“It’s soooooo quiet.”

That’s the refrain from just about everyone you bump into in Mill Valley at this time of year, as the end of the school year sends families off on vacation. If you’re not getting out of town this summer, or even if you’re only gone for part of the it, NOW is the time to Enjoy Mill Valley largely without having to worry about traffic – you can skip the stress that’ll come roaring back in two months.

And skipping the traffic is far form the only reason to truly Enjoy Mill Valley by shopping, eating, exploring and gathering in your hometown. There’s also the fact that the vast majority of businesses in Mill Valley are mom-and-pop shops. That means that the people who own the cute toy store on Miller or the boutique downtown are likely your kid’s baseball or soccer coach, the dad who donates burritos for the end of season party or the mom who organizes the car pool to school.

Worried you won’t find what you’re looking for in town? We’ve got you covered – we can be your Mill Valley shopping concierge! Email us at info@millvalley.org or call 415.388.9700 and we’ll set you straight.

And here’s one more for you: When you buy a product at a Mill Valley shop, you walk out the door with that product. Even Prime can’t beat that! You also skip the massive amounts of packaging waste – seriously, does a pair of shoes for your toddler need to arrive in a box that could fit a 55-inch TV in it? – that comes with ordering products online.

Consider this a reminder to ShopMV and resist the urge to use your local stores to comparison shop before doing the seemingly inevitable: heading to Amazon, finding the product you spotted in your favorite local shop and buying it with one-click, knowing it’ll show up at your door within two days. It’s magic – a completely friction-less transaction, right?

That purchase may seem like the pillar of tech-driven efficiency and saving a few bucks by going online or with the big box stores, but we can do better. Let’s be clear: saving a few bucks is always important, but doing so runs the risk of losing some of what makes Mill Valley the truly special place we love. Local shop owners say that although the economy is doing well, competing on price with online and big box stores is nearly impossible, all while their fixed costs, particularly rent, utilities and the difficulty of hiring in a saturated employment market with skyrocketing home prices, continue to climb.

This is not an admonishment!
It’s also not an all-or-nothing exercise. It’s just a challenge. And we’re here to help!

And as you can see from the images above, we curated a handful of local products and experiences that make great gifts for loves ones – or for yourself! GO HERE FOR MORE INFO ON THE MUST HAVES ABOVE.


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