Hot days in Marin can make you want to Spare the Air – why not park yourself and the kids in Fairfax for the day? With a walkable, adorable downtown and several great hiking trails nearby, this cute town nestled underneath Mt. Tam is one of the most picturesque in the entire Bay Area. Pick up some picnic supplies from Good Earth (more on them later), and head out before the sun gets high in the sky.

A great hike for kids is the Lake Lagunitas loop. Enter at the MMWD watershed above Bolinas-Fairfax Road and enjoy a two-mile loop around the lake with plenty of visits from birds like heron and egrets, and a picnic stop along the way. After a hike on the hot Marin trails, cool down with local, organic ice cream from Fairfax Scoop on Broadway. Or get out of the sun and into style at Bug A Boo, which carries cute and comfy Zutano clothes and good-quality jogging strollers, perfect for future hikes. The Fairfax Theater still boasts that old-timey movie house feel (albeit with air-conditioning), and always has an offering or two for the kiddies. And this Saturday, Good Earth Natural Foods, one of this hamlet’s oldest and most cherished institutions, celebrates 40 years of helping Marin-ites (and others willing to travel for the experience) fill their bodies with healthy, organic food. Kids can dangle along the climbing wall or bounce around the jumpy house. The whole “fam” can chow down on organic food and drinks from local vendors like Café Gratitude, Cowgirl Creamery, and Full Belly Farm. Long live the Good Earth!

More to Explore (with kiddies in tow):

Marin Organic and U-Pick


Farrallon Islands

Downtown San Rafael

Mission Bay

El Cerrito


Point Reyes

North Beach

The Mountain Play, Mt. Tam

Gourmet Ghetto

Yerba Buena Gardens and Union Square

Pier 39

Ring Mountain


Jack London Square


Kayak Beach

Fillmore Street

Tennesee Valley Trail


Union Street

Tilden Park

Westfield Center

Solano Ave Part 2

Hyde Street Pier and Aquatic Park

the Presidio and Crissy Field

Farmer’s Market & China Camp State Park

Marin Organic, U-Pick


Presidio Heights


Larkspur’s Magnolia Street

Mt Tam and the West Point Inn

San Francisco’s Bernal Heights

Berkeley’s Fourth Street