San Rafael

Home to a dynamic and walkable downtown.

Welcome to San Rafael

Diverse and multicultural town that functions as the artistic heartbeat of Marin County; the oldest and largest city in the area
San Rafael has a fascinating history as one of the original Spanish mission settlements founded in 1817. The town preserves its history, with many Mission-influenced buildings still present throughout the community. It's a charming and vibrant place to live with a diverse, inclusive lifestyle that provides the best of both worlds: a serene California setting with all the amenities one would expect from a major urban center.
San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County and the largest and oldest city in the area. Home to a dynamic and walkable downtown, many outdoor activities, a thriving arts scene, and schools among the area's best, San Rafael has become desirable to people from all walks of life. It's the heartbeat of the North Bay area with an artistic edge. There are numerous cultural attractions scattered throughout, in addition to multicultural cuisine options and diversity in housing.

What to Love

  • As Marin’s oldest city, there are many cultural and historical attractions
  • A really diverse and multicultural culinary scene
  • Diverse housing options and prices

People & Lifestyle

Ranked as one of CNN's 100 Best Place to Live, San Rafael is a gorgeous area with many marinas, yacht clubs, and homes lining the waterfront. The real estate reflects the city's long-standing tradition of architectural excellence with designer homes throughout the residential neighborhoods.

Many of the houses in the Dominican section reflect traditional styles, while homes in the Peacock Gap Golf Club area are more modern and often have views of the San Pablo Bay. San Rafael is surprisingly affordable compared to other parts of Marin. Families new and mature appreciate the arts and culture, schools, parks, and proximity to larger metropolitan cities.

Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment

If you are craving Italian food, San Rafael's Il Davide is a long-standing establishment specializing in making the finest Tuscan meals. Opened in 1995, Il Davide has remained one of Marin County's best Italian restaurants for almost three decades. Family-owned and operated since 1985, La Toscana Ristorante & Bar is another Italian staple featuring plenty of classics like gnocchi and a great wine selection.

For French cuisine, you can't go wrong with Le Chalet Basque, a family-style establishment inspired by the Basque regions of Spain and France. This rustic spot is perfect for a warm evening of patio dining with a mouthwatering bowl of French onion soup or a rack of lamb. Similar flavors will entice you to Revel & Roost, a chef-driven and locally-sourced menu that keeps people coming back to this corner spot downtown that serves Spanish and French flavors mixed with Mediterranean classics.

Sol Food is the go-to hotspot for Puerto Rican dishes like fried plantain dishes with a dash of the restaurant's signature hot sauce. The hip modern gastropub State Room makes a great backdrop to a night out with friends over half-pints and small plates. Vin Antico is an elegant eatery known for rustic California fare, specifically farm-to-table bites like seasonally-inspired pasta and meats.

The restaurant at Panama Hotel, the top hotel in San Rafael, is one of the area's most refined and delicious. The unique setting inside the walls of a historic hotel makes this award-winning favorite ideal for special occasions.

Things to Do

San Rafael has many parks. McInnis County Park stretches across 450 acres and features nature trails, tennis courts, an award-winning skatepark, and a canoe launch.

Often considered a hidden gem, Peacock Gap Park attracts families to its playground, hiking trails, and tennis courts. China Camp State Park is one of the area's most scenic. Nestled along the San Pablo Bay, visitors enjoy visiting the site to walk along the trails that go past breathtaking views and lush open spaces.

Managed as part of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge encompasses two small islands in San Rafael Bay. Refuge objectives are to protect the area's migratory species like the heron and egret nesting colony and preserve the unique island ecosystem.

Community members enjoy a variety of events held throughout the year in San Rafael, such as May Madness Classic Car Parade and Street Dance, Annual Home Show and Jazz Festival, Marin County Fair, Marin Shakespeare Festival, San Rafael Food and Wine Festival, and Victorian Holiday Celebration.


San Rafael is primarily served by the San Rafael City Schools and Miller Creek Elementary School District.

Search All Homes

Work With Matt and Justin

Matt and Justin are equipped to provide clients with experienced representation and personalized professional service. Whether you’re buying, selling, or learning about the current real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact them. Your home journey will thank you!

Follow Us