San Rafael is the oldest, largest, and most diverse city in the North Bay’s Marin County, holding its county seat. The bayfront location means its 59,000 residents enjoy the county’s finest year-round weather, with mild winter lows and temperate summer highs. San Rafael developed around the in the early 1800s. Having been rebuilt in the 1940s, the Mission structure now forms the centerpiece of today’s downtown.
San Rafael is comprised of distinct neighborhoods with varied architectural styles. The tree-lined streets of Gerstle Park and San Rafael’s downtown feature elegant Victorians and classic Californian bungalows. The area surrounding Peacock Gap Golf and Country Club is characterized by spectacular estates and lavish resort-style homes. To the north, Marinwood and Lucas Valley offer exceptionally grand properties and Eichler-designed homes in a secluded semi-rural setting. From gorgeous historic properties to breathtaking contemporary masterpieces, San Rafael has a dream home to suit every taste.
With an unbeatable climate, a walkable downtown area, and plenty of parks, San Rafael is the perfect place for those who love to be outdoors. A health-conscious lifestyle and the presence of the world-class Kaiser Permanente 404 medical facility contribute to Marin County ranking at the top of Californian communities for longevity and general wellbeing.
All age groups are represented among San Rafael’s demographics, and close to 30% of households contain children under the age of 18.
Fourth Street is the heart of downtown San Rafael. Scores of locally-run and nationally-known stores, cafes, and restaurants run along it and the roads adjacent to it. The outdoor deck at Pier15 has delighted visitors with traditional American fare and captivating San Francisco views since 1956. Similarly time-tested cuisine can be enjoyed alongside live music at , in business since 1947. Contemporary additions include Vin Antico 503’s organic farm-to-table food and the hip . For high-end Italian dining, ’s Toscano-style dishes are outstanding.
For groceries, there’s a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and independent retailers including an Asian Market and United Market, the latter of which has served the community since 1955. The Downtown Farmers Market--along with its three stages of live music--is open each Thursday between April and September.
Aside from its many fine restaurants, Downtown San Rafael is a hub of arts and culture. Enjoy art house cinema at the . Experience the city’s rich heritage at the Falkirk Cultural Center, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed , and historic . There are countless community events throughout the year, including monthly art walks and guided tours 404. There are numerous neighborhood parks throughout the city, while the 75-acre offers camping grounds, hiking trails, and water-based activities on the bay.
San Rafael’s residents enjoy access to a range of outstanding schools through the Dixie Elementary 404, , and San Rafael City High School Districts. Highlights include:
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