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All About San Rafael, California

San Rafael is in Marin County, California, U.S. city and county seat. The city is located in the North Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2010 U.S. Census population is 57,713. San Rafael is now the site of several Coast Miwok villages: Awani-wi, near downtown San Rafael, Ewu, near Terra Linda and Shotomko-cha, in Marinwood.


Historically, the San Rafael shoreline was significantly filled to accommodate land development, with underlying bay mud up to 90 feet thick. At some places like Murphys Point, sandstone, or shale rock outcrops through the mud.


San Rafael has a wide variety of natural habitats from forests at higher elevations to marshland and estuarine. The marshes host the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. Riparian regions also include San Rafael Creek and Miller Creek corridors. 




San Rafael has many exclusive communities. The Federation Steering Committee consists of members from different neighborhoods. Here's a piece of short information about the neighborhoods:


  • Bret Harte


The Bret Harte Community Association, in existence for over 50 years, is a neighborhood organization that supports approximately 500 residences, to bring the community together.


  • Dominican Black Canyon


The Dominican Black Canyon Neighborhood Association (DBCNA) serves the neighborhood east of Highway 101 that surrounds Dominican University and extends into Black Canyon (Mountain View Avenue). 


  • Gerstle Park


Gerstle Park Community Association's Board of Directors meets on a monthly first Thursday. The Association manages many activities and events, from social and community building to preservation and improvement projects. 


  • Glenwood


Embraced by the ridges of China Camp State Park, the Glenwood Neighborhood is nestled on the shore of San Pablo Bay, where it receives the first rays of the new day. San Francisco Bay influences the marine climate, so there is a 3-5 degree difference between downtown. Residents have easy access to hiking trails, enjoy wildlife and migrating waterbirds, while windsurfers and recreational fishers utilize the shoreline. 


  • Lincoln San Rafael Hill


The LSRHNA is the area North of Mission Street, west of Highway 101, South of Fair Drive, and East of the San Rafael Hill.


  • Montecito


The Montecito Area (Happy Valley) is one of San Rafael's oldest communities, with beautiful historic homes and a diversity of industry, culture, and school activity.  


  • Peacock Gap


Peacock Gap is a quiet neighborhood with mid-century modern and ranch style homes surrounding the Peacock Gap Golf Course. Developed in the mid-’50s and early ‘60s with larger estate homes added in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it characterizes the best of suburban living.


  • West End  


The West End area is located on the west end of San Rafael. This crosses both sides of Fourth Street (the "Miracle Mile," where the train tracks extended from West Marin to San Rafael) from the basin to the ridgeline.

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