Novato is either the first or second largest city in the county, sharing the honor with San Rafael. Unlike any other township in Marin, it enjoys a perfect blend of the natural and the urban. Novato’s rich historical heritage is delightfully preserved in the Old Town district, site of the annual Novato Art and Music Festival in June. The town’s heritage is also preserved in the museums that pay tribute to the Native American Miwoks, which were the first settlers of the area. As a matter of fact, Olompali State Historic Park has reconstructed a large Miwok Village!
Visitors and ‘natives’ alike have a varied menu of sights and activities from which to choose. Nature lovers will enjoy Stafford Lake for its hiking trails, fishing and picnic areas, horseback riding and running. In fact, Novato has two stables where horses are available for public riding. For those interested in city-like trappings, a visit to the new Vintage Oaks Mall-modern shopping center with more than 70 specialty shops, boutiques, cafes, restaurants and movie theaters – will fit the bill. Novato, where city meets country, imparts both urban and rural character, a combination which is tough to beat!