Welcome to San Rafael
A culturally diverse and family-friendly city in Marin County
San Rafael is a city situated among the lush rolling hills of the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay area. It is the seat of Marin County and is known to be the largest, oldest, and most culturally diverse city in the Marin area. The Marin Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is one of the city’s most iconic structures. The city is renowned for its excellent schools, family-friendly neighborhoods, and robust economic backbone. You will find single-family homes in various architectural styles in charming upscale neighborhoods.
The neighborhoods in San Rafael feature tree-lined streets, unique home architecture, and access to open green spaces for outdoor recreation like hiking and biking. Bustling Downtown San Rafael is a diverse hub of commerce that offers a wide variety of hip shopping and dining options. A hip and bustling downtown and plenty of open green spaces for outdoor recreation make San Rafael an ideal place to reside for families seeking an active urban lifestyle.
What to Love
San Rafael has everything you want and need from a vibrant and bustling city while offering family-friendly neighborhoods. It has earned a reputation for being a hip and culturally diverse city that caters to many lifestyles. Friends and family can explore hip restaurants and cafes, attend fun community events, and spend time in nature at one of its many parks.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Downtown San Rafael features a wide variety of dining, entertainment, and shopping options. Sol Food is just one of the unique and popular culinary gems you will find downtown. It serves innovative and traditional Puerto Rican dishes like Papi Chulo papas fritas, Puerto Rican fried potatoes, sopas, and sweet fried yellow plantains. However, avoid peak hours if you want to skip long lines. Il Davide Italian restaurant is also downtown and offers an exciting twist on traditional Tuscano Italian fare with warm and inviting service. Elegant indoor and outdoor dining and a collection of rare fine wines make it a popular spot for soup and salad luncheons among locals. Those looking for delicious yet unpretentious French cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere will find it at Le Comptoir, a bistro, rotisserie, and epicerie just around the corner. It features hors-d'oeuvres like beef tartar and entrees like wild board stew. Sabor A Mexico is just outside downtown and is a popular choice for locals craving first-rate Mexican food. It serves an extensive menu of classic Mexican dishes like fajitas burritos and mariscos like Mexican shrimp cocktails.
Things to Do
San Rafael offers residents various events and recreational activities that are fun for the whole family. Every year in October, San Rafael and neighboring Marin County communities host their version of Oktoberfest. Local small businesses and community members gather to enjoy live music, games, food, and of course, beer tasting. The Fourth of July Fair is another annual, fun, family-friendly event in San Rafael. Every 4th of July, the Marin County Fair celebrates with a state-of-the-art fireworks show, games, competitive exhibits, carnival rides, and concerts.
San Rafael is also an excellent place to experience art and culture. Architecture buffs will love the monumental Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin Civic Center. It was the iconic architect’s last major commissioned project. It hosts weekly tours on Wednesdays and Fridays, where visitors can learn more about this significant piece of architecture. The neighboring city of San Anselmo hosts the San Anselmo Film Festival, which attracts cinephiles from all over Marin County.
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