Please use the menu below to see what sightseeing, shopping, entertainment and dining options are available in San Rafael.
The San Francisco Bay Area is a major center for entertainment, and San Rafael and Marin County offer a rich variety of activities for students to do and see. There are many cinemas and theaters, there are some interesting arts and crafts shows; and there are good bars with live music.
There are frequent events in downtown San Rafael, ranging from classic car shows to street painting. Going along to these events is usually quite interesting and a good way to soak up the local atmosphere.
San Rafael and Marin County offer a number of small but very enjoyable theaters (bigger productions are in San Francisco). We especially enjoy the classic plays performed by Marin Shakespeare Company in the outdoor amphitheater at Dominican University (DUC). Bring a picnic and enjoy a classic play. See the mini-directory below for information about some of the other theaters in Marin County that we recommend.
Marin Shakespeare Company (outdoors in summer)
Mountain Play (outdoors on Mt. Tam; May & June only)
Belrose Theater (dinner Theater in San Rafael)
The Playhouse (San Anselmo)
Marin Theatre Company (Mill Valley)
Marin Ballet (near ELS North-Bay)
Novato Community Players (Novato)
Marin Symphony (at the Civic Center)
Every Thursday evening between 18:00 and 21:00 you can enjoy fresh produce, arts and crafts, food and live music at the Farmers Market in downtown San Rafael. The market is held at 4th Street, San Rafael.
There are six movie theaters with a total of 33 screens not far from the Student Home; the nearest is only a 5-minute walk from the Student Home at Northgate Mall. Check out the San Rafael Film Center for independent, international movies; and read about Film Night in the Park for outdoor movies in Marin County parks during the summer.
Bars with Live Music
There are some bars with live music in San Rafael but the better places are a short drive away. Our favorite is the Sweetwater in Mill Valley. All bars are casual without dress code; you have to be at least 21 years old to enter.
Fourth Street Tavern: live music and a pool table in San Rafael.
Sweetwater: famous artists at the legendary Mill Valley music club.
19 Broadway: live music in recently renovated Fairfax bar.
Rancho Nicasio: dining and live music.