Driving through Kentfield you might find it hard to believe that it is home to some of the most expensive real estate in Marin County, and the entire United States. But, Kentfield is a different kind of small town. Local laws and regulations require that homes be built to blend into the local scenery. With low profile roofs and careful preservation of the local redwood trees and other plants, even some of the largest mansions are difficult to spot from the road.
The area that would become Kentfield was not home to a permanent settlement until the 1870’s when Albert Kent bought the land and began construction on his vast estate. While members of the Miwok tribe had wandered the area for centuries, hunting and fishing in the woods and streams, they had left the area forever by the time Kent began construction. A small town grew up around the Kent estate. The area received its first post office in 1905. But, it never grew larger than a few thousand people. Albert Kent’s family continued to live in the area after his death. His grandson William Kent was a United States Congressman who was influential in securing federal protection for the beloved nearby Muir Woods. Today, Kentfield remains unincorporated and is governed by Marin County.
Only 6,500 people live in Kentfield. The area has a medium household income of $150,000. The citizens of Kentfield are highly involved in civic and philanthropic affairs. Many celebrities such as Sean Penn have called Kentfield home over the years. Several high profile business leaders and entrepreneurs also choose to live in Kentfield.
Children in Kentfield attend some of the best schools anywhere. Many of the elementary schools and the local middle school have been designated as California Distinguished Schools. Older students attend nationally recognized Redwood High School in neighboring Larkspur.
College of Marin, best known for its drama program, is also in Kentfield. This two-year college consistently sends more students to Juilliard than any other school in the nation. Robin Williams is the most famous of the students to go from Marin College to Juilliard.
While Kentfield keeps a low profile, it is only a short walk or drive from both some of the best shopping and dinning anywhere and some of the world’s best hiking and mountain biking. Residents only have to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge or take the ferry and they are in the heart of San Francisco, one of the world’s great cities. Next door to Kentfield in Larkspur, residents can attend the famous Mill City Film Festival or sample the local boutiques selling custom high fashion jewelry or apparel. High-end shopping malls and five-star restaurants are also only a short drive a way.
Kentfield residents can see Mount Tamalpais and the Muir Woods from their homes and often take advantage of the hundreds of miles of trails through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. The Point Reyes National Scenic Shoreline is a short drive away. Residents can also stay in their homes to enjoy majestic mountain views, and see the gorgeous San Francisco Bay and skyline.
It is hard to find a home for sale in Kentfield. When a home becomes available it usually doesn’t last long. Homes here range in price from $800,000 to over $10 million. The average price of a home is $2.2 million. Kentfield real estate is so highly sought after because it combines beautiful, luxurious homes with stunning vistas. Kentfield is the kind of town where people who truly appreciate beauty want to live.
A version of this article was published on Inman.Com: Where nearly every house has a spectacular view
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