San Rafael is large in area, and diverse in neighborhoods. Large portions of San Rafael follow the shores of the Bay. There are marinas and parks and homes that benefit from this water orientation. Birdlife abounds on the shores of the Bay.

There are many neighborhoods in San Rafael with distinctively different characters. A few of them are Country Club, Dominican, Sun Valley, Gerstle Park, Terra Linda, Los Ranchitos, the Canal, Peacock Gap, Glenwood, Forbes, and Marinwood.

One neighborhood may be abundant with Victorians, another full of Eichlers. You may be hard pressed to find a single family home in one neighborhood, and it may be difficult to find a home with out a gate at another. Truly San Rafael is the most diverse city in Marin.