy 2.2-mile jaunt to the Pacific attracts equestrians, hikers, and bikers. 331-1540.
The Depot Bookstore & Cafe Local titles and strong coffee in a former train depot with outdoor seating. 87 Throckmorton Ave., 383-2665, depotbookstore.com . The Tyler Florence Shop Check out antique chopping blocks, Dean & DeLuca spices, and a cozy cookbook library. 59 Throckmorton Ave., 380-9200, tylerflorence.com/theshop .
Avatar’s Punjabi Burritos Try curried pumpkin or Jamaican jerk chicken wrapped in fresh flatbread. 15 Madrona St., 381-8293, enjoyavatars.com . Buckeye Roadhouse Upscale comfort food (fried oysters, baby back ribs, s'more pie). 15 Shoreline Hwy., 331-2600, buckeyeroadhouse.com . Small Shed Flatbreads Wood-fired pizzas topped with organic goodies such as maple-fennel sausage, black mission figs, Humboldt Fog goat cheese. 17 Madrona St., 383-4200, smallshed.com .
Tea Garden Springs Day-spa treatments include the signature herbal tea wrap and the Bel Canto opera massage. 38 Miller Ave., 389-7123, teagardensprings.com .
GET GOING Request the Northern California & Nevada TourBook and the Sausalito & Mill Valley map at AAA.com  or any AAA branch office. For more information, contact the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce: 85 Throckmorton Ave., 388-9770, millvalley.org .
Photography by Mitch Tobias 
This article was first published in July 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.