About Downtown San Rafael

San Rafael Mission

San Rafael is at the center of things. The oldest, largest and most culturally diverse city in Marin also enjoys the best weather. San Rafael is a lively business and cultural center located in an area of incomparable natural beauty. 

Visit Our Vibrant Downtown

Our eclectic downtown business and shopping district runs the length of Fourth Street and its side streets.

Come experience it, Downtown to the West End. A lively blend of Victorian buildings, ethnic restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and wine bars.

And don’t miss our unique retailers—from books and furniture to clothing, art, jewelry and collectibles.

About the BID

The Downtown San Rafael Business Improvement District (BID) is a 501 C(6) nonprofit corporation established in 1979 to revitalize the  downtown corridor and promote the common interests of Downtown businesses. Through attention to streetscape, marketing and  promotions, special events and advocating on issues of safety, public parking and other factors affecting the economic vitality of the downtown district, the BID fulfills its mission. The BID is a special assessment district formed to fund services, activities and programs above and beyond services provided by the City, for the purpose of improving the common areas and strengthening businesses within the district.

bid rates

San Rafael is proud to be one of 14 California Cultural Districts recognized by the California Arts Council, highlighting thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities within local communities across California.

Downtown San Rafael Arts District

An urbanized nerve center for culture in the suburban outpost of Marin County.

Learn more about upcoming events: Cultural Arts District Fall launch update

san rafael 2040

Downtown Precise Plan Taking Shape

The City of San Rafael is preparing a Downtown “Precise Plan” that will establish new zoning standards, design guidelines, public space priorities, and transportation and housing strategies for Downtown San Rafael. A Downtown Profile Report has been completed and is available here. The Plan, which is scheduled for completion in Spring 2020, is being funded by a grant from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The Precise Plan is part of a broader effort to update the San Rafael General Plan. For more information on the General Plan Update, including links to the City’s online engagement platform, visit sanrafael2040.org.