Before my die-hard SF friends get upset, I need to clarify something: this is not a piece bashing San Francisco. As a former journalist and SF city editor, I have a deep and genuine love for the city by the bay. I just prefer to live near it as opposed to in it. Here are five reasons why living in Mill Valley is far superior to the city itself:
The Weather Is Better In Mill Valley
Our fair city is known for its majestic blanket of fog. And while listening to the sound of the fog horn is a magical way to fall asleep, I really do need my Vitamin D! Here in Mill Valley, the fog still ghosts in over the hills around sunset, but it generally burns off by 11am. I like to think of it as nature’s AC; I get the summer sun in the daytime, but I’m cuddled snugly under my comforter at night.
The Parking. OMG THE PARKING!!!!
How many times have you arrived at your destination in San Francisco early, only to be late because you couldn’t find parking? How many times have you snagged the perfect legal street spot, but still gotten a ticket because there was a 3 percent grade and you didn’t curb your wheels? How many times have you parked in GIANT metered space, only to return to a dented bumper because the person in front rolled back before they pulled out?
While all of the above may be par for the course in The City, those small annoyances vanish when you move to Mill Valley. We’ve got free parking a-plenty, plus tons of metered street and municipal lots. The only time it can get a little tricky is on Saturday night, but it’s better to Uber home from dinner at Beer Works anyway.
You Don’t Have To Hide Your Valuables
SF is notorious for its car break-ins. You know it’s bad when thieves will break in just to grab your loose change! Stashing everything from shopping bags to sunglass cases puts me in a state of alertness I don’t want to experience in my daily life. And while I still wouldn’t leave my laptop in plain view overnight, car burglaries are few and far between in Mill Valley.
You’re An Uber Ride Away From SF…And More
City folks’ number one criticism of the suburbs: they’re boring. My number one criticism of the city: you’re stuck there. And at 7×7 square miles, SF ain’t that big! We have some truly fantastic restaurants in Mill Valley (Um, hello there Buckeye!), plus thousands of miles of hiking trails and pristine beaches.
Sure, I can’t walk to my favorite North Beach bar, but it’s still close enough that I can be there in 30 minutes if I’m dying for Fernet on tap. And what we lack in proximity, we make up for in mobility. We’re an Uber away from SF, there’s no Bay Bridge traffic cutting us off from the East Bay, and wine country is in our back yard.
The Best Schools Are Free
The school districts in Marin County are some of the best California, so there’s no need to shell out for expensive private schools. Not only will my child will get an A+ education, but we won’t have to waste time interviewing or shell out $30k on tuition. Instead, we can invest those things into enriching experiences shared together as a family. And there are so many to be had right here in Mill Valley.
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