Welcome To

San Rafael

Eastern San Rafael has a variety of luxury communities along the bay ending in China Camp State Park and Beach.

Welcome to San Rafael

The real estate in San Rafael spans a wide variety of properties. Eastern San Rafael has a variety of luxury communities along the bay ending in China Camp State Park and Beach.  The homes around the main town of San Rafael have older, stately Victorians, delightful cottages, and contemporary subdivisions.  Terra Linda and Marinwood offer more mid-range family homes.

San Rafael is at the center of things. 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. At the city’s heart is its charming, vibrant downtown shopping district. Downtown’s mixture of Victorian buildings, ethnic restaurants, retail stores, and financial institutions creates San Rafael’s hometown flavor.

In the center of town is the new San Rafael City Plaza, with its innovative water wall fountain. The plaza has become a community gathering place and the center of seasonal events such as the Thursday night farmers markets and summertime concerts.

Nearby is an authentic recreation of Mission San Rafael Archangel; founded in 1817 as part of California’s mission chain, a replica of the original mission with a museum, gift shop, and self-guided tours, attracts many visitors. It is also the backdrop for the annual “Youth in Arts,” Italian Street Painting Festival.

San Rafael’s history is present in many of its beautifully restored turn-of-the-century buildings, including the Marin History Museum, the Falkirk Cultural Center, and the 106-year-old Dominican University. Many of these buildings are featured in a self-guided walking tour guide, available at the local Chamber of Commerce.

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 architect Frank Lloyd Wright, it is available on weekdays for self-guided or docent-led tours. 

Parklands and open space account for nearly 30 percent of the city’s land. Since it borders San Pablo Bay, San Rafael has an abundance of marinas and many water-oriented recreational activities are available. Nature lovers will appreciate the quiet beauty of China Camp State Park, a 1,600-acre park with hiking and biking trails and overnight campsites. The park’s visitor center presents the site’s interesting history as a Chinese immigrant shrimping village.

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