Novato is the northernmost city in Marin County, California, and is located approximately 29 miles north of San Francisco and 37 miles northwest of Oakland. Novato, which covers 28 square miles, has a population of nearly 53,000—a density about one-half of San Rafael, and nearly one-third of Petaluma or Vallejo. Novato has a rural atmosphere largely because of its low population density and the high amount of open space and parks in and near the City.
Novato has more than 3,600 acres of open space, making it a haven for hiking and mountain biking. The views from the 1,558 foot high Mt. Burdell are outstanding. Novato has two public golf courses, a 16,000 square foot skate park and a network of 27 oak-studded parks. Novato’s Stafford Lake Park, a 139-acre expanse is a major attraction for visitors and residents who enjoy fishing, hiking, biking or day camping.
We have a proud tradition of community events within our historic Old Town including the Novato Festival of Art, Wine and Music each June, our annual 4th of July Parade, Nostalgia Days Classic Car Show in August, the Downtown Farmers’ Market held from May through September, and our Holiday Tree Lighting in December.
The county seat of Marin, San Rafael is large, diverse, eclectic, and historic. That history stretches from California’s beginnings, with the 1817 founding of Mission San Rafael on the old El Camino Real, to the construction of the eye-popping Marin Civic Center in the 1960s. Designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Civic Center was completed in 1962 and is so futuristic that it pops up in science-fiction films. Browse our selection of San Rafael homes for sale.
San Rafael still looks to the future thanks to a vibrant downtown redevelopment effort. The focal point of downtown is the Smith Rafael Film Center, which features a state–of-the-art multiplex cinema that screens independent and foreign films. Cuisine is eclectic: within a few blocks of 4th Street diners can find sushi, Indian, Thai, Italian, Mexican, and Puerto Rican food. Thursday afternoons in the spring and summer find 4th Street hosting a farmers market, which features live music.
The neighborhoods of San Rafael are equally distinctive. From the sought-after midcentury Eichler homes of Terra Linda to the Victorians that surround Dominican College and the custom homes of Lucas Valley, San Rafael provides diversity of price and style.
It’s also easy to get away from it all in San Rafael. Nearby China Camp State Park is a jewel by the bay, offering: a kid-friendly, walk-in campground for tents only; a shallow, protected swimming beach; and biking and running trails.
Great weather, access to hiking and biking trails, good schools, and a strong, vibrant downtown make San Anselmo a desirable destination for Marin County homebuyers looking to live a little off the beaten track. Browse our selection of San Anselmo homes for sale.
The neighborhood surrounding the San Francisco Theological Seminary is a quiet, leafy enclave of large, older houses with well-tended yards. Heading up Butterfield Road will take you to the rolling hills above San Anselmo and sweeping views of the open spaces, grasslands, and oak trees of northern Marin County. Downtown, locals get their fill of gourmet comfort food at Comforts and their caffeine fix at the Marin Coffee Roasters. Shopping for antiques is a notable pastime here, with numerous stores devoted to discovering the perfect find.
San Anselmo is a town made for strolling. Small shops and many restaurants line the main street, which backs onto the active San Anselmo Creek. Insalata’s and Cucina Restaurant & Wine Bar are popular dinner destinations with locals.
Nestled between the slopes of Mount Tamalpais and the marshlands of San Francisco Bay, Corte Madera is home to excellent schools and parks and all the expected urban amenities, making it a great place to raise a family in Marin County. Browse our selection of Corte Madera homes for sale.
While the malls provide great shopping, there’s more to Corte Madera than retailers and easy access to San Francisco. Civic organizations donate the flower baskets that hang on almost every lamppost in town and coordinate the town’s blowout 4th of July Parade. Corte Madera is home to MarinScapes, the annual art show that has raised more than $1 million dollars for Buckelew Programs, which helps fight mental illness.
Little Leaguers take full advantage of the spacious, well-tended parks and ball fields. Families have been enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and delicious Italian country cooking at Benissimo Restaurant & Bar since 1987. And Corte Madera can claim Book Passage, an independent bookstore with a busy calendar of classes, workshops, and author readings that bring in literary luminaries.
When you purchase a home in Fairfax, you’re also purchasing history. There’s still a whiff of 1960s counterculture in Fairfax, where the Jefferson Airplane once played softball with the Grateful Dead. This town of 7,500 residents just north of Mount Tamalpais is 30 minutes from San Francisco, less than 20 miles from Point Reyes, and is known as one of Marin County’s more affordable communities. Browse our selection of Fairfax homes for sale.
The heart of Fairfax is Broadway Boulevard, which parallels Sir Frances Drake Boulevard, the main traffic corridor heading west. Broadway is a perfect walking street where locals shop at Fairfax Coffee Roastery, purchase fresh local produce at the farmers market, and duck into Fairfax Variety for toys, tchotchkes, and candy. If Fairfax feels like it is living in a time warp, that’s just fine with its residents, who have passed ordinances prohibiting chain stores, plastic bags, and Styrofoam takeout-food packaging. The art-deco movie theater and 19 Broadway Bar & Night Club are at the center of the action when it comes to nightlife in Fairfax.
One of the most spectacular features of houses in Larkspur is the scenery surrounding them. Redwoods rule in Larkspur. In Baltimore Park and Baltimore Canyon, giant redwoods grow straight out of the road, while the streets gently curve their way around these massive trees. Browse our selection of Larkspur homes for sale.
Tucked away under the redwoods beneath Mount Tamalpais, Larkspur boasts a great dining scene. The main street, Magnolia Avenue, is a vibrant destination for food lovers who frequent restaurants such as Pizzeria Picco, Emporio Rulli, and the Left Bank Brasserie. The Lark Theater, also on Magnolia, has been restored to its art-deco glory by a community effort and screens first-run films.
The Larkspur and Corte Madera Creek paths run a few blocks parallel to Magnolia on a former railroad right-of-way and are popular with families, dog walkers, and bikers on their way to Point Reyes.