San Rafael, CA - Travel and Things To Do

San Rafael is a hotbed for both entertainment and technology, but it is also a beautiful historic American city - home to some of the country's finest classic architecture and modern designs. The city's vibrant downtown is famous for its wide variety of shopping and restaurants particularly in the colorful Fourth Street neighborhood. San Rafael's combination of natural and man-made beauty has also help make it a popular filming location, with iconic movies like American Graffiti, THX 1138, and Gattaca being filmed here.

The city's architecture is marked by beautiful Spanish mission buildings, including Saint Raphael Church, with its beautiful white and terra-cotta bell tower backdropped by tree-covered hills, dating back to the settlement's earliest days in 1817. Other architecturally significant buildings include the angular Marin County Civic Center and the Falkirk Cultural Center, a handsomely preserved Victorian mansion just a block from downtown.

China Camp State park is another place worth visiting. Beautiful marshlands, excellent biking, hiking trails all with a surreal natural feel. There is also a lot of history here, from the native indians, to the Chinese fishing village that previously existed - however, the wildlife, like the white egret and the blue herons can be easily spotted in the marshlands in this beautiful state park. The city also features great horseback riding and mountain biking paths and trails!

A vibrant day/night life is prevalent in San Rafael with many shopping malls like West End Village and San Rafael City Plaza located in the downtown area - with about eight nightclubs in total for you to enjoy - the famous ones being Club 101 and Dance Spirit. Many of the malls and night clubs can be found on the famous Fourth Street neighborhood, which is also home to many famous dining places like Bombay Garden and Sabor of Spain.

Located in the beautiful state of California, San Rafael has a very quiet but touristy feel about it. Home to one of Marin's most successful performing arts organizations, audiences of over 10,000 theatre-goers enjoy great classical performances at the Forest Meadows Amphitheater, making it a tourist attraction. San Rafael has a population of about 60,000 and is home to the Dominican University and the Ali Akbar College of music founded by Ali Akbar Khan to teach Indian classical music. Pleasant Mediterranean climate characterizes the area, with mild winter lows seldom reaching the freezing mark. Average highs are in the mid 50s°F (11-15°C) and lows are in mid 40s F°(5-10 C°). In the summer highs are around the low 80s F°. Summer lows are around the mid 50s F°(13 C°).

The best time to visit this exotic, fun and vibrant city is between fall and spring - as it is conveniently located near San Francisco and the Larkspur Ferry and offers a short travel time of about 30-35 minutes - where you will appreciate the scenic beauty along the way. Embassy Suites hotel or the North Bay Inn can offer a good lodging place. When you visit San Rafael, you will surely come to appreciate this city's fine dining, entertainment, beauty and culture.

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