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moving to san rafael ca

How is Living in San Rafael? |👉 ULTIMATE Moving to San Rafael Guide

Last Updated on: 21st October 2022, 09:05 am

Located north of San Francisco is the gorgeous city of San Rafel. Named after Archangel Raphael, the Angel of Healing, San Rafael was the city where many priests went for religious missions in the early 1800s. San Rafael quickly was recognized as one of the best places to live in Marin County thanks to its diverse atmosphere, which has allowed differences to subside and talents to shine through. San Rafael also offers its residents a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay due to the city being mainly on hills. The topography allows for a lot of fun outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and water sports. San Rafael is famous for its wonderful weather year round and animated nightlife. Residents experience a more urban culture, which is why it attracts so many young adults and families. San Rafael is also a quick commute to San Francisco, which makes it convenient for people who need to travel there for work. Famous people from San Rafael include musician Carlos Santana and painter Charles Dormon Robinson.

San Rafael, CA  Population & Demographics

San Rafael has had a slight .407% population decrease in the past year with 58,939 people currently residing there. The racial demographics in San Rafael are 56.5% White, 10.6% Hispanic, 5.9% Asian, 3.32% mixed races, and 18.8% other races. Men make up 51% of the population in San Rafael and women make up 49%. The median age in San Rafael is 41, so there are many families and professionals living there. The median household income in San Rafael is $87,262, which is a 1.55% growth from last year.

The area code for San Rafael is 415. San Rafael’s zip codes are 94901, 94903, 94912, 94913, and 94915. Those living in San Rafael are located in Marin County. Though it’s not considered to be one of the safest cities in California, most residents report feeling comfortable.

San Rafael Cost of Living

Living in San Rafael isn’t looked at as the most affordable place. Residing in San Rafael is 45% more expensive to live than the rest of California. The housing market in San Rafael is the main culprit of the high costs in the city. Housing in San Rafael is 350% more expensive than the national average. The average price of a home in San Rafael is $1,240,000 or $672 per square foot. The prices are steadily increasing in San Rafael, so if you’re interested in buying a home here, now is the time! You can find San Rafael, CA homes for sale here. The homeownership rate in San Rafael is 52.3%, so almost half of their residents are interested in renting. If you’re looking to rent in San Rafael, you can expect to pay around $3,188. Fortunately, the rent trends have been decreasing over the past year. The price of a one bedroom apartment has dropped by 15.8% and has decreased by 13.9% for a two bedroom apartment, making it a great time to rent!

While the housing costs in San Rafael can seem burdensome, there are other expenses that are more affordable in the area. Utilities are 3% cheaper than the national average and 5% less expensive than the rest of California. For other everyday items, you can anticipate to pay around these prices:

San Rafael Cost of Items (Everyday Expenses)

  • Meal at a restaurant: $20.00
  • Fast food meal: $9.50
  • Gallon of milk: $4.28
  • Gallon of gas: $3.41
  • Internet: $75.00

San Rafael, CA Neighborhoods

The most popular neighborhoods in San Rafael are Terra Linda, West End, San Rafael Hill, and Gerstle Park. Terra Lina is a larger community with 9,035 people living there. Many retirees live in the neighborhood due to houses being a bit smaller for the city. West End is a smaller neighborhood and has older families residing there. The houses in the neighborhood are a bit more pricey due to the larger size of homes and the nice landscaping outside of them. With great schools nearby and mild nightlife, there is no wonder West End is considered one of the best neighborhoods in San Rafael to raise a family.

San Rafael Hill is the smallest neighborhood in San Rafael with a population of 1,955 people. Many young adults reside in this area due to the smaller and cheaper homes available in this area. San Rafael Hill is near a lot of trails and parks, which makes it the perfect neighborhood for anyone who loves the outdoors. Gerstle Park is considered the best neighborhood in San Rafael. While the homes are a little more expensive, there are a variety of sizes and styles of houses to choose from. 

San Rafael, CA Weather

Most people migrate to San Rafael for the desirable weather thanks to its Mediterranean climate. The summers in San Rafael are long and comfortable with an average high temperature of 76°F and a low temperature of 54°F. Meanwhile, San Rafael’s winters are cold and short with highs of 59°F and lows of 42°F. San Rafael gets a fair amount of precipitation with 41 inches of rainfall a year, which is higher than the national average. The small temperature contrasts in San Rafael allows the city to avoid extreme temperatures, which creates a pleasant atmosphere for residents year round.

Things to Do in San Rafael, CA

If you’re looking for something fun to do in San Rafael, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re wanting to find a new place to shop or place to explore the outdoors, we’ve discovered the most popular places for you to check out down below:

McNears Beach County Park


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Wanting a day at the beach? No problem! McNears Beach County Park is the perfect place to go when you want to get your toes in the sand and in the water. Not only do you have access to a beach here, there are also picnic tables, tennis courts, hiking trails, and a swimming pool you can use!

201 Cantera Way, San Rafael, CA 94901, (415) 446-4424

China Camp State Park

This state park surrounds a historic Chinese American shrimp-fishing village and salt marsh. Here, you can bike or hike trails, which will lead you to scenic views at the top of the hill. The park is also by bay waters, so you can go kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding there where you may see waterfowl, deer, or even wild turkeys. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, China Camp State Park is a perfect place to go.

101 Peacock Gap Trail, San Rafael, CA 94901, (415) 488-5161

San Rafael, CA also offers many convenient shopping areas, including Montecito Plaza, Northgate, and Marin Square.

Additional things to do near San Rafael

San Rafael Restaurants

Wanting a delicious bite to eat in San Rafael? No problem, we’ve found the most heavenly restaurant for you to check out down below!

IL Davide


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For the past 27+ years, IL David has been the go-to Italian restaurant for Marin County. If you are looking for authentic and delicious Italian food, then IL David is the place to go!

901 A St, San Rafael, CA 94901 (415) 454-8080

State Room 

State Room is the perfect restaurant to go for a more low key date night. The menu offers its guest dishes including oysters, salads, pizzas, burgers, soups, cocktails, beers, and more! With options of sitting indoors with dimmed lighting or on the outside patio, this place will not disappoint!

1132 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901, (415) 295-7929

Jobs in San Rafael, CA

The median household salary in San Rafael is $87,262. San Rafael has 30,175 employees and the majority of jobs are found in professional and technical services, health care and social assistance, and retail. Meanwhile, the highest paying jobs are in finance and insurance, information, and real estate.The average commute time for residents in San Rafael is 26 minutes, which is a bit longer than the national average. However, many people travel to San Francisco for their job, which is a shorter commute. If this is what you plan to do, you can find here directions from San Rafael, CA to San Francisco, CA, which is 18 miles. 

Schools in San Rafael, CA

The most popular schools in San Rafael are Dixie Elementary School, Sun Valley Elementary School, Miller Creek Middle School, and Terra Linda High School. All of these schools are highly complimented on Great Schools thanks to their students’ academic progress and high test scores. There are also many good private schools to choose from in San Rafael, including Marin Waldorf School, Saint Raphael Elementary School, Star Academy, and University Of Play.

Living in San Rafael Pros & Cons

  • Residents experience pleasant weather year round
  • San Rafael is a diverse city
  • The cost of living is more expensive than the rest of California

Already fell in love with San Rafael? If that’s the case, you’ll need the help of our reliable San Rafael moving company, AMS Relocation, to help get you there! Our team members will get you all settled in your new property in no time! Contact us for a free quote!


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