San Rafael, the Mission City, is located in the center of Marin County’s eastern corridor, 17 miles north of San Francisco on the shore of San Francisco Bay. The city is nestled in valleys surrounded by wooded, grassy hillsides. Although the valley floors are almost fully developed, many of the surrounding hills are presented as open space. Parkland and open space accounts for approximately 25% of the land area in the city.
San Rafael’s downtown shopping district has many restaurants, retail stores and financial institutions. In the center of town is Mission San Rafael Archangel, established in 1817 as an extension of Mission Dolores in San Francisco. There are regional shopping malls and several neighborhood shopping centers nearby. The San Rafael School District provides excellent elementary, middle and high schools. The local elementary school serving the immediate community, Glenwood School, is just around the corner from Redeemer. (The Dixie Elementary District serves elementary children living in the northern San Rafael area.) San Rafael is Marin’s county seat. County government offices occupy a magnificent complex of buildings, the last major project designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. San Rafael is the most culturally and socio-economically diverse city in Marin County.