Things To Do and See – Novato, CA Tourist Attractions near Inn Marin
NPR Radio Interview “Visit to Inn Marin and Things To Do in the area”.
Listen to Tom Wilmer’s KCBX & KSBX Interview with Robert Marshall, General Manager
Sonoma Raceway is located 30 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and serves as the gateway to the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country. The track hosts several nationally televised events, including NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Superbike tour, and the IRL Indy Car Series. Infineon Raceway is a year-round motorsports complex with events scheduled 340 days and 50 weekends a year. More than one-half million fans passed through the gates during the 2005 season.
Discover the wonders of wildlife at Six Flags Marine World with tigers, dolphins, sharks, elephants, giraffes and other amazing animals. Experience the best in wild rides with Vertical Velocity, the new tallest, fastest skyrocket of a thrill-coaster in Northern California. Seasonal Operation. See our special package offer.
Indian Valley offers one of Northern California’s most scenic 18-hole golf courses. Designed by Robert Nyberg, this challenging course features many rolling hills and trees. The course measures 6,253 yards from the championship tees, 5,842 from the regular tees and 5,238 from the women’s tees. Indian Valley Golf Club also features a driving range and practice greens. Lessons are available from the Professional Staff of Indian Valley. Indian Valley comes equipped with a coffee shop, clubhouse facilities and a full service pro shop.
Historic Old Town Novato and Vintage Oaks Shopping Center
Discover the charms of Old Town Novato’s great shops and stores located along Grant Avenue in Novato. The tree lined streets and historic buildings make for an unhurried and enjoyable shopping experience. Vintage Oaks is the one-stop shopping place! With merchants like Target and Costco, customers can easily find all the essentials on their shopping list and still have time to browse around the center with over 50 stores to choose from.
For over 20 years Blue Waters Kayaking has shown 1000’s of visitors the glorious nature of Tomales Bay and the Point Reyes Peninsula. Blue Waters Kayaking is the only company with shoreside facilities on Tomales Bay. We are happy to serve you at either of our two locations on beautiful Tomales Bay.
StoneTree Golf Club, located in scenic Marin County, features a public 18-hole championship golf course, the exquisite Black Point Bar & Grill and an elegant craftsman style clubhouse in Novato. Situated amongst oak forests and pristine wetlands, StoneTree provides an unparalleled aesthetic richness. See our special package offer.
Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve
The mountain which dominates the northern Novato skyline was called Mt. Olompali for many years. The name was changed to Mt. Burdell sometime after Dr. Galen Burdell, a San Francisco dentist, acquired the land in the mid-1800’s. Although much of the area is composed of vast oak woodland and open grassland, Mt. Burdell Open Space Preserve also has a spectacular display of wildflowers in spring. In addition, Hidden Lake, a vernal pool with a variety of unique specimen, provides habitat for 10 species of rare plants. Mt. Burdell is one of the few open space preserves that permits limited grazing of range animals.
Explore the biological mysteries of aging; experience the architecture of I.M. Pei; and discover what scientists are learning about Alzheimer’s, cancer, stroke and other age-related diseases. Enjoy one of the Buck Institute’s free, docent-led Institute tours, which take place Thursday mornings at 10:30am. Reservations are required.
The Novato Arts Center at Hamilton Field provides a campus setting for artists at the historic airfield, once called the “Hollywood of military bases”. The facility has been recently renovated, retaining its original 1930’s Spanish architectural style. The campus consists of three buildings connected by pathways and an interior garden area. A small café on-site offers indoor and outdoor patio seating.
Marin French Cheese Company is the oldest cheese manufacturer in the USA and a unique part of American history. Visit for a tour and picnic in over five acres of landscaped park! Selection of fine soft cheeses, single cheeses, gift boxes, and souvenir items are available for purchase.
Estate Marin County Cabernet Sauvignon. Grown, produced and bottled at historic Pacheco Ranch established 1834, the oldest land grant property in California. Situated just below Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Pacheco Ranch’s elegant winery and adjacent vineyards have produced a small quantity of uniquely hand crafted wine through a process that has taken over a quarter of a century to perfect. Tasting by appointment.
Napa, Sonoma Wine Country
Renowned for its wines and beautiful countryside. Many of the wineries offer wine tasting as well as winery tours and delicious food. In addition, there are also many cafes and bistros for lunch or snacks. You can explore new and different wines, and learn where to find these special tastes of the Wine Country. See our special package offers.
The Simraceway Performance Driving Center, the worlds first driving school, is located at famous Sonoma Raceway (formerly Infineon Raceway) in Northern California’s beautiful Sonoma Valley, the heart of California’s Wine Country.
There is only one place in North America to enhance driving skills while discovering what Audi performance models like the Audi R8 and the rest of the S-Model lineup can do under ideal conditions and the expert supervision of top racing drivers. The place is the Audi Forum Sonoma at the Raceway in Sonoma, home of the Audi sportscar experience.
Located in the restored home of Novato’s first postmaster, the house was built in 1850. This unique building has been the home of the Novato History Museum since 1970 and contains many interesting displays: historical photographs, records, deeds, descriptions and maps, antiques, exhibits of bygone household goods, tools, toys, costumes, reference books and Hamilton Field memorabilia.
Group tours are by appointment. Free admission, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 12 noon to 4 pm, donations accepted.
Novato’s 35 acre Miwok is a large, shady park built around the Marin Museum of the American Indian. The Marin Museum of the American Indian offers group tours, nature walks and “hands-on” programs available to all ages by appointment. Drop in visitors are welcome during Gallery hours. The gallery primarily houses exhibits of Coastal Miwok and Pomo Indian Cultures. There is also a museum store which features Native American gifts and books.
Relax at Muir Woods, the coast redwoods are the tallest living things. The Bohemian and Cathedral groves contain the biggest trees in Muir Woods–one 252 feet tall and one 14 feet wide. Most of these trees range in age of 800-1000 years old! There are 3 walks, from one-half hour to 1.5 hours, and much longer hikes if you wish. The forest park is actually paved to make it easy for wheelchairs and mothers with strollers. The longer hikes are unpaved. The 560 acre park includes six miles of paved, mostly level trails on the canyon floor.
Get into air sports with an introductory tandem hang gliding or paragliding lesson over the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. Make your visit to the Bay Area an unforgettable one! Specially trained in tandem hang gliding instruction, the San Francisco Hang Gliding Center provides one of the most unique experiences available in adventure sports.
Located 30 minutes south across the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, CA The City is situated on a 46.6 square-mile peninsula bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by the Golden Gate strait and from north to east by San Francisco Bay. The last provides it with one of the world’s finest land-locked harbors.
The Bay is spanned by two landmarks, the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridges, and graced by four islands — Alcatraz, Angel, Yerba Buena, and Treasure.
Its principal attractions are the century-old cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Chinatown, and Golden Gate Park among so many others. sfvisitor.org
Visitors to Stinson Beach experience the pleasures of this quiet beach community. Whether hiking, enjoying a picnic, exploring the town, or relaxing on the beach, people continue to find Stinson Beach a great place to escape from the frantic pace of everyday life, just as it has been for over a century.
Stinson Beach is open year round every day. The entrance gates open at 9:00 a.m. Closing times vary depending on season. Check the posted sign when you enter the parking lot.
The spectacular gardens which include ancient trees, rolling lawns, a butterfly habitat, medicinal herb garden and native plant garden, the Center provides a venue for many educational programs for all age groups including classes for professionals as well as the home gardener.
In 1579, Sir Francis Drake, sailing his Golden Hind, explored this treacherous and windy coastline that had been home to the Coast Miwok people for hundreds of years. Today, this harsh region is home to more than 470 species of birds that thrive in the 70,000-acre park. The park is also home to the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse, built in 1870.
In the park are the Morgan Horse Ranch, a replica of a Coast Miwok Indian village called Kule Loklo and three easy, self-guiding trails. The Earthquake Trail follows the San Andreas Fault for 0.7 mile. Longer trails cross the pasturelands of Pierce Point and the Estero, chaparral ridges, California-laurel valleys, forests and meadowlands. Scenic roads lead to beaches, panoramic views, outstanding bird watching areas, and a tule elk grazing area. Visitors can watch bird-banding activities at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory and explore the fascinating tide pools.
The entrance is accessible only to southbound traffic from Highway 101. The park overlooks the Petaluma River and San Pablo Bay from the east-facing slopes of 1,558 foot Mount Burdell. Several historic buildings are preserved within the park. Visitors may also use the hiking and horseback riding trail as well as shaded picnic areas.
Situated on the shore of Stafford Lake, three miles west of Novato, this 139 acre park offers lake fishing, a nature trail, picnic areas with barbecue facilities for groups of up to 500 people, a popular children’s play structure, lawn areas, a softball field, volleyball and horseshoe courts. The lake and Novato hills make for some wonderful vistas, and the picnic and play areas are lovely as well. Day use fee required.
The approximately 8 miles of coast from the Bodega Bay Head to a little past Jenner is all Sonoma Coast State Beach property. Beach accesses trails and parking lots are regularly maintained. You can stop and walk down to any beach you see from the road! Further up Highway 1 lie historic Fort Ross and Salt Point State Park. In the town of Bodega Bay there is the fun Doran County Park with its jetties (great for crabbing and fishing) and big sandy beaches.
Marin County is a paradise for outdoor recreation, with weather that allows visitors and residents to enjoy biking all year round. Marin County’s lands represent outstanding examples of Northern California environments including oak-bay woodlands, savannas, grasslands and salt marshs. These habitats are managed and protected to enhance their natural, undeveloped character while accommodating educational activities and trail-oriented uses. Outdoor recreation is what Marin County is all about!
Start at Inn Marin to enjoy the Novato Loop and finish with a cold one at Rickey’s.
Surrounded by interesting trails, Sunset Corral offers guided trail riding, horse rentals, instruction and boarding. Nestled in the western hills of Novato, and conveniently located at the base of Indian Trees Open Space where over 3000 acres of Marin County Open Space trails begin.
Open 7 days a week.