I like these trails because they follow well maintained fire roads, and aren't outrageously steep like the killer hills closest to my house. Not all the trails permit bikes, so make sure you know where you are going. As a general rule, you are fine on any of the fire roads. If you are on a bike, stay off trails that turn into narrow foot trails...more
Zohara was totally surprised when we entered Jessica and Mark's dining room to begin the VT EATS part of the meet and found that she had a birthday cake for her birthday, it was a great surprise. But then we all got down to eating all the food everyone had prepared, each member had brought something from home, even the visitors from Israel (yes...more
I must admit that our daughter Tal is a car freak..she sees special cars that she likes and it is amazing to see her eyes light up...so when Al and Carol both arrived at the VT meet at Jessica and Mark's in CONVERTIBLES, well the fireworks began...and to make it even better, both Al and Carol took her for a ride, her first time in an open top, talk...more
Thanks to Jessica and Mark, who invited us into their home for a VT meet when we came to California we were able to meet some of the fantastic people of VTCalifornia. We met Jessica and Mark of course, but also Al and his wife, Julie and Jo, Smurti and her boyfriend and Keren and Greg also were there with their kids and also Linda, Jessica's...more
Just north of Novato are hundreds of acres of open space with beautiful hiking trails. I like the Mount Burdell area because of its natural beauty and feeling of being in a remote area. The hike goes through bay laurel forests, over streams, and through grassy meadows dotted with coast live and white oaks, laurels and buckeyes. Wildflowers are...more
Every year Novato hosts a weekend long Art & Wine festival where crowds gather to look at local artist's work, drink wine and beer, eat festival food and listen to live music. The town closes off several blocks of "Old Town" streets and booths and stages are set upi in the streets.This year the festival took place on June 12 and 13.I heard the...more
215 Alameda Del Prado, Novato, CA 94949
Good for: Solo
250 Entrada Dr, Novato, CA 94949
Good for: Business
1400 North Hamilton Parkway, , Novato, CA 94949
Good for: Solo
I used to have a tip posted here with words of praise for Novato's Kitchen Restaurant. I've erased that because we went back last Thursday and everyone's dish was mediocre. My salad was overpriced considering I only got a couple of leaves of lettuce, some tiny crescent shaped beet slices and a thimbleful of gorgonzola. My ravioli plate was small...more
When you open the door to this relatively new restaurant in Old Town Novato, the first impression is "warm and cozy". After being seated everything went downhill very quickly. We had a table for four and I was the only vegetarian, so my choices were rather limited . I ordered the Endive Salad and a Pasta/Fungi dish. I was told by the rather...more
Las Guitarras has pretty good Mexican food, although like most Bay Area Mexican restaurants, the food it serves is not spicy. However, it is tasty enough, and the margaritas are fairly good. The restaurant is located in a small cottage (not your typical stucco building). It also has a good sized outdoor dining area (with an unscenic view), which is...more
Housed in a former A&W location, this place looks a little dive-ish, if you know what I mean. However, it's a great place to go if you want some good ribs or grilled tri-tip or chicken. The formerly outdoor patio is covered in a tent-like structure, with plastic walls, and heaters to keep you warm. Chinese chicken salad. The chicken is delicious...more
A small restaurant that is generally full, so you'd better make reservations, this place is great! We'd been hearing about it for months but hadn't had the opportunity to go there. On the spur of the moment, 6 of us decided to go there for an early dinner. We arrived at 5:30 and there were enough empty tables for them to put together a 6-person...more
The building was a church many decades ago and has gone through a few restaurant incranations in the past 30 years. It's latest incarnation has been around 12 years and is still quite successful. I can, with certainty, say that this is the best food being served in Novato right now. At least, that's going by our most recent experience. Everything...more
Very good Mexican food (ETS calls it Tex-Mex tho) in a more upscale setting than many of the Mexican restaurants in town. Lovely patio dining is available, as is indoor seating both upstairs and down. Chicken taco salad, please and thank you. Though a top shelf margarita on the rocks aint half bad.more
Okay, when I say late night, it's relative. So far, finding a restaurant open past 9pm has been a challenge! We walked in to Peppers at 9:50pm one evening, after a baseball game with cjg1, and my god, they were open! They closed at 10, and there was only our table and two other tables with customers. I think they even had to reopen the kitchen......more
I suppose this is the "hip" bar to visit in Novato. But I can't help but have an aversion to it. While it's got the nicest interior of lots of hard wood, there's something about it that I just don't like. Too snotty. Too fern-bar. Too... I don't know. But it's been a long time since I went to "The Bit," so I suppose it's time to go back and give it...more
This bar is oddly placed, on Redwood Boulevard, near the corner of Grant Avenue. Yes, it's downtown. But it looks so odd from the outside. Grey painted cinderblocks with some darkened windows to look out on the commuter traffic.Go inside and see paintings of viking boats, vikings, a couple pool tables, the lights for live music, but no live...more
There are a few bars in Novato -- one with live music (that I know of). I'll just mention the one with music: Mancuso's. It's a down-home place, in a shopping center, next to the town post office. Sometimes they've got pretty good live music, and hey -- it's much closer than going to San Francisco for the locals! Casual.more
The park is located three miles north of Novato on U.S. 101. The entrance is accessible only to southbound traffic from Highway 101. Northbound vehicles should continue north past the park and make a safe U-Turn at San Antonio Road, in order to travel south and enter the park.
On Tuesdays, from 4 to 7, during the Summertime, a few blocks off of Grant Avenue are closed for the Farmer's Market. There you can buy the freshest fruits, vegetables, baked goods and some delicious roasted chickens or barbecue... a great way to do your shopping!
What to buy: Whatever is fresh and sweet and ripe.
What to pay: Less than the grocery stores
Marin County is made up of 19 separate public school districts. Like the rest of Marin County, Novato strongly supports its public school district and is willing to tax itself to supplement the substandard funding provided by the State of California. Novato recently passed a school bond that enabled it to make substantial renovations to its aging...more
Novato IS off the beaten path for most tourists. This is the most populous town in Marin County, however. It's mainly known as a 'bedroom community', with people living in Novato, and then commuting down the Highway 101 corridor to San Francisco each day for work.more
There are numerous horse stables in Novato, but my favorite is Willow Tree Stables. There you can take lessons in Western and English style riding, as well as rent horses for a trail ride (the stables provides a leader for the trail ride). In the Summer, they have Sunset rides where you can ride up the hills and along the ridges to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
Monte, the owner, is a great teacher and skilled horsewoman. Highly recommended!
Equipment: Wear boots with a heel, so your feet can be snug in the stirrups and wear long pants. A hat and sunscreen are good if you're riding in the sun a lot.
Novato, California is the northernmost city in Marin
County, approximately twenty-nine miles north of San Francisco
and thirty-seven miles northwest of Oakland. Novato covers twenty-eight
square miles. As of the 2000 Census, Novato has a population of 47,630
which is 76.3% White, 13.1% Hispanic, 5.1% Asian, 1.9% Black and 3.6%
all other races.
The highest point in Novato is Mt. Burdell at 1,558 feet. The
elevation in downtown Novato is 18 feet. The mean annual temperature
is 67 degrees, with an average minimum of 46 degrees and an average
maximum of 71 degrees. Rainfall averages approximately 27.5 inches
per year. Novato is California's 151st largest city.
The City of Novato was incorporated on January 20, 1960 as a general
law city. The City Council is made up of five members, elected
at large, serving four-year terms. The Mayor is selected for a
one-year term from among the members of the City Council. The
City operates under a council-manager form of government. The
City Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk.
*Picture courtesy of marin.org.