San Rafael is a short 20-minute drive north and over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. It is the largest and oldest city in beautiful Marin County. A temperate, pleasant Mediterranean climate and spectacular surroundings makes San Rafael a great place to visit - and live in northern California.
From the stately Mission San Rafael Arcangel, lively downtown, the famous Rafael Theater, farmers markets, trendy Northgate Mall and Marin County fair, San Rafael has entertainment and activities for the whole family.
Parks and open spaces abound in San Rafael, and covers close to 30 percent of the city. San Rafael has several marinas and is near the San Pablo Bay, making it ideal for many recreational activities in the water. Another lovely park that is a favorite of fans of the outdoors is China Camp State Park. The large park has a well-developed network of hiking and biking trails with overnight campsites in its 1,600-acre lands.
San Rafael has many historical buildings. Some of the most well-known buildings are the Marin History Museum, the Falkirk Cultural Center, and the meticulously restored Dominican University which you can visit as part of a self-guided walking tour.
San Rafael's lovely and activity-filled downtown is a commercial center that welcomes everyone to enjoy shopping and fine dining. The particular ambience of Downtown comes from the eclectic combination of Victorian buildings, modern ethnic restaurants, and unique shops.
San Rafael City Plaza is a local gathering place and venue for events throughout the year, including the weekly farmers market on Thursday. A lovely water wall fountain cascades pleasantly in the background.
San Rafael is a community-oriented and family-friendly city. Residents enjoy exemplary schools, good public amenities, and civic services. There are many parks and open spaces in the city, some are tiny inviting spaces tucked away in neighborhoods and others vast with a water front like the Civic Center Lagoon Park.
San Rafael is well-known for several popular annual events and festivals that draw visitors from the city and the Bay Area. These events focus on art, culture, food and wine, film, sports, and joyous seasonal celebrations. When you visit San Rafael you'll enjoy a wealth of fun and exciting shows such as the Marin Show: Art of the Americas, Marin Human Race, May Madness Classic Car Parade and Street Dance, Annual Home Show and Jazz Festival, Marin Art Festival, Marin Shakespeare Festival, and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County, California, and the oldest, largest and most culturally diverse city in Marin County. San Rafael is both a dynamic commercial and cultural center. When you visit San Rafael you'll discover what makes the city so special from the Thursday night celebration on Fourth Street to a museum about a Chinese immigrant shrimping village in China Camp State Park. You'll find the latest information and news on events here at SanRafael.com. Make SanRafael.com the first place you visit when you want to find out more about San Rafael.