exclaims Lewis. “Sausalito used to be the coolest little town in the ‘50s and going into the ‘60s, and then it got overrun and turned into Lahaina for a minute. Now it’s becoming revital- ized with new restaurants and a new scene, and it’s actually becoming more of a town now.” Among his favorites: Poggio, the Blue Rock in Larkspur, and the venerable Marin Joes in Corte Madera. I would add a couple of my own tips, if you’re anywhere near Novato, Marvins—consis- tently voted best breakfast in Marin—and Boca. Also, if you ever get
a chance, check out jazz singer Wanda Stafford, who’s been playing gigs in
Alister MacKenzie’s Meadow Club is amongst the best walking courses in the world.
Rafael mayor, John McIn- nis, contains a double deck driving range, nine-hole executive course, practice center, batting cages and a restaurant that always seems to be jumping. As for Marin’s private
courses, Meadow Club is an Alister MacKenzie design that dates back to 1926. “It’s a treasure,” proclaims Lewis, who’s been a longtime Meadow Club member. “Maybe the one thing that keeps Meadow from being a Crystal Downs, is that it has side-by-side adjoin- ing fairways—but that’s exactly what makes it so fabulous to walk! In terms of walking a golf course, I don’t think it gets any better in the world.” The other private operation, Marin Country Club, built in 1959, was updated by the late John Harbottle just a
few years ago. Set in a highly upscale residential neighborhood, it is the embodiment of a true club-like atmosphere, with a family sense, and a history of a younger, hipper, membership. Stories of its annual Carnavale costumed golf tournament are legendary throughout the county. But beyond golf,
Marin offers a myriad of other recreational choic- es including world-class hiking, dining, shop- ping, a vibrant live music scene, and a variety of outdoor activities. Bed and breakfasts abound, with Sausalito present- ing a solid handful of award-winning boutique hotels. “There’s a zillion great spots, the restau- rants are off the charts,”
Marin for years. And while many of the haunts and institutions of my youth are long gone—old timers will remember downtown San Rafael Macy’s, Las Gallinas driving range, the turtle races at Zack’s in Sausalito, King Cotton, Bergie’s, Nave Lanes, Shakey’s in Terra Linda, Village Music, George’s Pool Hall, Uncle Charlies and the Red Kettle—golf still remains a constant, and Marin prevails as one of the great places on earth. It’s fitting that a hippie-styled rainbow frames its entrance as you first cross over from the Golden Gate Bridge—because certainly for many Marinites, there is indeed a pot of gold at the other end.
Based in the Bay Area, Barry Salberg is a communications professional and freelance writer, with a wide range of media background, including byline credits in virtually every major golf publication.
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