How can anything be more extreme than San Francisco? Well, San Rafael is, but only if you are referring to the weather. In the winter, San Rafael is colder and wetter than San Francisco. In the summer, San Rafael is hotter and dryer. Each area in the Bay Area has its own microclimates, and the differences between San Francisco and Marin County (just over the Golden Gate Bridge) demonstrates this.
When it gets hot in San Rafael, like it did today with temps over 100 degrees, nothing hits the spot better than a cold glass of Miccosukee iced tea in the backyard.
San Rafael sits on the shores of San Pablo Bay, which is part of the greater San Francisco Bay. Parts of San Rafael have been developed right up to the shoreline. The southern and northern marshes, on the other hand, have been protected, creating a permanent refuge for wildlife and a place to admire natural beauty.
This picture was taken in the China Camp area, a State Park located about 15 minutes from my house.
For more pictures of China Camp at dawn, see my travelogue:
Brilliant Beginnings in China Camp, San Rafael
A favorite thing is getting lost in the hills -- well, actually, you can't get really lost. You just go down and eventually you will get to civilization.
Fondest memory: Yes, the sky really is this blue.
To get to this location, take Lucas Valley exit off 101, go west to Westgate, right on Creekside. Park in the small parking lot by the tennis court and hike on the fire road across the street. The road takes you to the top to Big Rock Ridge Fire Road that follows the ridge. The road is steep, so it is a pretty good workout.
Favorite thing: Our dawns in San Rafael will take your breath away. The sunrise is positioned over the bay and just behind the mountains in the East Bay. It is worth dragging yourself out of bed before the sun is up to see this.
Although Marin County is dry in the summer and fall, the heavy rainfalls in the winter transform parts of the countryside into a lush rainforest. The golden grasses turn a bright emerald green and waterfalls materialize out of nowhere.
The most beautiful time to hike is immediately after a big rain storm.
Favorite thing: This is a lovely spot in central San Rafael to relax with some coffee, ice cream, a sandwich or just to relax in the sun. It's on 4th Street, in the center of town... very pleasant.
34 Grove Street, San Rafael, California, 94901, United States
Good for: Business
1775 Francisco Boulevard East, San Rafael, California, 94901, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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