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Novato is the Place to Be

Novato is an enclave of classic small town Americana located just outside the vibrant metropolitan area of San Francisco Bay in Northern California. Surrounded by rolling mountains and cloaked in perfectly preserved green space, Novato is an oasis of fresh air, outdoor activity and small town charm.

There is a reason the city claims itself as being “The Place to Be”. After visiting the charming treasures of this country suburb, it may be the only place you want to be. From its quaint boutique shops promenading along a classic main street to golfing on award-winning links and biking along tree-shaded country highways and byways, Novato is the relaxing adventure everyone deserves.

Points of Interest


No matter what your taste, Novato has a table reserved for you. From the classic American burger and quintessential Italian to such international fares as Asian and Mediterranean, Novato’s tables are both just like home and excitedly exotic. For a taste of TexMex, try Cacti Grill and its comprehensive margarita menu. For Chinese there is Garden Court. Mary’s Pizza Shack tosses classic Italian pies and Chalet Basque is perfect for Mediterranean.


Along the downtown’s tree lined promenade is where one can discover Novato’s true charm -- its Old Town shops and boutiques. Occupying a handful of historic structures, this unique collection of shops offers an interesting and relaxing retail experience. Always Pampered has all your luxurious skincare needs covered and Continental Jewelers Inc specializes in designer jewelry. Mode Marche sells women’s boutique fashion in a contemporary setting and Powell’s Sweet Shoppe specializes in old-fashioned nostalgia. For chain retail shopping, Vintage Oaks Shopping Center is home to such staples as Target, Costco, Marshall’s and Old Navy.


Regardless of the month or time of day, there is always something happening in Novato. Not to miss is the Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music. Occurring every June, this extravaganza features the best of the Bay Area’s jazz, vintage and creativity. The city’s diverse collection of theaters and nightclubs also play host to a plethora of music and theater events. To see what’s playing, check the community calendar.

Did You Know?

  • Novato is home to such international research centers and think tanks as the Buck Institute for Age Research.
  • Both Birkenstock and The Republic of Tea have their international headquarters in Novato.
  • The total population of the city is 47,630.
  • Metallica’s singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield once called Novato home and Doobie Brothers guitarist, Tom Johnston, still lives here.
  • The city’s location was originally home to various Coast Miwok native villages. It was later a Mexican village until 1848 when California was annexed by the United States.

Visiting Novato

Novato’s classic small town charm, natural landscape, fine dinning and unique shopping make it an ideal destination, either as an excursion from San Francisco or as a vacation spot in itself.

Outdoor Attractions

The Indian Valley Golf Club is an 18-hole course embraced by a backdrop of mountain peaks. For a relaxing outdoor retreat, Stafford Lake Park is just three miles west of the city center. Within this 139-acre lakeside park are hiking trails, fishing ponds, picnic areas and ample green space. Sunset mountain horseback riding can be arranged through Willow Tree Stables. To learn about the native population that once called Novato home, you must visit to Miwok Park and Marin Museum of the American Indian. Olompali State Historic Park provides a scenic overlook of the Petaluma River and offers hiking, horseback riding and cultural events. Novato also provides easy access to such Bay area staples as the Muir Woods, Napa and Sonoma Wine Countries and San Francisco.

Getting There and Around

Novato is located just north of San Francisco and is served by the Bay Area’s international airport. It is also served by the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. For those looking for more flexibility and style, renting a limousine, classic car, sedans, vans, shuttles, coaches or tour buses will ensure you get to explore the Novato area on your own time and according to your own terms. Instead of being a slave to someone else’s schedule, with Novato Limousines, you can sit back and simply enjoy the ride.

Just like the city of Novato itself, riding in the back of a Novato limo is simply the place to be.

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