If you want to camp near San Rafael, China Camp State Park is the place to stay. It's fairly close to the city of San Rafael, very near the Bay. Yet, its location is secluded, and while there you do not get the feeling that a city is just on the other side of the hills.
China Camp is on the wooded land mass in this picture. The East Bay is on the other side of the San Pablo Bay. The peak in the distance is Mt. Diablo, the highest point in the San Francisco Bay area.
No RVs allowed!!!! Yayyy!!!
All campsites are walk-in but not too far.
Beautiful location right next to the wetlands.
Reserve by clicking on the link below.
I have to say that staying with friends during my last weekend to San Rafael was the highlight of my trip. So incredibly kind to have been offered this.
With a wonderful selection of freshly baked desserts and great company from everyone I met it was a total five star experience. Even the movie selection was perfect.
No other way to say it but Thank You.
For the conventional stay, there is an Embassy Suites across the street from the Marin County Civic Center (pictured here), and across the highway from that is another big hotel that keeps changing names (I think it's called Windham Garden now).
There's also a Best Western in Novato, and a Courtyard by Marriot in both Novato and Larkspur.
I've heard from travelers that the Panama Hotel, near downtown San Rafael, is really great. It's quirky, more and more of a bed and breakfast atmosphere.
My grandparents used to stay at the Villa Rafael, when they would visit, which is a motel, near the freeway. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the owners are very friendly (and loyal to my grandparents), and they have a pretty good Basque restaurant.
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