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Overview

Introduction to San Rafael, California

The California city of San Rafael, county seat of Marin County, is located 17 miles north of San Francisco in the North Bay region of the Bay Area. The city is bordered by San Pablo and San Francisco bays and lies near the junction of Interstate I-580 and U.S. Route 101. Neighboring communities include Santa Venetia (to the north), San Anselmo (to the west) and Greenbrae (to the south).

San Rafael History

San Rafael is one of several California towns which developed around a Spanish mission in the California mission chain. Mission San Rafael Arcangel, built in 1817 and rebuilt in 1949, was the 20th in the mission chain and was named for the Archangel Raphael, the Angel of Healing. One of California's original 27 county seats, San Rafael became Marin County's first city when it was incorporated in 1874. The oldest, largest and most culturally diverse city in the county, San Rafael is today a lively industrial and cultural center located in an area replete with natural beauty. The city is home to Dominican University.

San Rafael Attractions

Approximately 30 percent of San Rafael's land is comprised of parklands and open space, making many recreational activities available. China Camp State Park is a quiet and beautiful venue whose 1,600 acres provide ample opportunities for hiking, biking and overnight camping. The park acquired its name from a Chinese fishing village that once flourished there. The city is also home to a number of historical and cultural attractions, including the following:

  • Rafael Film Center: A restored Art Deco Film Center which originally opened its doors in 1918 as The Orpheus is now a year-round venue showcasing independent and international films as well as film retrospectives.
  • Marin County Civic Center: The last major commission of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright and also one of his most distinctive designs, the facility houses Marin Center, the county's largest performing arts and convention facility.
  • Marin Historical Society Museum: Located in Boyd House, a beautiful example of high Victorian Gothic set in a park-like garden, the museum contains a detailed collection of local historical photos and artifacts.
  • Falkirk Cultural Center: Housed in a 17-room mansion built in 1888, the former home of Scottish shipping magnate Robert Dollar, the facility now exhibits contemporary art and sponsors year-round events with other cultural organizations.
  • Dominican University: Founded in 1890, the university is situated on 80 wooded acres in the center of San Rafael.

People

Total Population 58,819
Male Share of the Population 49.6%
Female Share of the Population 50.4%
Senior Citizens 17.4%
Employed Population 16+ 29,273
Age of the Population 42

Families

% of people married 47.1%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 46.6%
Median Earnings25+ $43,100
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,570
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,100

Wealth

Median Family Income $100,503
% Above Poverty Level 86.8%
% Below Poverty Level 13.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 28 minutes
% Working from Home 7.3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 6.5%
% Using Public Transportation 11.5%

Housing

People Living Alone 32.1%
Median Gross Rent $1,517
Median House Value $714,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 42.6%
US/American 0.2%
English 10.2%
Irish 9.8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

San Rafael Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 15 miles NW of San Francisco, California
County Marin
Standard Zip Codes 94901, 94903, 94904
P.O. Box Zip Codes 94912, 94913, 94914, 94915
Phone Area Codes 415
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 37.973
Longitude -122.53

San Rafael Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station SAN RAFAEL CIVIC CENTER
Distance 1.8 miles
Jan Temp 41 to 56 F
Apr Temp 47 to 69 F
Jul Temp 55 to 81 F
Oct Temp 51 to 74 F
Annual Precip 34.2 inches
Station SAN FRANCISCO DOWNTOWN
Distance 15.3 miles
Jan Temp 46 to 58 F
Apr Temp 50 to 65 F
Jul Temp 54 to 68 F
Oct Temp 55 to 70 F
Annual Precip 22.2 inches
Station OAKLAND MUSEUM
Distance 18.7 miles
Jan Temp 45 to 57 F
Apr Temp 51 to 66 F
Jul Temp 57 to 73 F
Oct Temp 55 to 72 F
Annual Precip 22.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, San Rafael, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Greenbrae (94904, 94914)

Kent Woodlands (94904)

Marinwood (94903)

Mission Rafael (94915)

Terra Linda (94903)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Corte Madera 9,595 $147,778
Fairfax 7,584 $132,973
Larkspur 12,219 $121,486
Mill Valley 14,243 $174,176
Ross 2,306 $220,341
San Anselmo 12,566 $128,469

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

San Rafael Public Libraries

Library
San Rafael Public Library
1100 E ST.
San Rafael, California
(415) 485-3323
Marin County Free Library
"3501 CIVIC CENTER DR, RM 414"
San Rafael, California
(415) 499-3220
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

San Rafael Hospitals

MARIN GENERAL HOSPITAL
(Government - Hospital District or Authority)
250 BON AIR ROAD, PO BOX 2129
(415) 925-7900
Emergency Service: Yes

KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
99 MONTECILLO RD
(415) 444-2000
Emergency Service: Yes

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San Rafael High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

TERRA LINDA HIGH
320 NOVA ALBION WAY
415-492-3100
Serves 1,020 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.6

SAN RAFAEL HIGH
185 MISSION AVE.
415-485-2330
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 964 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.3

SPECIAL EDUCATION
111 LAS GALLINAS AVE.
415-491-6612
A Special Education School
Serves 282 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 5.9

JUVENILE HALL/COMMUNITY
1111 LAS GALLINAS AVE.
415-491-0581
A Non-traditional School
Serves 131 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 26.2

MADRONE HIGH (CONT.)
185 MISSION AVE.
415-485-2435
A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 52 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.3

PHOENIX ACADEMY
160-B NORTH SAN PEDRO ROAD
415-499-5801
A Non-traditional School
A Charter School.
Serves 24 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12

San Rafael Colleges

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Additional Details
San Rafael Colleges
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