San Rafael is at the center of all things Marin. The oldest, largest and most culturally diverse city in Marin also enjoys the best weather. San Rafael is a lively business and cultural center located in an area of incomparable natural beauty. The Marin County Civic Center, home to the county’s government offices and an architectural treasure, is a national and state designated historical landmark designed by the renowned mid-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
At the city’s heart is its charming, vibrant downtown shopping district. In the center of town is the new San Rafael City Plaza, which has become a community gathering place and the center of seasonal events such as the Thursday night farmers markets and summertime concerts. San Rafael also boasts a convenient array of grocery stores and other convenient shopping destinations. Speeding through a grocery list couldn’t be easier here.
Parklands and open space account for nearly 30 percent of the city’s land. Since it borders the San Pablo Bay, San Rafael has an abundance of marinas, allowing its residents to enjoy a wide assortment of water-oriented recreational activities. Nature lovers will also appreciate the quiet beauty of China Camp State Park, a 1,600-acre park with hiking and biking trails, and overnight campsites.