Explore San Rafael

san rafael
Thursday Night Farmer's Market, by Marin CVB

San Rafael was founded by the Spanish in 1817, the downtown area is lined with historic buildings, boutique shops, and restaurants, offering visitors a unique and eclectic shopping and dining experience. San Rafael is located at the base of Mount Tamalpais, a popular destination for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. The nearby China Camp State Park offers visitors a chance to explore the California coast, with miles of scenic trails and beaches to enjoy. Overall, San Rafael is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in culture, nature, or simply relaxing and enjoying the local vibe, you’ll find it in San Rafael.

San Rafael Arts Honor

SMU Data Arts — which assesses communities’ vibrancy through a data-driven approach — has officially ranked San Rafael as the #4 most vibrant medium-sized arts community. The assessment consists of rubrics covering aspects of supply, demand and public support for arts and culture. The eighth annual survey ranks more than 900 communities across the country, and the results are not based on simple counting that might benefit areas with higher populations or the most arts and cultural institutions. Other great news? San Francisco reclaimed the top spot on the list of large communities for the first time since 2018, overtaking New York City.

Our Partners

Cafe Arrivederci
City Carpets
Cafe Arrivederci
Cafe Arrivederci
City Carpets
City Carpets
San Rafael High School
San Rafael High School
Gardens & Gables
Gardens & Gables
Ritter Center
Ritter Center
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Eat | Stay | Do


Marin Foster Kids: 3 Kids Thriving in Their Forever Homes

The inspiring story of three children in need who found loving homes.

A San Rafael Food Truck With a Mission to Help the Homeless

For Sandra McMillion, cooking good Southern food is her gift, and sharing it with the homeless community is the way to her heart.

San Rafael Nonprofit The Canal Arts Creates a New Mural for Bon Air Greenbrae

The artwork depicts the shopping center’s history dating back to 1952.

Take a Walk Through History Along San Rafael’s Fourth Street: 6 Historic Buildings to Visit

A short walk rewards passersby with some of the city’s most prominent buildings.

Lucasfilm’s Doug Chiang Talks Designing Star Wars Live-Action, Galactic Starcruiser and Galaxy’s Edge, and Life in Marin

Bringing a galaxy far, far away to life from right here at home.

San Rafael’s Place for Cake Creativity

The popular San Rafael store Cake Art Supplies gears up for its biggest season.


Gerstle Park: San Rafael’s Oldest Historic District

The neighborhood has a rich and colorful history and retains dozens of well-maintained 19th-century homes.

The History of San Rafael’s Boyd Gate House

This 145-year-old landmark is now home to the Marin History Museum.

How a Group of Marin Teenagers Created 420

Four San Rafael High students unwittingly coined pot’s most popular code name.

A Bottle-Themed Look at the Past at the Marin History Museum

Experience the county’s past through its bottling industries.

San Rafael's Country Club: Golf, Boats and Homes

The city’s erstwhile Marin Golf and Country Club is survived today by a yacht club and a neighborhood.

The History Behind Litchfield's

The sign towers over the other buildings on East Francisco Boulevard, an enduring presence flanking a busy portion of the 101 highway.


A San Rafael Eichler Gets Updated for a Couple Seeking Tranquility

A home remodeled with an Asian-inspired aesthetic radiates warmth, light and serenity.

See How a Crisp, Modern Addition Revitalizes an Italianate Victorian Home in San Rafael

Fischer Architecture remodeled and renovated this historic, two-story home.

Creating a Colorful Home In San Rafael’s Lincoln Hill Neighborhood

Marin native finds her happy place in an unexpected place.

Indoor-Outdoor Living in San Rafael

Garden schemes that will help you get the most out of your backyard.

San Rafael’s Offerings for Aspiring Homeowners

Homeowners for just 18 months, this couple decided to relocate to find a place that would better suit their lifestyle.

Life in the Village

Ever wondered about the homes near San Quentin? Laura Hilgers sits down with Barbara and Matthew Anderson who live in a waterfront cottage in Point San Quentin Village.