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San Rafael Downtown

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Visit Downtown San Rafael, CA

San Rafael’s downtown is a beautiful commercial center in the heart of the city. Shops, businesses, art galleries, historical sites and restaurants line much of Fourth Street and make it a popular gathering place for the community and visitors. Cultural, artistic and entertainment options can all be found in the downtown area. 

One fun way to get to know San Rafael is to join a Downtown Walking Tour. The Walk starts at Boyd Gate House, 25 B Street. The tour run by the Marin History Museum takes you to historic places in downtown San Rafael on the third Saturday of the month, at 10:00 a.m. The tour lasts a little over an hour. You can park free at the parking lots of West America and Circle Banks on B Street. 

Art and Galleries

One of the gems of San Rafael is its artistic works that can be seen around the city and in the downtown area in particular. The Art Walk on second Fridays of the month is a great way to get a taste of what the city offers before you start your personal discovery. The 2nd Fridays Art Walk meets at Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael on, you guessed it, the second Friday of every month, from 5 – 8 p.m.

Art Works Downtown on 1337 Fourth Street is an organization where artists work and gather. The programs offered at Art Works Downtown such as the exhibits, events, classes help support artists and let them share their work with the public.  Other art institutions are Aurora Studios, Backyard Boogie, The Falkirk Center, The Folk Art Gallery, Garzoli Gallery, Rebound Bookstore, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, Terra Firma Gallery and Youth in Arts all showcase local and regional artists.

Historical Sites and Museums

San Rafael’s Historical Sites and Museums are wonderful resources to learn about the history of Marin County and San Rafael’s development as a dynamic city. The modern Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center, Falkirk Cultural Center, Marin History Museum, and the recreated Mission San Rafael Arcangel are all icons of San Rafael that tell the city’s story from different perspectives. 

Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market

Everyone, or close to everyone, goes to the Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market. The Market has five different sets of entertainment every Thursday and brings in more than 200 vendors selling everything from ripe local beefsteak tomatoes to hand-crafted jewelry. The Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market is located on Fourth Street and runs from Sunday, April 01, 2012 to Sunday, September 30, 2012. 

San Rafael Twilight Criterium

Once every year more than 12,000 spectators and 700 cyclists (according to the official Criterium site) converge on the streets of Downtown San Rafael. What do they do? They dash in one adrenaline-powered rush to the finish line down the streets of San Rafael.  Saturday, July 07, 2012.

San Rafael Downtown Mile

The San Rafael Downtown Mile is a foot race on one mile along the beautiful streets of downtown San Rafael. Races are for all ages. This year’s event was on Sunday, July 15, 2012, in Downtown San Rafael. 

Art Break Day

Art Break Day is on the first Friday in September. Participants from Bay Area cities gather to provide an art event. From 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. visitors can sit down at an art table create their own artwork and be an artist for an hour or a day. Friday, September 07, 2012.

A Taste of Downtown San Rafael

San Rafael’s restaurants pull out all the stops for this celebration of food and wine. Wednesday, September 19, 2012, in Downtown San Rafael, 4-8 p.m.  For more information, visit their website.

Check early for a full schedule of the events in the Downtown area. 

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