Top 6 Things To Do In Novato, California: Museums, Parks And Wine!

things to do in novato california

Novato, California is a city in Marin County, just 30 miles (48km.) north of San Francisco. It was once the site of several Coast Miwok villages, and you can read about their history in the local Marin Museum of the American Indian. The weather is pretty moderate ranging from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 26 degrees Celsius) throughout the year, with low precipitation. Novato is a great place to soak up history, explore the many parks and wildlife, as well as take a leisurely stroll or grab a glass of wine downtown.

1. Stroll through Old Town Novato

Posted by City of Novato - City Government on Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Old Town is the quaint downtown area of Novato, rich in history and full of boutique shops, local establishments and dining options. Take a walk along the main drag of Grant Avenue and window shop or try one of their many delicious bakeries, such as Rustic Bakery, Creekside Bakery or a tasty gluten-free option, Flour Chylde Bakery.

On Grant Avenue, you can also find the Novato Theater. This local landmark was recently rebuilt and renovated and is a great venue for movies, performing arts, live music and events.

Old Town Novato

Address: Grant Avenue

Website: Old Town Novato

2. Enjoy wine, music and olive oil at Trek Winery

Happy #WineWednesday! This weeks featured wine is our 2013 Sangiovese from the Shenandoah Valley. Much like most of our...

Posted by Trek Wine on Wednesday, 14 September 2016

This family owned and run winery is a must stop for those traveling to Novato. It is local, award-winning and located conveniently downtown. The winery is known for its excellent and affordable red wines but they also have a few white wines as well. This is a great way to meet locals, taste some delicious wine on their patio or take a bottle home for later. The tasting costs 5 USD, which is waived if you purchase a bottle. You can also taste and purchase their excellent olive oil 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 also hosts monthly events, such as live music, comedy shows and even a “paint nite” for those who want to sharpen their artistic skills.

Trek Winery

Address: 1026 Machin Ave, Novato, CA 94945

Opening Hours: Noon to 8pm. Closed on Monday and Tuesday

Contact: +1 4158999883

Website: Trek Winery

3. Spend a day at Pioneer Park

Pioneers Park (Lincoln) Smoke Signal 2
Source: Photo by user Ammodramus used under CC0

Pioneer park is a beautiful park in Novato and one of the most popular in the area. It is family friendly, a great place to bring the kids or pack a picnic to enjoy under the sun. It has a recently updated play structure, tennis courts and even a historic cemetery. If you follow a paved walkway, it will lead you to the top of the hill where you will find the cemetery where many of Novato’s famous settlers were buried.

Throughout the year, Pioneer Park will also host festivals as well as night movies projected outdoors during the summer. A movie in the park is a perfect place to bring a bottle of wine and a blanket for a romantic date night.

Pioneer Park

Address: 1007 Simmons Ln, Novato, CA 94945

Website: Pioneer Park

4. Buy fresh from Novato Farmer’s Market

Posted by Downtown Novato Community Farmers Market on Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A community favorite, Novato Farmer’s Market provides an array of fresh produce from local farms as well as local cheese and honey. The market is also full of delicious prepared food stands, from sweet kettle corn and spicy thai food to mouth-watering barbecue.

If you didn’t come hungry, the market also hosts art vendors with jewelry, pottery and more. It’s a great place to bring the family - there is even a bounce house or sometimes pony rides for the kids and live music for everyone to enjoy.

The market is open every Tuesday night from May through September from 4pm-8pm. It is located in the historic downtown on Grant Avenue between 1st and 4th Street.

Novato Farmer's Market

Address: Grant Avenue

Opening Hours: 4pm-8pm every Tuesday from May through September

Website: Novato Farmer’s Market

5. Plan an adventure at Point Reyes National Park

The windiest and foggiest location on the Pacific Coast sure was kind (and beautiful) on this day. →

Posted by Matt J. Fraser on Monday, 20 February 2017

Just a 30 minute drive west, is a picturesque 70,000+ acre (~28327.995 hectare) national park on the Point Reyes peninsula. This nature preserve is the perfect place to take in panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, stand on windy bluffs and explore nature through the many hiking trails and beaches.

The Point Reyes Lighthouse is not to be missed. Situated on the tip of Point Reyes, it looks out into the Gulf of the Farallones, where it used to be a shining beacon of light for mariners and sailors looking to make safe passage through. To get down to the lighthouse, you must walk the 300 steps that lead to its base. It’s less than half a mile (0.8km.) walk and is accessed from the parking lot. If you’re looking to spot whales, this is a great location to do so, although make sure you check the weather beforehand to pick the least foggiest day.

Make sure you also come bundled, Point Reyes is the windy point on the Pacific Ocean and the second foggiest place on the North American continent.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

Address: Point Reyes National Seashore, Lighthouse Visitor Center, 27000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness, CA 94937

Opening Hours: 10am to 4:30pm. Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Website: Point Reyes Lighthouse

Surround yourself in history and nature on your next trip to Novato

Novato is a great place for a weekend trip from San Francisco or if you’re looking for a small town type of vacation. From wine tasting, museums galore and one of the most beautiful national parks, Novato is full of ways to keep you entertained. If you do make it out to Point Reyes, be sure to make a stop at Hog Island Oyster Farm on your way over for fresh oysters as you wind your way along the coast.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Lucy is a Pacific Northwest native, currently finding adventure in San Francisco and daydreaming of the next trip around the globe. When she is not hunting down the best ramen spots or sailing on...Read more

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