Behind the post office in Bolinas, CA (in the SF Bay Area) 2 Mile Surf Shop is a world class surf shop which also offers the unique service of surf lessons. They sell surf boards, wax, clothing, and stickers. They offer surf lessons in both group and individual sections at affordable prices.
Easily the best shoe repair in the Mill Valley area, Tony's Shoe Repair and Luggage offers convient, fast, friendly and affordable shoe repair just off the main drags in downtown Mill Valley. I have had my Birkenstock sandals repaired (resoled) many times at Tony's Shoe Repair and was extremeley satisfied with the results. Tony's Shoe Repair also provides a rare glimpse into "old Mill Valley" before the commercialization and touristization in the past few decades.
Benefit Cosmetics offers a wide variety of services and products in the heart of downtown Mill Valley. Although a little pricey, the cosmetics Benefit sells and produces is worth the extra money. Benefit cosmetics also make especially good gifts because of the cute packaging most of the make up comes in. I especially recommend the lip gloss (which stains your lips in the morning so reapplication is not necessary) and the eyeliner. Their eyebrow waxes are also very good.
The Exploratorium is one of the best musuems I have ever been to. It offers a wide variety of hands-on science activities fun for all ages -- although I loved it as a child, I still love to go there as I have gotten older. Some memorable activities isa pig's eye dissection, the light boxes, and giant pendulum exhibits. A valuable tip: the first Wednesday of every month is the Exploratorium's free admission day.
College of Marin (also known by the acronym COM)is a very good community college offering a wide variety of subjects taught and courses offered. I have taken Introduction of Sociology and Introductory Psychology at College of Marin and have learned quite a bit in these survey courses. A few drawbacks -- disinterested student population, lack of cohesion, expensive books, unattractive buildings, and large class sizes. However, College of Marin is quite good for what it is and try to sign up for the smaller, less popular, classes for increased faculty contact.
By far the best service station in Mill Valley. After years of experimentation with automobile maintenance in Mill Valley, Sausalito, Strawberry, San Rafael, and even San Francisco, I have found that, by far, Tom and Shirley's Miller Avenue Chevron Service Station provides the best expert service at affordable prices. I have had both routine checkups and major overhauls performed at the Miller Avenue Chevron Station and have found only excellent service conveniently and affordably.
I have never found a better photo developer and printer than in Sausalito's Framelines Photo. They offer precise, custom developing for both color and black-and-white prints in standard (35 mm) and medium (120 mm) formats. With affordable prices and quick service, Framelines is a guide for all other up-and-coming photo stores in the Bay Area. I have seen their precision and care in developing each and every print that goes through their hands -- every shot is perfected before it is printed. If a customer is dissatisfied at all, a reprint will be made at no extra cost. For example, an 8 by 10 I wanted once came out a little too dark for my taste. I asked Bob to reprint it and he did so gladly and at no extra cost, I was given the perfect print. A definite reccommendation for Framelines Photo.
Buffalo Exchange is a staple of both the Telegraph neigbhborhood of Berkeley and the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Like many other similar businesses in these neighborhoods, Buffalo Exchange offers fashionable and affordable used and vintage clothing. Usually, Buffalo Exchange has sale racks near the dressing rooms with discounts as high as 50% off. Of similar used clothing stores in the Haight, Buffalo Exchange offers the best selection of shoes. Given the choice, however, the Buffalo Exchange on Telegraph is much more pleasant than their location on Haight. The Haight St. store is crowded and cramped, although they have recently remodeled, it is often uncomfortable to spend too much time their. Buffalo on Telegraph is bigger andoffers greater discounts and a wider selection of clothing and accessories.
Green Apple Books falls drastically short of its reputation. A crowded and confusing scheme of stacked books and yellowed magazines which, although supposedly exuding bohemianism, just lends itself to a hassling purchase. I came in a few weeks ago with a printed list of classics, both fiction and non-fiction, I needed for a college class. Finally, I found an extremely unhelpful clerk who led me to the Psychology section only to find Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents unavailable. In the Science section, Darwin's Origin of Species was only available in one copy -- a Penguin paperback whose $4.95 original sale price was listed on the back cover sold USED for $7.95. I definitely would not recommend Green Apple Books for any serious book needs.
Crossroads Trading Company provides affordable clothing choice-selected by professional buyers, similar to Buffalo Exchange and Villians clothing stores on Haight St. However, Crossroads is cleaner, friendlier, and more affordable than either of the other two similar stores. High sales are common and usually two or three racks in the back near the dressing rooms offer 50% off. I definitely recommend Crossroads for affordable and fashionable clothing.