About Marin County

Tom Killian

Mt. Tamalpais from Buckley Ave, Sausalito

Marin County is a 519-square mile area north of San Francisco Bay with a population of approximately 252,000 people. Urban areas in Marin are located primarily along the Highway 101 corridor. Nearly one third of the county’s population lives in rural, unincorporated areas.

Marin County is renowned for its natural beauty. Scenic sites such as Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods attract visitors from around the world. Surrounded on three sides by water, Marin encompasses abundant natural resources beautiful and rich in variety. Over 50 percent of Marin County—the highest proportion for any county in the Bay Area—is protected open space.

Artistic Heritage

Protection of the natural environment provides inspiration for many forms of art and has historically provided the basis for significant cultural artistic expression. Plein air and landscape artists, in particular, have been drawn to Marin’s natural beauty. Historically, Marin has been home to many notable landscape painters, including Thaddeus Welch (1844-1919), Ludmilla Welch (1867-1925), Manuel Valencia (1856-1935), Granville Seymour Redmond (1871-1935), Percy Gray (1869-1952), Gottardo Piazzoni (1872-1945), William Keith (1838-1911), and Ray Strong (1905-2006).

Alpine Lake, Steve Emery

This artistic heritage is alive today in the sizable group of artists who depict Marin’s landscape in their works. These artists are active in a number of annual art shows in Marin County: Marin/Scapes, the MALT-Marin Agricultural Trust’s Ranches and Rolling Hills Show, The Marin Art Festival, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, and The Sausalito Art Festival. Many of these landscape artists, such as The BayWood Artists and the Art on the Farm group, contribute to the preservation of Marin’s open space and ranchlands.