One of Marin County's largest towns.

Welcome to Novato

Scenic city in central North Bay with many diverse neighborhoods and plenty of preserved open spaces for outdoor recreation
Novato is one of Marin County's largest towns and functions as the hub of San Francisco's North Bay region, with a population of approximately 55,600. Located 16 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and 20 miles from wine country, Novato provides a quick commute to San Francisco. One of Novato's most appealing assets is its mix of cultures and robust array of diverse neighborhoods suited to all walks of life.
Novato's history dates back to 1300 when Miwok Native American's settled at the base of Mount Burdell. This early culture continues to be celebrated in Novato at several different sites, including the Marin Museum of the American Indian.
At the heart of Novato is the robust and historic downtown district, a gathering place for visitors and residents to shop and dine. Home to City Hall, office space, and many community events, downtown is where most of the magic happens.

What to Love

  • Easy access to places like wine country and San Francisco
  • Tons of open space and wooded areas ideal for outdoor recreation
  • Pleasant, tight-knit community and many free, family-friendly events

People & Lifestyle

In addition to the Hamilton community, many other unique neighborhoods are scattered throughout Novato. There are neighborhoods with direct access to the San Francisco Bay for boaters and those seeking waterfront properties, while the expansive estate settings in Indian Valley are better-suited for equestrians and outdoorsy types.
Boasting more than 3,600 acres of protected open space, Novato is home to diverse terrain and a rural atmosphere that invites hikers and bikers who want to live close to places like Stafford Lake. Novato is a great place to live with classic small-town charms and a peaceful, naturalist vibe. It's not uncommon to see people riding horses along the trails or hiking to the preserves to watch wildlife.

Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment

Novato's close distance to Sonoma County makes it a bonafide culinary destination with various dining favorites like the seasonally-driven Californian restaurant Crave and Irish pub-style Finnegan's Marin.

Farm-to-table is the name of the game at Crave, where the staff believes in providing local ingredients to create classic dishes like buttermilk fried chicken and wild mushroom flatbreads. Ornamented with dark wood-paneled booths and high-backed bar stools, stepping into Finnegan's feels akin to dining in an authentic Irish tavern.

The old-fashioned trattoria Chianti Cucina is the best place in Novato for authentic, family-friendly Italian cuisine. With a menu containing a lengthy list of pasta and favorites like bruschetta and housemade ravioli, you'll find plenty of decadent options to fill your belly. Just make sure you leave room for dessert!

Retail therapy is best handled at Vintage Oaks, conveniently located off Highway 101 and Rowland Boulevard. As one of Marin County's top destinations for shoppers, Vintage Oaks offers a mixture of boutiques and unique stores in a quaint, historic downtown area.

Visit downtown Novato for a leisurely afternoon touring the boutiques on historic Grant Avenue. Here you'll find everything from fine quality home decor and antiques to artisan food and upscale apparel. City Hall, a notable local landmark, is just around the corner for those interested in Novato's history, as is the Novato History Museum.

Things to Do

The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art (also known as MarinMOCA) is a vibrant arts center and community gathering place that showcases local, national, and international artists with new exhibits on view every six weeks. Located at the historic Hamilton Field, the museum features a main gallery, a lobby gallery, an additional second-floor gallery, educational programs, artist studios, and a museum store.

Novato has several scenic preserves and natural green spaces like the Indian Valley Preserve and Deer Island Preserve. Indian Valley expands across 558 acres around the College of Marin's Indian Valley campus. Thick with trees, this preserve is always shady and ideal for hot summer days. While significantly smaller at only 154 acres, Deer Island is an equally beautiful preserve that rises above the eastern edge of Novato. True to its name, you're likely to see deer grazing or running through the native oaks.

Apart from the preserves, Stafford Lake Park is a popular destination for families who want to soak in the scenic views of Stafford Lake. You can also fish off the shore for catfish, bluegill, and bass here, and it's an excellent location for group picnics and outdoor games.
Novato presents free community concerts, outdoor movies, and other family-friendly events year-round like the Novato Festival Art, Wine and Music, Nostalgia Days Classic Car Show, Holiday Tree Lighting, and a 4th of July Parade. During the holidays, Novato also hosts a Holiday Crafts Faire where artisans can showcase handmade items like jewelry, ceramics, wreaths, ornaments, and more.


The Novato Unified School District serves the town of Novato. Besides primary elementary, middle, and high schools, Novato is also home to the Indian Valley campus of Marin College, a public community college. The Indian Valley campus is known for its Olympic-sized pool, which attracts thousands of swimmers from all over Marin County and beyond each year.

Search All Homes

Work With Matt and Justin

Matt and Justin are equipped to provide clients with experienced representation and personalized professional service. Whether you’re buying, selling, or learning about the current real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact them. Your home journey will thank you!

Follow Us