The city of San Rafael is the oldest, largest, and most culturally diverse city in Marin, and is the county seat. With parklands and open space accounting for nearly 30 percent of the city’s land, there is a thriving natural environment to enjoy outdoor recreation. Along with this lush landscape, there is also a lively business district and shopping in the downtown area.
San Rafael has many turn-of-the-century buildings that have been restored and are beautiful remnants of times past, including the Marin History Museum, the Falkirk Cultural Center, and the 106-year-old Dominican University. An enduring symbol of the town, the Mission San Rafael Arcangel was founded in 1817 as part of California’s mission chain and is a replica of the original mission. The Marin Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is an architectural treasure and a nationally designated historical landmark. The 57,713 people that live in San Rafael enjoy the temperate climate throughout its 22.4 square miles.