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Legend has it that in the `70s a group of students at San Rafael High School would meet at a statue at 4:20 p.m. each day to smoke marijuana -- a clandestine ritual which eventually led to the so-called "420" pot culture. But that doesn't mean this town doesn't have a sophisticated vibe. Only 30 minutes away from the hubbub of San Francisco, many locals choose the quiet tree-lined streets of San Rafael for its funky, artsy feel, complete with lots of nostalgic hippies, baby boomers (and maybe a few potheads), who bring a love of 1960s music to the scene. Take a local video game programmer on a date to see an indie flick at the art-deco film center downtown. Or head to Muir Woods National Monument to hike amid majestic redwoods with your favorite tree-lover. --A.C.
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