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San Rafael Attractions

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San Rafael: Attractions

San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County and is its economic center. The cultural influence of San Rafael can be seen in the attractions that cover the full gamut from art, film, museums, historical places, festivals and community events that bring visitors from neighboring towns and also from all over the country.

Art Works Downtown

Art Works Downtown showcases local artists’ works and gives them the venue and support for exploring the creative process. Art Works has a nonprofit art center in a 40,000 square foot historic building in the heart of downtown San Rafael on Fourth St. It features three galleries, 35+ studios with artists at work, a jeweler’s guild, crafts guild, frame store, ceramic center, and clothing boutique. Art Works Downtown stages rotating exhibits by Bay Area artists, monthly events, art classes for all ages, a public art program and opportunities for artists and community to meet. Its facility is open to the public through its multiple store fronts from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on the second Friday of every month for 2nd Fridays Art Walk.

Falkirk Cultural Center

Falkirk Cultural Center is an imposing 1888 Queen Anne-style Victorian building which was previously the home of shipping magnate Robert Dollar. In 1974 the community bought the 17-room mansion and transformed it into a heritage site and cultural resource. The building is a national landmark and surrounded by 11 acres of formal grounds, natural wooded hillside, a sculpture garden, and a restored green house. Falkirk Cultural Center exhibits modern art in the upstairs galleries and holds seasonal public events throughout the year. Admission is free.

Marin County Civic Center

The distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center is a destination for thousands of visitors who visit Marin County each year. This futuristic building was Wright’s last major commission and is known as one of the famous architect’s most unique designs. The sculptural sky-blue roof, scalloped balconies and golden spire are its most unique features. The complex encompasses an 11-acre lagoon, 20-acre park and the Marin Center Auditorium and Exhibition Hall, where large local, regional and national events and exhibits are held.

Marin Symphony

The Marin Symphony season (October through May) offers 12 concerts in six programs of classical music. The programs feature an eclectic mix of classical favorites to contemporary innovative compositions. 

Marin County Parks and Open Space

Marin has a network of County Parks and Open Space preserves where visitors can hike, go horseback riding and bike on trails. In addition there are many activities for day travelers or campers: fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, golf, swimming, picnicking and soccer and softball fields. The Marin County Open Space District lands represent the best of northern California’s natural habitats, including oak-bay woodlands, savanna, grasslands, and salt marsh. The parks are located all over the entire Marin County area.

Marin Farmers Market

On Sundays and Thursdays the San Rafael’s Certified Farmers Market comes to the Marin Civic Center. San Rafael’s Farmers Market has been named one of the top ten markets in the country. When local residents make an effort to go early to the Sunday market each week for fresh, organic, and locally-grown produce, you can be sure it’s worth a trip. The Farmers Market is open year-round on Thursdays and Sundays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Downtown San Rafael Certified Farmers Market Festival

Thursday night is the time for a community celebration on Fourth Street.  Thousands of visitors browse the wares of 150 vendors in this five-block festival.  Free entertainment is offered at five different locations. In addition to certified produce direct from the growers, the weekly event includes arts and crafts, barbeque and international dinners, entertainment, balloons, and activities for children. The Thursday Market is open 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. on Thursdays from April through September.

Mission San Rafael Arcangel

In 1817, Mission San Rafael was built as an assistencia or “helper” mission to Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Its original purpose was to care for the sick and was aptly named after St. Rafael the Archangel, the angel of bodily healing.  Mission San Rafael Arcangel is a replica of the original Spanish mission, which was built in 1817 and was the second-to-last mission built in California. The Mission was rebuilt in 1949 and stands at right angles to the building’s original alignment. Mission Chapel is open for visitors Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Admission is free, suggested donations are welcomed.

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Thursday Downtown Farmers Market
4th Street San Rafael, CA 94901
Thursday night is the time for a community celebration on Fourth Street. Thousands of visitors browse the wares of 150 vendors in this five-block...
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McNears Beach County Park
201 Cantera Way San Rafael, CA 94901
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China Camp State Park
101 Peacock Gap Trl San Rafael, CA 94901
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Paradise Beach Park
3450 Paradise Dr Tiburon, CA 94920
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Pickleweed Park and Community Center
50 Canal St San Rafael, CA 94901
Pickleweed Park has a sports field, picnic tables, and playground as well as community center.
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Marin County Bicycle Coalition
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
733 Center Blvd. Fairfax, CA 94960
Promoting safe bicycling for everyday transportation and recreation. The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) was founded in 1998. MCBC promotes...
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Trips 4 Kids
Trips 4 Kids
610 4th St San Rafael, CA 94901
Re-Cyclery Bike Thrift Shop
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Smith Rafael Film Center
1118 4th St San Rafael, CA 94901
Home of the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Smith Rafael Film Center has ongoing film presentations through out the year.
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Falkirk Cultural Center
Falkirk Cultural Center
1408 Mission Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
Falkirk Cultural Center is an imposing 1888 Queen Anne-style Victorian building which was previously the home of shipping magnate Robert Dollar...
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Marin History Museum
1125 B St San Rafael, CA 94901
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Bolinas Museum
48 Wharf Cir San Rafael, CA 94903
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Marin County Civic Center
Marin County Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive San Rafael, CA 94903
Thousands of visitors come to Marin County each year to see the futuristic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center. It was Wright's...
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Marin Civic Center Farmers Market
3501 Civic Center Dr San Rafael, CA 94903
Sponsored by the Agricultural Institute of Marin, Sundays and Thursdays the San Rafael’s Certified Farmers Market comes to the Marin Civic...
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Wildcare
76 Albert Park Ln San Rafael, CA 94901
WildCare rehabilitates injured wildlife or rescued animals and nurtures them to health. The organization has programs that promote coexisting with...
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Sun Valley Park
Solano St & California Ave San Rafael, CA 94901
Sun Valley Park has a group picnic area, picnic tables, basketball court, volleyball court, and a playground.
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Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium At Marin Center
10 Avenue of the Flags San Rafael, CA 94903
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Gerstle Park
San Rafael Ave & Clark St San Rafael, CA 94901
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Santa Margarita Park
1055 Las Ovejas San Rafael, CA 94903
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Victor Jones Park
Maplewood Dr & Robinhood Dr San Rafael, CA 94901
The 7 acre Victor Jones Park has a larger group picnic area that can accommodate 35, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, and a playground.
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Bret Harte Park
Irwin St & Baywood Terrrace San Rafael, CA 94901
Bret Harte has picnic tables, basketball courts, and upgraded playgrounds.
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