Novato began as Rancho de Novato, a Spanish land grant. Incorporated in 1960, it encompasses 28 square miles and has a distinct country-suburban feel. Features and landmarks include the huge Vintage Oaks Shopping Mall and Hamilton Field, a former air base converted to a residential and retail complex. It is also home to the Buck Institute, an internationally recognized scientific center focused on aging research. Novato is one of the larger populations in the County and has one of the highest education levels.
The Novato Unified School District serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in north Marin. The district includes eight elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, one continuation high school, an independent study program for K-12 (NOVA) and two charters, one K-8 and one high school.
Parks & Recreation
A number of parks exist throughout the city and in some outer regions. Many youth and adult programs are available through the Parks and Recreation Department. There are many restaurants, churches, movie theaters, and a public library.
Population (as of 2010 Census): 49,168
Median age: 46
Annual turnover: 16%
Long-term residents (5+ years): 44%
Sources: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau
Novato is in the northern region and is one of the hottest areas in the County. The yearly average temperature is 58 degrees. Average temperatures range between 46 and 67 degrees. July and August are the hottest months — averaging 78 degrees — but can reach into the 90’s. Average humidity, 60 percent. About 26.3 inches of rain falls per year — usually between the months of November and April.
Approximate distance from the Golden Gate Bridge is 24 miles.