San Anselmo's climate, rich history, creek-side location, and strong sense of community make it a wonderful place to visit and live. The railroad played a vital role in San Anselmo's history. The town was mostly pastoral until 1875, when the North Pacific Railroad completed a line from Sausalito to Tomales, via San Anselmo.
In the early 1900s, San Anselmo was a silent-film capital producing numerous films, including The Two-Gun Man and Cowpuncher's Law. The town began to grow when the San Francisco Theological Seminary relocated its school from San Francisco in 1892. Castle-like stone-masonry buildings stand like sentinels on the knoll above Ross Valley. The hilltop and surrounding grounds are favorites for town residents out for their morning or evening stroll.
Sunset Magazine readers voted San Anselmo "Best in the West" for antiquing and the town is distinguished as the "Northern California Antique Capital." Creek-side restaurants, cafes, galleries, antique shops, boutiques and a small winery contribute to downtown San Anselmo's charming atmosphere.
Some of the city's many other attractions include the Robson-Harrington House and Park, the Carnegie Library and the American Legion Log Cabin. Annual events include the Art and Wine Festival and Antiques Fair, drawing visitors from the entire San Francisco Bay Area.