Guidebook for San Rafael

Autumn
Guidebook for San Rafael

Arts & Culture

It is one of the missions of California.
Church of Saint Raphael / Mission San Rafael Arcangel
1104 5th Avenue
It is one of the missions of California.
San Francisco's world class Gilbert and Sullivan Company. Don't head to this location which is their rehearsal space, instead look up Lamplighters Music Theater and see what they are offering while you are in town. Or just ask me.
Lamplighters Music Theatre
469 Bryant St
San Francisco's world class Gilbert and Sullivan Company. Don't head to this location which is their rehearsal space, instead look up Lamplighters Music Theater and see what they are offering while you are in town. Or just ask me.

Drinks & Nightlife

Great local acts at reasonable prices and Southern food, yum!
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Fenix Restaurant and Bar
919 4th Street
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Great local acts at reasonable prices and Southern food, yum!
It is only one of several clubs in Fairfax and best location for a younger crowd to party.
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Peri's Saloon
29 Broadway
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It is only one of several clubs in Fairfax and best location for a younger crowd to party.
Great Bands, cool interior. One of several clubs in Downtown San Rafael.
George's Nightclub
842 4th Street
Great Bands, cool interior. One of several clubs in Downtown San Rafael.
Great food, great bands.
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HopMonk Tavern Novato
224 Vintage Way
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Great food, great bands.
You'll think you are in Ireland, at least if you go at dinner time, where you can get a pub meal for about $20. Great burgers and Fish and Chips as well. Trivia, etc. One of the hangouts for the younger crowd, but all will feel welcome.
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Finnegan's Marin Restaurant & Bar
877 Grant Avenue
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You'll think you are in Ireland, at least if you go at dinner time, where you can get a pub meal for about $20. Great burgers and Fish and Chips as well. Trivia, etc. One of the hangouts for the younger crowd, but all will feel welcome.

Food Scene

It is delicious and trendy. A bargain if you order a meal, it is big enough to share or bring home the leftovers.
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Sol Food
901 Lincoln Avenue
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It is delicious and trendy. A bargain if you order a meal, it is big enough to share or bring home the leftovers.
One of the best places for Chinese Food in Marin County. But if you really want Chinese, the best bets are in San Francisco proper
Yet Wah Restaurant
1238 4th St
One of the best places for Chinese Food in Marin County. But if you really want Chinese, the best bets are in San Francisco proper
A less formal, but quite tasty Chinese Restaurant
Uncle Wing's Restaurant
905 B St
A less formal, but quite tasty Chinese Restaurant
Best Burritos north of the Golden Gate Bridge
Puentez Taqueria
243 3rd St
Best Burritos north of the Golden Gate Bridge
Delicious Thai food
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Royal Thai Restaurant
610 3rd Street
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Delicious Thai food
Best bargain Thai. Bring cash.
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Bay Thai Cuisine
809 4th Street
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Best bargain Thai. Bring cash.
Best Pizza in the area. Thing crust, more New York than Chicago. Order the Killer Salad to go with.
Lo Coco's Authentic Italian Pizzeria
631 Del Ganado Road
Best Pizza in the area. Thing crust, more New York than Chicago. Order the Killer Salad to go with.
Some prefer it to LoCoco's and just about 3 miles away.
Mulberry Street Pizzeria
101 Smith Ranch Road
Some prefer it to LoCoco's and just about 3 miles away.
it is my favorite place for good coffee or a quick bite. Their BLT Supreme is great. Live music Sunday mornings. Perfect place to visit in San Anselmo and right across from Imagination Park.
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Marin Coffee Roasters
546 San Anselmo Avenue
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it is my favorite place for good coffee or a quick bite. Their BLT Supreme is great. Live music Sunday mornings. Perfect place to visit in San Anselmo and right across from Imagination Park.
Fine dining just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Old hunting lodge, but had been a great restaurant for years.
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Buckeye Roadhouse
15 Shoreline Hwy
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Fine dining just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Old hunting lodge, but had been a great restaurant for years.
It is one of the first of the Three Twins shops.
Three Twins Ice Cream
641 Del Ganado Road
It is one of the first of the Three Twins shops.
Fine dining, full bar, excellent food. Tucked away, but very convenient to 101.
Jason's Restaurant
300 Drakes Landing Road
Fine dining, full bar, excellent food. Tucked away, but very convenient to 101.
There are many Joe's restaurants, but this is the best one in Marin. Old fashioned roadhouse with bar and full menu. Eat the meat!
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Marin Joe's
1585 Casa Buena Drive
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There are many Joe's restaurants, but this is the best one in Marin. Old fashioned roadhouse with bar and full menu. Eat the meat!
It has great breakfast, brunch and lunch. Outdoor dining as well as indoor. Quintessential Marin.
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Half Day Cafe
848 College Avenue
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It has great breakfast, brunch and lunch. Outdoor dining as well as indoor. Quintessential Marin.
The best Falafel ever. There are many falafel options within the block, but why go elsewhere. Made to order and they don't even fry the falafel ahead of time. Cannot strictly be considered fast food.
Falafel Hut
1115 4th St
The best Falafel ever. There are many falafel options within the block, but why go elsewhere. Made to order and they don't even fry the falafel ahead of time. Cannot strictly be considered fast food.
Great Italian Food.
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Il Davide
901 A Street
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Great Italian Food.
Great Italian food at reasonable prices. I sometimes eat at the bar when I am alone. This one is an off-the-radar, local favorite.
Café Arrivederci
11 G Street
Great Italian food at reasonable prices. I sometimes eat at the bar when I am alone. This one is an off-the-radar, local favorite.
Wonderful traditional American Diner. Order the Hangtown Fry if you are there at the right time. This is an iconic omelette with Gold Rush roots and fried oysters inside! Yum!
Pine Cone Diner
60 4th Street
Wonderful traditional American Diner. Order the Hangtown Fry if you are there at the right time. This is an iconic omelette with Gold Rush roots and fried oysters inside! Yum!
Everybody loves a funky bar and restaurant. Tucked away in an unlikely, but nearby place, this is a local sailor's hang out with great burgers and seafood menu. Overlooks San Rafael Marina.
Pier 15
15 Harbor Street
Everybody loves a funky bar and restaurant. Tucked away in an unlikely, but nearby place, this is a local sailor's hang out with great burgers and seafood menu. Overlooks San Rafael Marina.
Cowboy bar and music venue. Out in the country, but only about 15 minutes from Lucas Valley. Great live bands and dancing. In the summer, outdoor concerts and BarBQue Oysters. Horse country.
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Rancho Nicasio, Bar, Restaurant, Live Music and Wedding Event Venue
1 Old Rancheria Road
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Cowboy bar and music venue. Out in the country, but only about 15 minutes from Lucas Valley. Great live bands and dancing. In the summer, outdoor concerts and BarBQue Oysters. Horse country.
The name says it all. Order the Bordenave's which comes on a huge sourdough roll. Add in fries and a shake and you have dinner for two. Tiny diner, not fancy. Along the "Miracle Mile" on the way from San Rafael to San Anselmo.
Phyllis' Giant Burgers
2202 4th Street
The name says it all. Order the Bordenave's which comes on a huge sourdough roll. Add in fries and a shake and you have dinner for two. Tiny diner, not fancy. Along the "Miracle Mile" on the way from San Rafael to San Anselmo.

Parks & Nature

Completely unique. This is where the San Andreas fault can best be seen. If you have kids you must not miss the earthquake trail where you can still see the offset caused by the 1906 earthquake. Best beach for sunning and swimming (well, rarely) is Limantour or Drake's Beach. Whale watch from the lighthouse or other points in that part of the park. Nearby Heart's Desire beach is good for kids and kayakin on Tomales Bay. Wildlife galore includes Tule Elk, Elephant Seals and myriad other species. You could go there every day for a week and not exhaust the possibilities.
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Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd
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Completely unique. This is where the San Andreas fault can best be seen. If you have kids you must not miss the earthquake trail where you can still see the offset caused by the 1906 earthquake. Best beach for sunning and swimming (well, rarely) is Limantour or Drake's Beach. Whale watch from the lighthouse or other points in that part of the park. Nearby Heart's Desire beach is good for kids and kayakin on Tomales Bay. Wildlife galore includes Tule Elk, Elephant Seals and myriad other species. You could go there every day for a week and not exhaust the possibilities.
So close to my place and a stunner of a walk with views all around. From the ridge you can see Sleepy Hollow, the bay, etc.
Terra Linda-Sleepy Hollow Divide Northern Preserve
So close to my place and a stunner of a walk with views all around. From the ridge you can see Sleepy Hollow, the bay, etc.
Access to the Bay Area Ridge Trail for Views, views and views. Close proximity to the by-invitation-only Skywalker Ranch. If I have to explain what that is, you must be from another country, if not another galaxy.
Big Rock Ridge
Access to the Bay Area Ridge Trail for Views, views and views. Close proximity to the by-invitation-only Skywalker Ranch. If I have to explain what that is, you must be from another country, if not another galaxy.
You can take stunning photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road and that is all most tourists do, but this is just the most famous of the locales in this park that includes beaches, marshes and all kinds of hiking and wildlife. Site of the Marine Mammal rescue center.
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Marin Headlands
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You can take stunning photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road and that is all most tourists do, but this is just the most famous of the locales in this park that includes beaches, marshes and all kinds of hiking and wildlife. Site of the Marine Mammal rescue center.
Mount Tam is the icon of Marin Couty and for good reason. Visit the Mt. Tam Website for extensive detail. Site of the famous Mountain Play and the Dipsea Trail.
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Mount Tamalpais
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Mount Tam is the icon of Marin Couty and for good reason. Visit the Mt. Tam Website for extensive detail. Site of the famous Mountain Play and the Dipsea Trail.
Please don't tell me you are going to spend time and money at Pier 39 and other places designed for tourists and miss one of the wold's great natural wonders! This is not truly a day trip, but certainly worth an overnight. Very close to the Gold Country if you want a taste of the old west, and Giant Sequoias are in the park as well. If you are travelling east, check out Mono Lake on your way to Nevada. Best for those who have more than just 3 days in the area.
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Yosemiten kansallispuisto
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Please don't tell me you are going to spend time and money at Pier 39 and other places designed for tourists and miss one of the wold's great natural wonders! This is not truly a day trip, but certainly worth an overnight. Very close to the Gold Country if you want a taste of the old west, and Giant Sequoias are in the park as well. If you are travelling east, check out Mono Lake on your way to Nevada. Best for those who have more than just 3 days in the area.

Essentials

Nearest market is upscale with a good deli and great meat market. You can get there without going on the freeway or taking on a big market experience
Marinwood Market
155 Marinwood Avenue
Nearest market is upscale with a good deli and great meat market. You can get there without going on the freeway or taking on a big market experience
Nearest big grocery store. Go east on Lucas Valley Road and right on Las Gallinas. 8 minutes away by car. It is in a strip mall called Northgate One.
Safeway
950 Las Gallinas Avenue
Nearest big grocery store. Go east on Lucas Valley Road and right on Las Gallinas. 8 minutes away by car. It is in a strip mall called Northgate One.
The newer and larger of the two nearby Safeway stores. Take 101 North to Nave Dr./Hamilton and then the frontage road northbound. Safeway is just past the Courtyard Marriott and so are lots of other stores and restaurants.
Safeway
5720 Nave Drive
The newer and larger of the two nearby Safeway stores. Take 101 North to Nave Dr./Hamilton and then the frontage road northbound. Safeway is just past the Courtyard Marriott and so are lots of other stores and restaurants.

Sightseeing

This park is on the site of George Lucas' original offices. A pocket park on the main street of charming San Anselmo. See Yoda and Indiana Jones in life size bronze statues. At night the park is lit with twinkling pea lights. Charming place to eat an ice cream.
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Imagination Park
541 San Anselmo Ave
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This park is on the site of George Lucas' original offices. A pocket park on the main street of charming San Anselmo. See Yoda and Indiana Jones in life size bronze statues. At night the park is lit with twinkling pea lights. Charming place to eat an ice cream.
My favorite town to hang out in and where I go to church. This is where Imagination Park is, and the San Francisco Theological Seminary which looks like a castle on the hill. San Anselmo Avenue has lots of shops and places to eat.
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San Anselmo
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My favorite town to hang out in and where I go to church. This is where Imagination Park is, and the San Francisco Theological Seminary which looks like a castle on the hill. San Anselmo Avenue has lots of shops and places to eat.
Yet another darling Marin hamlet with shops and restaurants.
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Larkspur
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Yet another darling Marin hamlet with shops and restaurants.

Entertainment & Activities

Multiple theaters for live entertainment, not to mention the Civic Center Administration and Courts Building, the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright complex.
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County of Marin
3501 Civic Center Drive
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Multiple theaters for live entertainment, not to mention the Civic Center Administration and Courts Building, the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright complex.
You haven't truly lived until you have had a mud bath and the works at one of Calistoga's several spa. Plan ahead to ensure you can book treatments. Heart of the wine country with main drag full of shops and restaurants.
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Calistoga
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You haven't truly lived until you have had a mud bath and the works at one of Calistoga's several spa. Plan ahead to ensure you can book treatments. Heart of the wine country with main drag full of shops and restaurants.