General Area in San Rafael>Question Details

Heather Fern…, Home Owner in San Francisco, CA

I'd hate to leave San Francisco, but am considering San Rafael.

Asked by Heather Fernandez, San Francisco, CA Fri Jun 1, 2007

Any thoughts on what parts of town would make sense for a young couple? Something with a diverse nightlife, some entertainment, parks would be ideal...

Help the community by answering this question:


check out Santa Venetia (part of San Rafael but in the County) - gorgeous weather, VERY active community association and active parents in the local school, surrounded by open space and Marin Montessori is about to establish a small middle school there. Also - it's in the County, not the City - hence stronger environmental protections. City of San Rafael is great but the Planning Department has a reputation of being anti-neighborhood. and it's a real old boy network that needs to go. That's the only downside - really unfriendly city government when you peek beneath the surface. it's starting to change tho. Downtown San Rafael is neat, especially the refurbished theatre but there are unfortunately too many empty stores. It would be great if some clubs could move in. not much night life in Marin but...the hiking and outdoor options more than make up for that. otherwise - it's an absolutely fabulous place to live. And the city is so close. 17 minutes to the Golden Gate in light traffic. we went to Slim's the other night and I think we were there in 25 min. Very close to the Larkspur Ferry too. OH - watch out for ANYTHING near or overlooking the railroad tracks. If the SMART train passes it will be a nightmare.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Terra Linda is an ideal location for young families.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
Hi Heather - I moved to San Rafael from the City about 5 years ago and love it. It's warm and sunny, has diversity, and a healthy downtown area that is only getting better and better. In fact, the restaurants are improving so much that we rarely venture to other Marin cities. (It doesn't stop us from going to the City though!) We live in Central San Rafael walking distance from downtown. The traffic going South isn't bad. Gerstle Park is a wonderful area for a young couple as it has charm, different architecure, and is really close to downtown and the freeways. Call me for more information!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
Hi Heather-

San Rafael offers a lot of choices for housing, holding a large majority of Central Marin's inventory.

On the west end of San Rafael there are some excellent options.
The Sun Valley neighborhood offers a good mix of entry level homes, and is very close to downtown. You are close to some city parks and a few minutes drive to the base of Mount Tam, which is the epicenter of all hiking and biking in Marin County. Gerstle Park is another area of San Rafael that is very close to downtown, close to parks, and offers a number of options for commuting.

I think the West End of town offers the closest proximity to downtown, while being close to parks as well.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Hi Heather,
I had the same thought 6 years ago!
We lived in the Sunset district in San Francisco and I was looking for a sunny place and good public schools. I started coming down to Mill Valey Community Center bringing my kids to swimming classes on Saturdays, to have a flavor for Marin...
We now live in San Rafael and we love it. It feels like a city, with a square in downtown with restaurants, bars, caffees, movie teathers and boutiques etc. The weather is good, the parks are beatifull... my kids are in an excellent public school (Glenwood). And the drive to San Francisco is short and pleasant, when you want to go back there.
I would love to take you around Marin and show you options.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Yes, not only San Rafael; all of the Mairn is a great place for a young couple.

Close to the city to enjoy the diversity and cultural the city provides.

Marin itself (hence San Rafael) has tons of great outdoor activities, hiking, biking, kyaking, sailing, horseback riding; national forest, national seshore, state parks, free concerts, theaters, entertainment, gourmet and casual restaurants; upscale, funky shops, the list goes on and on. You ask for it, you get it;

Great schools is a must!…

Yes, Heather, we would love to have you move here!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 26, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
It's worth moving to San Rafael just for Sol Food. Mmmmmm. Sol Food.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 25, 2007
San Rafael is a great option as it is very close to San Francisco as well as Fairfax and other towns in Marin-- the truth is from San Rafael you are really not very far from anywhere in Marin as well as San Francisco. Even better, it is a currently a buyers market in San Rafael so you can find decent buys for 750-800k. Please got to search for homes and to for info about San Rafael. Email me if you need any hel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2007
I definitely agree that you should consider Fairfax - one of the last affordable towns in Marin, very "green," and with lots of great restaurants and even some nightlife!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 24, 2007
Fairfax actually has the most "night life" of any town in Marin County. Give me a call and I will help you navigate my neck of the woods.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 2, 2007
Marin is obviously slower paced than SF but definately a great place also and beautiful! For a young couple I reccomend San Rafael, Mill Valley, Tiburon or Sausilito for places to check out "nightlife". You can live pretty much anywhere in Marin closer to Mill Valley area I think you two will definately enjoy. It's a great place because you are neighbors to the prestigious Wine Country of Sonoma County and minutes to the exciting place of SF. Great choice!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 15, 2007
You should consider your move not to San Rafael, but to Marin County. In the county there are many interesting places of entertainment, restaurants, theaters, music events. The drive to these from San Rafael would be very short and parking is not a problem in Marin. The out of doors opportunities are huge with hiking, biking, the beaches, open spaces in the National Recreational areas, and county and state parks. The weather is conducive to enjoy all kinds of out door activities and sports. Come to Marin. You will love it!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2007
You'd definitely have to be downtown in San Rafael for a "diverse nightlife" and entertainment, although when I think of San Rafael, I certainly do not associate it with any sort of night life at all.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2007
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer