The county seat of Marin County, San Rafael grew up around one of the northern-most of the Spanish missions, Mission San Rafael Arcangel, which still serves as a site for worship. Boasting some of the best weather in Marin, San Rafael is also one of the most diverse cities, with populations of Latinos and Southeast Asians. San Rafael’s neighborhoods run the gamut from multi-unit rental apartment buildings to large and elegant estates, with pretty much everything in between. The city boasts a thriving downtown, two marinas, two golf clubs, museums, galleries, and a bocce court. It is home to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last public buildings, the Marin County Civic Center. San Rafael is also the home of Dominican University, a private four-year institution founded in the late 19th century by the Dominican Sisters.
In the past 50 years San Rafael has spread north over Puerto Suello Hill to encompass the neighborhoods of Terra Linda and Lucas Valley. Both neighborhoods are primarily made up of mid-century family homes and are generously laid out in the style of the era. Beautiful upper Lucas Valley features some of the finest Eichler homes in the Bay Area, some untouched and many restored to their original beauty and functionality.
San Rafael has its own elementary school district and its own high school.