Novato, the gateway to the fabled “wine country” of both Sonoma and Napa, is Marin County’s northern-most city. Novato has more than 3,600 acres of open space and a network of 27 oak-studded parks, making it a haven for hiking, mountain biking and picnics. The views from the 1,558 foot high Mt. Burdell are breathtaking, and Stafford Lake Park – a 139-acre expanse – is a major attraction for visitors and residents who enjoy fishing, hiking, biking or day camping. Boat owners who want to purchase dockside property are drawn to Novato and Bel Marin Keys in particular.

Historical buildings dot downtown Novato,and Novato’s Old Town hosts traditional stores, boutiques and restaurants, and is a welcoming place for visitors and residents to shop and dine. Well-known high technology companies have also made their home in Novato, including the non-profit Buck Institute for Aging, designed by famed architect I. M. Pei.

In Novato you can find a thriving biotech industry, as well as the headquarters for that ugly duckling turned fashion must-have, Birkenstocks. This multi-faceted city perched at the top of the county map houses the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art at historic Hamilton Air Force Base. It also boasts 10 open-space preserves. Novato is also privy to some of Marin’s most consistently fair weather, making it a prime spot to enjoy urban assets and a nonstop range of outdoor activities. And if you’re lucky enough to own a home in Bel Marin Keys, you may be able to take advantage of this beautiful weather right from your own private dock.