Mission San Rafael Arcangel was established on Dec. 14, 1817 and replicas of the original buildings including a museum with historical artifacts stand on 5th Avenue between Court and B Streets. San Rafael is the County Seat and home to the iconic Civic Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is Marin’s most populous city, and the most culturally diverse. It’s where much of the county’s business gets done and home to a variety of diverse neighborhoods and homes to fit every budget and taste, from modest condos to multi-million dollar estate properties. San Rafael straddles 101, so has quick freeway access from most areas and serves as a public transportation hub, with Marin’s bus lines converging at the San Rafael Transit Center. The downtown area features a nice variety of shops and restaurants and also serves as the site for outdoor events. Each Thursday evening from April through September 4th street is transformed into one of Marin’s best farmers markets. There’s live music, lots of organic produce and delicious food. Downtown streets are also closed each June for the Italian Street Painting Festival, where artists showcase their talents with intricate chalk drawings on the asphalt. There’s a popular farmer’s market a few exits North at the Civic Center that happens twice per week all year long. Other notable places to visit are the lovely Dominican College campus and the Falkirk Cultural Center, a meticulously preserved, 17-room Victorian mansion that is set on 11 manicured acres. San Rafael has 14 parks including the picturesque China Camp State Park, yacht clubs, docking and launching facilities, tennis & swim clubs and bicycle trails. It is a community where families can partake of a rich historical and cultural heritage while enjoying an active lifestyle. With its diverse neighborhoods and homes to fit every budget and taste, from modest condos to multi-million dollar estate properties, there is something for everyone. Serving as the county seat and most populated city, San Rafael is a lovely community, lively college town and residential haven all wrapped into one package. The assortment of housing is diverse in size, age, architecture and price range. There’s a neighborhood for every lifestyle.
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