A rural and rugged, yet growing retreat north of the Bay
On the western edge of the San Pedro Bay, Novato is one of northern California’s fastest-growing communities. Outdoor dining enjoyed in the company of live music, rugged terrain begging to be explored, and old-fashioned architecture has helped to define Novato as the very definition of the “good life.” Despite this highly visible small-town charm and close proximity to preserves, farms, and state parks, locals enjoy very easy access to an abundance of modern amenities, waterfront luxury, relatively affordable prices for the area, and a short 30-mile drive from downtown San Francisco.
All-American eats, perfectly in line with Novato’s cozy charm, are served at Marvin’s Breakfast Club, a long-respected establishment. Marvin’s has put their own snazzy spin on old-fashioned brunch favorites like their Hollywood Benedict topped with creamy avocado, chorizo, and tomato, Julia Benedict adorned with corned beef hash, cinnamon walnut French toast, and their southern-style chicken-fried steak. Finnegan’s is a local Irish pub known for its vast drink selection and comforting Guinness pot roast. Just down the 101, Vintage Oaks Shopping Center is home to over 50 high-end stores, restaurants, and specialty businesses. Outdoor shopping is not the only way to enjoy Northern California’s mild temperatures. Every summer, the community celebrates Independence Day at the Novato 4th of July Parade. Also held in the summer, Concerts on the Green showcase the best of regional talent. Fun doesn’t always require a reserved spot on the calendar, though — Novato is home to a high number of wide-open parks and preserves. Pioneer Park consists of playgrounds, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and paved walking paths across nine perfect acres. Miwok Park is located on the site of a Native American village, providing invaluable lessons to visitors about the history, traditions, and culture of those who came before us. Three miles down the road on the banks of a scenic lake, Stafford Lake Bike Park offers scenic biking trails for riders of all experience levels across their 17 acres. Some of the most beautiful views in all of northern California can be found at the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve, rising up 1,550 feet above sea level, rewarding visitors who make it to the top with once-in-a-lifetime views.
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