San Rafael

There’s never a dull moment in this city where just about everything — the economy, arts and culture, schools, the environment — is thriving.

Historic San Rafael is Marin’s county seat and is strategically located at just around half an hour’s drive north from San Francisco. It is the cultural and economic hub of Marin County.

Let’s count the ways San Rafael amazes.

  • Booming businesses
    Businesses in the technology, financial and professional services, light industrial, entertainment, and retail industries abound. The main business areas of Downtown, East San Rafael, West Francisco Blvd. and North San Rafael are growing.

    Industry giants like Autodesk, BioMarin, Kaiser Permanente, Comcast, Safeway, Macy’s, Wells Fargo Bank and Lucas film call San Rafael home.

  • Top-rated public and private schools

    San Rafael City Schools, which is the San Rafael Elementary and the San Rafael High school districts, serves most of the city through 8 elementary, one K-8, one middle, and 3 high schools. SRCS is a top-rated district and is known for providing a high quality of education.

    Residents in the city’s northern section are served primarily by the four schools in the Dixie School District. Among these is Dixie Elementary School, which has been recognized as a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School.

    There are quite a few private schools in the city as well and these include Marin Academy, The Mann School, Mark Day School, Marin Waldorf School, Brandeis Hi116 Day School, St. Isabella School, St. Raphael School, and more.

    As for higher education needs, these are served by the Dominican University of California, which is known for its superior liberal arts program.

  • A green lifestyle

    The city has a climate change action strategy that aims to make buildings and neighborhoods more environment-friendly. Energy and water conservation measures are in place. So, too, are urban forestry, habitat protection and zero waste programs. Other green efforts involve recycling, a bag reduction outreach, use of bike lanes, commercial composting, greenhouse gas reduction, and others.

  • Outdoor fun

    Over a quarter of San Rafael’s land area is open space, with the city administering over a dozen parks. Also in San Rafael is the 1,600-acre China Camp State Park, which has hiking and biking trails and overnight campsites.

    The nautical-minded will love San Rafael as well — it’s right on San Pablo Bay and has a wealth of marinas.

  • Plenty of community events

    San Rafael might be a mid-sized city, but it still has the warmth of the small town it used to be. This is borne out by the fact that the San Rafael City Plaza is still residents’ favorite gathering spot. Concerts and farmers markets are held here.

Real Estate

Like other communities in Marin County, San Rafael has some of the most expensive real estate in California and the country. The average listing price here typically ranges from the high sixes to seven figures.

Because it is the county’s largest city, you’ll find the real estate market in San Rafael to be a little more varied, though it is still dominated by single-family homes. Properties range from historic homes and waterfront residences to large estates and cozy condos.

Homes boast a diversity of architectural styles that reflect the city’s history. You’ll find everything from Spanish Revivals to Craftsman cottages to ranchers, new Mediterranean homes, and a variety of Victorians.

Among the neighborhoods in San Rafael are:

  • Lucas Valley
  • Mont Marin
  • Terra Linda
  • Santa Margarita
  • Forbes
  • Greenfield
  • Sun Valley
  • Montecito
  • Gerstle Park
  • Dominican
  • Peacock Gap
  • Bret Harte
  • Downtown
  • Los Ranchitos
  • Santa Venetia
  • Canal

Interested in real estate in San Rafael? Call Abby at 415-497-9542 or email her at atanem@cbnorcal now.