Small and elegant, Ross might just be the “darling” of the Tamalpais Valley. Just below Phoenix Lake, surrounded by an open nature preserve and trail system, Ross’s population sits below 3,000. The quaint Ross Commons area—a large community sporting green adjacent to the award-winning Ross K-8 School—includes a bike shop, community market, a few small shops and restaurants including a new British-style Tea & Crumpets shop and the exceptional Marche aux Fleur, a handful of salons, as well as the local post office, are just a footbridge away from the Marin Art & Garden Center, an historic public space hosting an array of community events, classes, and private venue locations. A quintessential smalltown, Ross is as calm and beautiful as its wooded backdrop suggests.

Donna’s Ross Picks:

Phoenix Lake Loop

A walk, jog or bike ride up Lagunitas Road and onto the many trails around Phoenix Lake is refreshing and lovely any time and any day of the year.

Trattoria ​Fresco

Hailing from Florence, Italy, owner/chef Marco Franchesini, can sometimes be cranky (and often friendly and informative about all things Italy and whatever else you want to discuss), but the food is always delightful. I love that it’s a small, intimate, neighborhood restaurant.

Marche Aux Fleurs

Holly and Dan Baker, owners/chef, have created a wonderful community spot that has been serving superb food for years in their small and intimate restaurant and charming patio setting. There are excellent daily specials that have quite the cult following.

Marin Garden Home

If you’re into gardening, there’s a lot to learn and enjoy @The Marin Art and Garden Center.

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Donna, a self-professed “real estate geek,” concedes that along with her study of stats and market trends, her sharp eye for aesthetics has been one of the key ingredients in her many successes identifying properties for buyers as well as preparing homes for sale.

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