San Rafael is a jewel of a city just north of San Francisco where you’re likely to spend weekends choosing between a plethora of multicultural meals out with friends or stand-up paddle boarding on the bay. With an easy commute to the city, this neighborhood has maintained its own unique and thriving identity.
Busy, Culturally Diverse, Convenient, Artistic, Eclectic
San Rafael is the ideal jumping off point to the best of Northern California: 40 minutes to San Francisco via ferry, 30 minutes to wine country and five minutes to a scenic waterfront park.
At its heart, San Rafael is the heartbeat of the area, with its vibrant downtown and artistic bent — Frank Lloyd Wright designed Civic Center, and George Lucas established Lucasfilm here in 1971 — but it has the town and community vibes locals love.
A walkable downtown with easy access to the San Francisco Bay and multicultural culinary treasures, San Rafael puts you in the heart of it all, and yet, as you explore downtown or even host a cookout, you’ll discover the unique way this neighborhood manages to maintain its relaxed attitude.
Nightlife here is slower than in San Francisco, but you’ll discover its thriving art scene here when you take in an indie flick at downtown’s famed film center or find yourself swept up in the college-town atmosphere at a local cafe on a sunny weekend morning.
Homes in San Rafael are relatively affordable, compared to the rest of Marin County, with median values topping out at about $1.3m, and with that comes an eclectic array of gorgeous and practical homes with a wide variety in price and style so there’s something for almost anyone.
Life and activity are part of what make San Rafael the bustling cultural epicenter that it is, but it’s the relaxed attitude and gorgeous weather that make it seem like home, and miles away from the busy urban hubs to the south.