San Rafael became Marin’s first city in 1874. It’s the commercial, cultural, and governmental center of Marin. It lies 17 miles north of San Francisco and is surrounded by wooded, grassy hillsides and the bay. About one-third of the city’s 17 square miles is open space. Building projects and downtown revitalization efforts have added new sparkle to the city. Adjacent Terra Linda is home to the Marin County Civic Center, the architectural marvel by Frank Lloyd Wright. San Rafael has the largest and most diverse population in the county. Education levels are high; occupations run the gamut from service and sales to managerial professions. San Rafael’s housing also includes many rental units.
The San Rafael Elementary School District serves neighborhoods within the central Marin community of San Rafael. The district has six elementary schools, one K-8 school and one middle school. The schools for kindergarten through fifth grade are: Bahia Vista, Coleman, Glenwood, Laurel Dell, San Pedro and Sun Valley elementary schools. Gallinas is a K-8th grade school. J.B. Davidson Middle School serves students in grades 6-8. Students of the San Rafael Elementary School District are also in the San Rafael High School District.
The Dixie School District is an elementary district serving the northern San Rafael communities of Terra Linda, Marinwood, Lucas Valley and a portion of Contempo Marin. Dixie School District includes three elementary schools for kindergarten through fifth grades: Dixie School, Vallecito School and Mary E. Silveira School. Sixth through eighth graders attend Miller Creek Middle School. Dixie School District is within the San Rafael High School District and most Miller Creek graduates attend Terra Linda High School.
Parks & Recreation
China Camp State Park, a former shrimp fishing village now offers recreational opportunities as does nearby McNear’s Beach Park. The Film Complex at the Rafael Theater is on Fourth Street. McInnis Golf Course is just east of Hwy 101. There are many small neighborhood parks and extensive youth programs available through the Parks and Recreation Department.
Population (as of 2010 Census): 53,729
Median age: 45
Annual turnover: 12%
Long-term residents (5+ years): 43%
Sources: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau
The average temperature is 59 degrees and the average maximum temperature is 70 degrees. The average low temperature is 48. Highs are in the 80’s from July to September. San Rafael gets about 37 inches of rain a year. The coldest months of the year are November and December. Mount Tamalpais protects the area from fog.
Approximate distance from the Golden Gate Bridge is 14 miles.