THE COMMUNITY— Incorporated in 1874, the Mission City of San Rafael is located 17 miles north of San Francisco on the northwest shore of San Francisco Bay. Marin County is known for its scenic vistas, and has developed valleys surrounded by pristine hillsides. Over one third of San Rafael is open space, parks and public lands. The area enjoys an abundance of marinas and water oriented activities on the bay and at the nearby ocean beaches. The recreational and cultural amenities of the cosmopolitan San Francisco Bay Area are within easy access to San Rafael’s residents.
Downtown San Rafael is economically healthy, active and provides a mix of restaurants, retail stores and financial institutions. Dispersed throughout the city are beautifully restored Victorian and turn of the century buildings. The 54,000 residents of San Rafael enjoy an exceptional compilation of schools, parks, recreational and cultural facilities. It is the largest city in Marin County, and serves as the home of the Marin County Civic Center, a unique structure designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. San Rafael enjoys a Mediterranean-like climate with dry summers and moderately wet winters. The average temperatures are in the 40’s during the winter months and middle to high 70’s in the summer months.
The City is culturally and ethnically diverse and enjoys an excellent quality of life. Its residents hold City government accountable for providing high quality, customer friendly community, cultural, recreational, and public safety services. It is important to note the residents of San Rafael take interest in, and participate regularly in, the governance of their City through several boards, commissions, neighborhood associations, and volunteer activities.