Once known as Larkspur Landing, the shopping center across from the Larkspur ferry re-opened this past spring as the Marin Country Mart, transformed into a shopping oasis with a touch of country quaint. Plans are in the works for a children’s play structure with a rustic, natural feel, and Tenants are making their way into the refurbished barn-like buildings.

How to get there: Right off of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, perpendicular to the 101 in Larkspur, about a half-hour north of San Francisco.

What to do: With new businesses opening each month (like James Perse, love those supersoft minimalist tees!)—we’re anxiously awaiting the opening of Miette (for pretty, perfect cakes and other baked delicacies) and Twig & Fig (for sumptuous letterpress stationery).

In the meantime, the Mart is luring shoppers and locavores with the newly-opened, family-friendly, year-round Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., $1 pony rides and live music are in full swing, and booths from vendors like the Phoenix Pastificio and Fallon Hills Ranch, provide ample opportunities to pick up the very best meat, seafood, pasta, bread, and locally-grown produce.

Leave the little ones with your S.O. to wander the market and check out the weekend’s live music while you browse the fabulous swimsuits at Malia Mills and the gorgeous frocks at Erica Tanov, or slip into a yoga class at Yogaworks.  You can even check your little one into a ballet class at Tutu School, and either stay to watch or get some shopping knocked off your list. If your kids are amenable to being strolled while you shop, check out  one of the Marin Store‘s four annual sample sales for locally-designed gifts like cute onesies from My Trick Pony, or ceramics from Whitney Smith Pottery (we love the Ranunculus nesting bowls).

Where to dine: Reconvene the fam for some bar food and microbrews at the Marin Brewing Company.

When to go: Make the Country Mart a part of your weekend to take care of errands while breaking up the routine. And don’t forget the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market!

TIP: Park along Sir Francis Drake and take the steps up, rather than circling the crowded parking lot above.

Online: http://www.marincountrymart.com/