Welcome to San Rafael

Bob

Welcome to San Rafael

San Rafael
San Rafael is Marin's county seat and its cultural hub. It's a surprisingly diverse community by Bay Area standards, with the feeling of a lively small city. It's just 13 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge, and much closer to Napa Valley, Point Reyes, and Muir Woods than is San Francisco. You'll find many excellent restaurants and brew pubs, coffee shops, three farmer's markets (in season), a locally renowned art house film theater, and frequent nationally known entertainers at the Marin Civic Center.
San Rafael is nearly equidistant from San Francisco, West Marin and Point Reyes, and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Easy access to Berkeley and a shortcut to I-80 and Tahoe.
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San Rafael
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San Rafael is nearly equidistant from San Francisco, West Marin and Point Reyes, and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Easy access to Berkeley and a shortcut to I-80 and Tahoe.
Downtown San Rafael's Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is home to the California Film Institute and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
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Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 4th Street
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Downtown San Rafael's Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is home to the California Film Institute and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Attending a class or seminar at Dominican University of California? You can walk there from downtown San Rafael. After your class, head up one of the nearby hiking trails for views of San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, and downtown San Rafael.
Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue
Attending a class or seminar at Dominican University of California? You can walk there from downtown San Rafael. After your class, head up one of the nearby hiking trails for views of San Francisco Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, and downtown San Rafael.
Sightseeing
Marin offers fantastic mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, beaches, and a great local food scene.
From San Rafael, it's just 30 minutes tp the wild coastal beaches and headlands, estuaries, and uplands of Point Reyes National Seashore.
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Point Reyes National Seashore
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From San Rafael, it's just 30 minutes tp the wild coastal beaches and headlands, estuaries, and uplands of Point Reyes National Seashore.
From nearby Larkspur, catch a ferry to San Francisco. Skim past Tiburon and Angel Island to the City By the Bay. Or take a dedicated ferry straight to Oracle Park for a Giants game.
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San Francisco
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From nearby Larkspur, catch a ferry to San Francisco. Skim past Tiburon and Angel Island to the City By the Bay. Or take a dedicated ferry straight to Oracle Park for a Giants game.
Just a few minutes' ferry ride from Tiburon, in the middle of San Francisco Bay, is Angel Island. It's great place for hiking and picnicking with the kids, while you admire the best possible views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Angel Island
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Just a few minutes' ferry ride from Tiburon, in the middle of San Francisco Bay, is Angel Island. It's great place for hiking and picnicking with the kids, while you admire the best possible views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Just a few blocks from downtown San Rafael, you can access hiking and single-track mountain biking trails that lead all the way to China Camp State Park and San Francisco Bay.
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China Camp State Park
100 China Camp Village Rd
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Just a few blocks from downtown San Rafael, you can access hiking and single-track mountain biking trails that lead all the way to China Camp State Park and San Francisco Bay.
Mission San Rafael Arcangel in downtown San Rafael was founded in 1817 as the 20th mission in the 21-mission chain in Alta California.
Mission San Rafael Archangel
1104 Fifth Ave
Mission San Rafael Arcangel in downtown San Rafael was founded in 1817 as the 20th mission in the 21-mission chain in Alta California.
San Rafael is home to the landmark Marin County Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Thursday and Sunday mornings, the Civic Center hosts one of California's largest farmers' markets, with local produce, fish, dairy, honey, and more. It's also a center for major traveling theatre, dance, and music programs.
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County of Marin
3501 Civic Center Drive
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San Rafael is home to the landmark Marin County Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Thursday and Sunday mornings, the Civic Center hosts one of California's largest farmers' markets, with local produce, fish, dairy, honey, and more. It's also a center for major traveling theatre, dance, and music programs.
Mt. Tam. The Sleeping Lady (see the photo). Marin's highest peak and a Bay Area favorite for mountain biking, hiking, and fishing. In summer, you can catch the Mountain Play in a 4,000-seat open-air amphitheater constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
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Mount Tamalpais
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Mt. Tam. The Sleeping Lady (see the photo). Marin's highest peak and a Bay Area favorite for mountain biking, hiking, and fishing. In summer, you can catch the Mountain Play in a 4,000-seat open-air amphitheater constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Food and shopping scene
There may be no better place for fine food and wine than the Bay Area.
From San Rafael, it's just an hour to Napa Valley and its countless wineries, fine restaurants, and exceptional arts events year-round.
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Napa Valley
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From San Rafael, it's just an hour to Napa Valley and its countless wineries, fine restaurants, and exceptional arts events year-round.
Explore the quaint side streets of the Barbary Coast (including the crookedest street in the world) and North Beach's many Italian restaurants and unusual clubs, bars, shops, and galleries. Catch a ferry to Alcatraz or walk up to Coit Tower for spectacular views of the city day or night.
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North Beach
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Explore the quaint side streets of the Barbary Coast (including the crookedest street in the world) and North Beach's many Italian restaurants and unusual clubs, bars, shops, and galleries. Catch a ferry to Alcatraz or walk up to Coit Tower for spectacular views of the city day or night.
Want great local food and fun shopping? Just up the road from San Rafael is picturesque little Petaluma, a great spot for wine, seafood, cheese, and beer tasting and first-class restaurants. Plenty of antiques shops and an outlet mall. Bonus: You might recognize many of the outdoor scenes in the 70s classic film, American Graffiti.
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Petaluma
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Want great local food and fun shopping? Just up the road from San Rafael is picturesque little Petaluma, a great spot for wine, seafood, cheese, and beer tasting and first-class restaurants. Plenty of antiques shops and an outlet mall. Bonus: You might recognize many of the outdoor scenes in the 70s classic film, American Graffiti.
Ever since Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971, Berkeley has been home to several generations of the Bay Area's local food movement. Since then, chefs and baristas have guided locals through the complexities of good coffee, cheese, wine, and other delectables.
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Berkeley
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Ever since Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971, Berkeley has been home to several generations of the Bay Area's local food movement. Since then, chefs and baristas have guided locals through the complexities of good coffee, cheese, wine, and other delectables.
After a day of kayaking or hiking in West Marin, there's no better place for delicious local food than Point Reyes Station or Olema, just minutes from each other. You'll find half a dozen great farm-to-table restaurants, oyster stands, and fresh-food markets, including Cowgirl Creamery and Marin Sun Farms.
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Point Reyes Station
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After a day of kayaking or hiking in West Marin, there's no better place for delicious local food than Point Reyes Station or Olema, just minutes from each other. You'll find half a dozen great farm-to-table restaurants, oyster stands, and fresh-food markets, including Cowgirl Creamery and Marin Sun Farms.

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Drive if you can. If you can't, don't worry

Downtown San Rafael is a regional hub for Bay Area transportation: Highway 101, buses, the Sonoma-Marin SMART train, and the nearby Larkspur Ferry to San Francisco and direct on game days to the Giants' Oracle Park and the Warriors' Chase Center.
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Thursday and Sunday Farmer's Market

Every week, there are three farmer's markets in San Rafael, with great locally produced food and local music.
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Enjoy the food scene, or cook local produce at home

There are a number of great restaurants in San Rafael, from Thai to French to sushi and pizza. But when you just want to kick back at home, grab a bottle of Napa Valley wine, shop the farmers' markets for fresh local food, and cook in your own Airbnb kitchen.