Corte Madera

Welcome to Corte Madera

From the sunlit coastal ridges to the energetic shopping village, you’ll fall in love with the balance and bustle of this bayside city
North of the Tiburon Peninsula and settled along the waters of the San Francisco Bay, the bustling city of Corte Madera sits at the base of Mount Tamalpais. While many are pulled to the city by sweeping pastoral scenery and California’s remarkable landscape, Corte Madera is delightful for retail enthusiasts and foodies. 
What’s now a city of amenities galore, retail centers, and fantastic restaurants was once famous for lumber. So much so, in fact, that a rough translation of the city’s name means “chop wood.” Corte Madera was incorporated in 1916 and since then has blossomed into the ultimate shopping destination for those in the San Francisco area. The city of San Francisco itself is a mere 30 minutes from Corte Madera and offers its own bevy of entertainment options as well. 
The architectural history of Corte Madera is diverse. Those browsing the market will find that though many homes were built during the city’s boom from 1950-1980, there are also a fair number of historic houses and contemporary new builds. From bi-level Victorian homes maintained since the early 1900s to mid-century California ranches, storybook Craftsman homes, and modern mansions, Corte Madera has something to please every taste.

What to Love

  • Home to two of the Bay Area’s finest shopping locations, The Town Center and The Village at Corte Madera
  • Set right between national parks and the bay, an outdoor lover’s dream
  • Small population with community-oriented personality

People & Lifestyle

When those in Corte Madera aren’t shopping to their hearts’ content, they’re diving headfirst into the vast natural resources around them, from the shore to Muir Woods. Day-to-day life in Corte Madera can feel like a 24/7 vacation thanks to the sunny weather and the constant stream of activity, but the town’s population of just 9,000 keeps the city from feeling hectic.

Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment

The commercial pulse of Corte Madera is divided into two major locations: The Village at Corte Madera and The Town Center. The former is a tranquil open-air center that rests closer to the shores of the bay and houses notable stores such as Nordstrom, lululemon, Free People, and Madewell. The Village is also the location of one of Corte Madera’s hottest restaurants: the Restoration Hardware Rooftop Restaurant Marin. This glimmering venue is ensconced with glass and features stunning views in addition to the impressive menu driven by local ingredients. 
Town Center harbors brands such as Athleta and Urban Outfitters, though the true star of the show is the dining in and around the center. Burmatown, for example, is just a five-minute trot away and serves an innovative mix of Burmese and traditional Asian fare in a family-style setting. Within Town Center, you’ll find an assortment of eateries ranging from gourmet fro-yo shops to coffee cafes and world-class Italian fare at Il Fornaio.

Things to Do

Corte Madera’s culture values healthy living almost as much as it values shopping, and residents here know there’s hardly a better way to spend your time than to breathe in the crisp California air while hiking the city’s trails. Ring Mountain Preserve is among the best-known spaces for encountering nature, and this rugged but phenomenal swath of coastal ridge tops the Tiburon Peninsula. The preserve offers 360-degree views of the bay and is well-loved by geologists for its incredible collection of precious stones. 
Socially driven relaxation and mindful living are readily available in Corte Madera, as well, and locals know that they don’t have to head out to the mountains to find their center. Classes at studios such as Metta Yoga encourage students to dig deeply into the practice to receive all of its peaceful benefits for mind and body.


Corte Madera is home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
  • Larkspur-Corte Madera School District, highly rated public school system serving grades K-8
  • Neil Cummins Elementary School, K-5, highly rated public elementary school
  • Hall Middle School, 6-8, one of the top public middle schools in Marin County
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