San Rafael, CA, USA

San Rafael, CA, USA

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Find the best place to stay — San Rafael

Small town charm close to San Fran

From its 19th century Spanish Catholic mission to the legendary Skywalker Ranch, San Rafael is full of contrasts. It's the oldest settlement in California's Marin County which means there's plenty of history to discover. Whether you want to people watch in breezy City Plaza, hit the beach at China Camp State Park, or eat your way through one of California's best farmers' markets, San Rafael is an enticing slice of the Golden State. San Francisco sits just 20 miles to the south means you can tick off iconic attractions like Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate Bridge, and more.

Eat your way through San Rafael_s Sunday market

Lined with quirky cafes, cozy sangria bars, and colorful taco joints, 4th Street is San Rafael's main thoroughfare. Every Sunday, the Civic Center hosts the Marin Farmers' Market, which attracts vendors from across California. It goes ahead rain or shine and is one of the state's best places to pick up luscious fruit, local honey, fresh baked breads, handmade cheeses, and everything in-between. You'll probably leave with a bounty, so why not take advantage of self-contained San Rafael vacation rentals and cook up your very own farm-to-table feast?

George Lucas meets the Golden State

Founded in 1817, the Mission San Rafael Arcangel once served as an infirmary for Native Americans. Today you can stroll around the reconstructed chapel, visit the pint-sized gift store, or enjoy a spell under the shade of a palm tree. For Star Wars fans, Skywalker Ranch is a no brainer. While it doesn't offer public tours, you can always stop to snap a selfie at the entrance gate. Just don't forget your lightsaber. You might not be able to stay on Skywalker Ranch, but with San Rafael vacation rentals you can unlock access to a host of rural properties.

Bayside summers in San Rafael

San Rafael swelters during the summer, when temperatures creep well into the 80s. It's a great time to visit the Bay Area, with vacationers flocking to enjoy the sunshine. The town gets particularly busy from Labor Day to Memorial Day and is eternally popular with travelers in search of an alternative to pricey San Francisco. Fall and winter can bring heavy rain and occasional frosts which means crowds taper off. If you're not planning on hiking or swimming, October to March can be a great time to enjoy a relaxed vacation in the Golden State.

Discover state parks in San Rafael

From its lush rolling farmlands to its coastal marshes, San Rafael is a picturesque slice of the San Francisco Bay Area. If you're dreaming of rest and relaxation why not escape to the Californian countryside with San Rafael vacation rentals? While the sprawling Golden Gate National Recreation Area is just 10 miles to the south, most locals prefer China Camp State Park. It was once home to a Chinese shrimp fishing village, though today you'll find grassy picnic spots, family-friendly hiking trails, and sandy beaches that are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding.