For nightlife in San Rafael, you can hang out on Fourth Street. The people here are very interesting, and food is pretty good. Have dinner and drinks at the Broken Drum Brewpub on Fourth Street next to the Rafael Theatre. Catch a flick at the theatre and get a latte at Starbucks.
In San Rafael proper, there are a couple places for live music, but neither of them are very savory to me.
New Georges, and it's been there since I was a teenager. Sometimes they have good bands play, but the atmosphere has always felt a little grimy...
4th Street Tavern in San Rafael too. They have live music, but again, the atmosphere is less than desirable. :(
The good news is that there ARE other good places for live music, which are only 15 minutes away from San Rafael!
In Fairfax: 19 Broadway. It used to be a bit funky, but they've recently expanded, and it's gotten a lot nicer.
In Mill Valley: The Sweeetwater Saloon. This is one of my favorite places. It's a small bar, with a small stage up front, but they get *big* acts in there from time to time. There are a lot of musicians (and other kinds of stars) that live in Marin County, and many will just 'sit in' to jam with other musicians here.
In Nicasio (same tiny town as the schoolhouse pictured above): Rancho Nicasio. This is a little, unassuming building, with very good food, a bar, and a stage. They have bands playing in the main dining room 4 or 5 nights per week, and sometimes they're REALLY incredible bands. On those nights, you buy a ticket to see the show, and then order dinner while the band is playing. Very cool. Plus, the drive there is lovely.
Dress Code: You can be as casual or as dressed up as you'd like to be at any of these establishments! We're pretty relaxed around here, when it comes to nightlife.
As the sun sets over the Miwok Meadows Lu'au, it sets the mood........what else is there to do but CRANK up the music and Dance our arses off !!!
(Music courtesy of Don Guan Productions)