San Rafael is a component of California’s old mission system and one of Marin’s oldest cities and it is also the county seat. One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks is the Mission San Rafael Arcángel, a hospital founded in 1817 as part of California’s mission chain that treated sick natives. In the downtown area, you’ll find numerous victorian buildings, fine restaurants, art galleries and cool retail stores mixed with financial institutions. Thursday’s vibrant farmer's market and accompanying concerts are quite popular along 4th St and in the plaza and a not to be missed event. And speaking of not-to-be-missed events, the Sunday farmer’s market at the Civic Center in Northern San Rafael is a major draw for people from all over the county. Activities of all kinds are available in San Rafael at parks such China Camp State Park where residents and tourists love to hike, bike and camp in nature. Unlike San Francisco Area, San Rafael offers a much warmer climate with an abundance of sun during the spring and summer. San Rafael also has a wonderful canal waterway that leads close to downtown. along the Waterway are numerous docks, businesses as well as housing with private docks on to the San Francisco Bay. The convenience and beauty of San Rafael is what motivates many people to make it their home within Marin.