This town aptly describes itself as cosmopolitan: situated in the heart of exclusive Mill Valley, you're in for fine California living here. This area is highly desirable -- and with good reason. Easy commutes to San Francisco (take the ferry -- that's our favorite way to get to work) and the East Bay.
Give yourself a month to pick your favorite neighborhood and find your preferred housing. You might not find apartments with paid utilities here (the area's popularity means landlords don't necessarily need to sweeten the deal), but you'll find a variety of housing types to suit your style, from a one bedroom apartment to a home for rent.
Make sure you come well-prepared to seal the deal once you find your dream apartment rental. It's a good idea to have your credit history, proof of income, deposit money, and references ready to go.
There's hardly a bad place to live in Corte Madera. Your toughest choice will be whether to go for something on a hill or something not on a hill. While some areas are walkable, the situation of the town, Highway 101, and tidal lands make it handy to have a car for errands and commuting. Here are a few neighborhoods to check out:
Chapman Park: With older homes, this established neighborhood gives you that hill vs. flat choice we mentioned. Rental homes can be found here, but not many apartments. Just across the northern edge of this neighborhood, over Tamalpais Drive, you'll find the Village at Corte Madera shopping mall with all of the major brands and boutique stores you could need like Nordstrom and Banana Republic.
Old Corte Madera: Close to the historic town center, this sought-after neighborhood features class California bungalows as well as some more modern homes. Cyclists will love the easy pedal into the town square or over to downtown Larkspur's amenities. The best of Corte Madera dining, like The Counter -- a burger joint with an impressive array of topping options -- and boutique shopping is found here along with a weekly farmers' market. This is a great place to look for a historic home for rent.
Christmas Tree Hill: Named for the shape made by lit houses at night up the hill, this neighborhood offers sweeping views of the bay. You'll need a car to live here and parking can be a challenge, but did we mention the views? You may be able to find the rare 2 bedroom apartment for rent here to enjoy hillside living. Walk uphill to hit some local trail heads you can wander into neighboring towns like Kentfield and Mill Valley or wander over to Camino Alto Open Space Preserve to get your nature on.
Madera Del Presidio: This 1990s development offers modern homes and great commuter locations. It's close to the Village at Corte Madera and Paradise Foods market. Find ample floor plans for rental homes and some one bedroom apartments for rent here. You might have to contend with some highway noise, but the trade off may be worth it thanks to its access to amenities.
Life here is closely entwined with neighbor and twin city Larkspur. Locals and tourists flock here for the annual Fourth of July celebration (with far less fog than bigger celebrations in San Francisco, this town enjoys a July that feels much more July-like). Check out the annual parade and picnic in Town Park.
Old Corte Madera Town Square is a hub of civic life, featuring boutique shops, salons, consignment and antique shops, and cafes. Those in need of brand name retail therapy will love the Village at Corte Madera, an outdoor shopping mall with all the stores you'd expect to find, anchored by major department stores and restaurants.
Hike up Mt. Tamalpais, stroll through towering redwoods and ferns in nearby Muir Woods, paddle on the Bay, or watch for local water fowl and appreciate native plants in the town's many public spaces. Life here is sweet, sunny and fine.