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July 23, 2024 1:50am
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Shopping in San Rafael, California

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San Rafael, California has a wealth of shopping opportunities, and it is possible you can get all your shopping done here. The city of San Rafael makes a concerted effort to promote shopping locally through programs with the Chamber of Commerce and merchants.

San Rafael’s Downtown

The Downtown area is the center of city life and showcases its diverse and eclectic character. Fourth Street is packed with shops, businesses, art galleries, historical sites and restaurants. It’s a favorite gathering place for residents and visitors who come to shop or dine. Clothing, shoes and accessory boutiques and stores are the most popular among shoppers. In San Rafael, the arts influence can be seen in the great number of jewelry shops in downtown alone. The offerings range from craftsman, hand-worked pieces to expensive gemstones in a one-of-a-kind setting. Collectible and gift shops, necessities such as phones, household items, beauty boutiques and pet supply stores can also be found in the downtown area.

To find the full list of all the stores, check out our Downtown Business Directory.


Northgate is a shopping center that has something for everyone.  Stores and many restaurants are spread over a large indoor complex which brings the outdoors in with its innovative building design. You’ll find national department stores and local shops with their own unique flavor and offerings.

You can plan your trip to Northgate before you leave. The site has an interactive map, a directory and information about parking and events. There is always a sale, so check out current and future sales to maximize your budget. 

Northgate also has a children’s play area in partnership with National Geographic. The National Geographic Kids Play Area is open during mall hours to children of all ages.

Montecito Plaza Shopping Center

If you need to grab a few items, Montecito Plaza Shopping Center is a small shopping area at Third and Grand Street. There are restaurants, personal and professional services. A Trader Joes, Rite Aid, bike shop, Tuesday Morning and Petco are among the shops. See the full listing of businesses at Montecito Plaza Shopping Center.

Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market

Everyone, or close to everyone, goes to the Downtown San Rafael Farmers Market regularly. The Market has five different sets of entertainment every Thursday and brings in more than 200 vendors selling everything from ripe local heirloom 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. 


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