Novato captures a small-town American feeling with its charming and family friendly community. It’s located just below Petaluma and surrounded by wonderful oak and bay tree-studded hills. From the challenging mountain and road biking options to the numerous foot trail systems, there are plenty of outdoor activity options. The weather is warm, and in general, there is a sense of space that you don’t find in many of Marin’s other communities. The space allows for big-box retailers off the Rowland exit and an eclectic mix of small-town boutiques and restaurants along Grant Avenue.
For breakfast, try Golden Egg Omelet House; for coffee, try Dr. Insomniacs; for lunch, stop by Las Guitarras or Rustic Bakery; for dinner, try Boca Tavern, Hilltop 1982, or Wildfox, and for a drink, stop by Finnegan’s Marin. There’s a farmer’s market on Grant from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm May through September. If you’re a golfer, try Stone Tree Golf Club. Take the kids to either Pioneer or Miwok Park. Homes in Novato typically sell from $500,000 to $2.5M. The commute to San Francisco by car is approximately 40 minutes with no traffic and well over an hour at peak traffic times. Another commuting option is the Smart Train, which offers Wi-Fi and will take you to the Larkspur Ferry terminal for your final leg across the Bay. Novato is served by the Novato Unified Public School System, which includes the top-rated Pleasant Valley and Rancho Elementary schools.