Notable landmarks in San Rafael include: the Marin County Civic Center building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; the Rafael Film Center; China Camp State Park; Kerner Studios, the George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch, and the Falkirk Cultural Center, a handsomely preserved, 17-room Victorian mansion that is set on 11 acres of formal grounds just a block from downtown.
After the arrival of George Lucas in San Rafael in 1970 to film the movie THX 1138, the city became a center for the entertainment industry, particularly the high-tech elements of the business. Portions of the Universal movie production American Graffiti were filmed in downtown San Rafael under George Lucas's direction, and portions of THX 1138 were shot at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael. Much of the movie Gattaca, starring Ethan Hawke, was also shot in the Marin County Civic Center. Industrial Light & Magic was founded in 1975 by Lucas to do special effects for his films and those of other filmmakers. The new age music program Hearts of Space is headquartered here.
San Rafael has Dominican University, founded in 1888, 149 parks, yacht clubs, outstanding docking and launching facilities, tennis & swim clubs and bicycle trails. It is truly a community where families can enjoy an active lifestyle and partake of a rich historical and cultural heritage.