Top 10 Things to Do in Novato California – Museums, Parks and Vines
Novato, California, is a city in Marin County just 30 miles (48km.) north of San Francisco. It was once the site of several Coastal Miwok villages, and you can read about their history at the local Marin Museum of the American Indian.
Novato is a great place to soak up history, explore the many parks and wildlife, and take a stroll or a glass of wine. The weather is fairly moderate throughout the year, ranging from 50 to 80 °F (10 to 26 °C), with little precipitation.
Stroll Old Town Novato
Old Town is Novato’s quaint downtown area, rich in history and filled with boutique shops, local establishments, and dining options.
Stroll along the main thoroughfare of Grant Avenue and window shop, or try one of their many delicious bakeries, such as Rustic Bakery, Creekside Bakery, or a delicious gluten-free option, Dough Childe Bakery.
On Grant Avenue, you can also find the Novato Theatre. This local landmark was recently renovated and renovated and is a great venue for movies, performing arts, live music, and events.
Enjoy wine, music, and olive oil at Trek Winery
This family-owned and operated winery is a must for those visiting Novato. It’s local, award-winning, and conveniently located downtown.
The winery is known for its excellent and affordable red wines, but they also have some white wines. This is a great way to meet the locals, taste some delicious wines on their patio, or pick up a bottle to take home later.
The tasting costs 5 USD, which is waived if you buy a bottle. You can also taste and purchase their excellent olive oils and browse through their selection of wine merchandise, such as jewelry, wine glasses, and pourers.
If you’re looking for more than wine, Trek Winery hosts live music, comedy shows, and even monthly events like “Paint Night” for those who want to sharpen their artistic skills.
Spend a Day at Pioneer Park
Pioneer Park is a beautiful park in Novato and one of the most popular in the area. It’s family-friendly and a great place to bring the kids or pack a picnic in the sun.
It recently updated its sports infrastructure, tennis courts, and a historic cemetery. Following a paved path will take you to the top of the hill, where you will find the cemetery where many of Novato’s most famous residents are buried.
Throughout the year, Pioneer Park will host festivals and nightly movies during the summer. A movie in the park is the perfect spot to bring a bottle of wine and a blanket for a romantic date night.
Buy fresh from Novato Farmer’s Market
A community favorite, the Novato Farmers Market offers an array of fresh produce from local farms and local cheese and honey.
The market is also filled with deliciously prepared food stands, from sweet kettle corn and spicy Thai food to mouth-watering barbecue.
If you don’t come hungry, the market also hosts art vendors with jewelry, pottery, and more. This is a great place to bring the family together – there’s even a bounce house for the kids or the occasional pony ride and live music for everyone to enjoy.
The market is open every Tuesday night from May to September from 4 pm to 8 pm. It is located in historic downtown on Grant Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets.
Plan an adventure in Point Reyes National Park
Just a 30-minute drive west, Point Reyes is a picturesque 70,000+-acre (~28327.995 ha) national park on the peninsula.
This nature preserve is the perfect place to enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, stand on windbreaks, and explore nature through several hiking trails and beaches.
Point Reyes Lighthouse is to be noticed. Located at the tip of Point Reyes, it looks out over the Gulf of the Farallones, where it used to be a shining beacon of light for sailors and sailors looking to make safe passage.
To reach the lighthouse, you must walk up 300 steps to its base. It is less than a half mile (0.8 km) walk away and accessible from the parking lot.
If you want to go whale watching, this is a great spot to do so, although make sure you check the weather beforehand to choose the least foggy day.
Make sure you also come bundled; Point Reyes is the windiest point of the Pacific Ocean and the second foggiest spot on the North American continent.
Surround yourself with history and nature on your next trip to Novato
Novato is a great place for a weekend trip from San Francisco or if you are looking for a small-town getaway.
From wine tasting, an abundance of museums, and one of the most beautiful national parks, Novato has plenty of ways to keep you entertained.
If you make it to Point Reyes, stop at the Hog Island Oyster Farm on your way out as you make your way along the coast.
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