Local Guides
Marin County
Novato, California

Novato, California


Novato is a city located in Marin County, California, just 29 miles north of San Francisco. With its blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures, Novato offers something for everyone. 

Head to Stafford Lake Park for picnicking, hiking, fishing, and boating amidst scenic surroundings; or visit Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve for hiking and mountain biking trails offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. For birdwatching and wildlife spotting, make sure to explore the wetlands and marshes of the Hamilton Wetlands Preserve.

When exploring the city make sure to stop by Novato's history at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring rotating exhibits of contemporary artworks by local and regional artists. And do explore the Novato History Museum to learn about the city's rich history, from its Native American roots to its role in the Gold Rush era and beyond. The Marin Museum of the American Indian is a popular destination to discover the indigenous heritage of the region through exhibits, artifacts, and cultural programs.

Downtown Novato also offers a charming mix of boutique shops, galleries, and eateries. It is also a good place to savor a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving up everything from farm-to-table cuisine to international flavors. 

If you have the time, head to the picturesque town of Petaluma, just a short drive away, known for its historic downtown, riverfront charm, and thriving arts scene. Or embark on a wine tasting adventure in the nearby Sonoma and Napa Valleys, where you can sample world-class wines amid scenic vineyards and rolling hills.

Novato is easily accessible by car via Highway 101, with ample parking available throughout the city. Public transportation options include Marin Transit buses, which connect Novato to neighboring towns and cities, as well as the Golden Gate Transit system for travel to San Francisco and beyond.