Thirty miles from San Francisco, West Marin is one of the county’s hidden gems. And for those seeking the charms of a rural life at a slower pace, West Marin remains mostly untouched by suburban sprawl and development, with protected land and fields as far as the eye can see. It’s a pastoral escape that feels as if from another time. The beaches and marine life are impressive, where elephant seals can be observed during the winter, undisturbed by visitors and surfers on the beach (who keep a respectful distance, of course). Residents enjoy the stunning views of Inverness and Point Reyes, beautiful winding roads, farm stands full of locally grown food and produce, and a collection of charming storefronts committed to supporting their small-town community.