Novato Places

TripWhat's travel guide to Novato; our list of the best things to see, including San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and California Academy of Sciences NightLife.
  • The best place in Novato: San Francisco National Cemetery

    San Francisco National Cemetery

    1 Lincoln BlvdPresidio of San Francisco
    Many military personal have been buried here over the years, including a General from the American Civil War and 35 Medal of Honor recipients.
    food nearby
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

    151 3rd Street
    F-Tu 11AM-5:45PM, Th 11AM-8:45PM. $12.50 adults, $8 seniors, $7 students, free for children 12 and under. An innovative art museum with five floors of galleries featuring changing exhibitions as well as permanent displays featuring the works of some very famous 20th century artists, including Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and many others. Be sure to see the unique glass bridge on the 5th floor, perched high above the main lobby. Note that the museum is closing in June 2013 for major renovations. When it's done, it'll be bigger than the MOMA in NY.
    Financial District eat nearby
  • California Academy of Sciences NightLife

    California Academy of Sciences NightLife

    Golden Gate Park55 Music Concourse Dr
    , ☎ +1 415 379-8000, e-mail: M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM; Su 11AM-5PM. $29.95 adults, $24.95 seniors/teens, $19.95 children, free for ages 3 and under. An absolutely stunning museum and an excellent place to take the children. Among the many highlights of this museum is the building itself; ride the elevator to the top to see the Living Roof, a literal green roof and marvel of architecture with soft hills covered in grass and flowers. On the ground floor are numerous interactive science exhibits, outdoor gardens, an aviary, and towering over the massive exhibit halls is the sphere-like Planetarium on one side of the building, while the other side is overshadowed by the domed Rainforests of the World exhibit, a massive transparent dome which contains a winding pathway that takes you to the top, past towering trees and animal displays. As if all that wasn't enough, the building also contains a fantastic aquarium on the bottom floor, which showcases the more unusual sea life such as octopus, jellyfish, sea dragons, and sea stars among its displays of coral reefs, kelp forests, and tidepools. It's a big museum; be sure to give yourself at least a few hours to see it all.
    restaurants nearby
  • Exploratorium


    3601 Lyon St
    Adults: $14, Students/seniors/teens: $11, Children: $9, Children under age 3: Free (Free on first Wednesday of each month). A great kid friendly option, with lots of interactive exhibits teaching about science, with intriguing displays about the mind, natural systems, sound, sight, and much much more.
    Marina food nearby
  • Davies Symphony Hall

    Davies Symphony Hall

    201 Van Ness Ave
    Box Office: M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa noon-6PM Performances: W-Su usually 8PM or 8:30PM with Sa-Su matinee 2PM, See website for exact schedule. $10-$50. San Francisco has an excellent symphony orchestra, with Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) as the principal conductor. The Season goes from September to April, with a break in the middle of December and January. When the San Francisco Symphony is on tour, other orchestras visit to fill the void. In July there is a "Summer in the City" program of light music; August is quiet. Opened in 1980, the building's sweeping wraparound architecture was elegantly designed to compliment the other buildings in the War Memorial complex. Inside, the building was designed to maximize acoustical tones with the exterior glass wall being used as a backdrop to capture sound. To further enhance and refine the sound it has adjustable acrylic acoustical panels around the stage area. There are circa 2,700 seats inside.
    Downtown eat nearby
  • Asian Art Museum

    Asian Art Museum

    200 Larkin St
    Tu-Su 10AM-5PM (with extended evening hours every Th until 9PM) Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. First Sunday of every month: Free, Adults: $12, Seniors 65 and older with ID: $8, College students with ID and youths ages 13 through 17: $7, Children 12 and under and SFUSD students with ID: Free, Th evenings at a reduced rate ($5) after 5PM. Built in 1917, and formerly the old library building, this building is a fantastic blend of "Beaux Arts" and modern design elements. It was designed by renowned architect Gae Aulenti (architect of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris). Inside, you'll find many interesting architectural details including the grand staircase, loggia, vaulted ceilings, the great hall, stone floors, period light fixtures, and inscriptions. The museum is one of the largest and newest museums of Oriental art. It has circa 15,000 artifacts covering 6,000 years of Asian history. The Asian Art Museum hosts many special exhibits as well.
    Downtown restaurants nearby
  • Great American Music Hall

    Great American Music Hall

    859 O'Farrell St
    Shows: Hours Vary Box Office: M-F 10:30AM-6PM, Show Nights 10:30AM-9PM, Closed Sa-Su (except during shows - opens 1 hour before show time). Ticket prices vary by act but typically run from $10-$30. Reputed to be the city's oldest nightclub, this ornate 600 capacity music venue presents hip music acts, some well-known among the cognoscenti, some so cutting edge that there's blood on the pavement. In the 1930s, this was fan-dancer Sally Rand's "Music Box." The interior, which was designed by a French architect, is known for its ornate balconies and columns.
    Downtown food nearby
  • Cartoon Art Museum

    Cartoon Art Museum

    655 Mission St
    $6 adults, $4 students/seniors, $2 children, age 5 and under free. A unique museum dedicated to cartoon art in all its forms.
    Financial District eat nearby
  • Alcatraz Island

    Alcatraz Island

    Golden Gate National Recreation AreaFort Mason, B201
    Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock," the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Aboriginal Peoples from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972 Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
    restaurants nearby
  • Crissy Field

    Crissy Field

    1199 East Beach
    Known by many names — "The city's front yard" and "The Golden Gate promenade" — this used to be one of the country's most active and strategic military airstrips. Today, under the care the Golden Gate National Parks Association, the 28 acre site has been transformed into recreational space for joggers, cyclists, walkers, and picnickers. There is also a significant project underway to return 18 acres back to its original tidal marshlands. With this effort, Crissy Field is fast becoming a great place to see local wildlife such as migrating long-billed curlews, semipalmated plovers and western sandpipers.
    food nearby
  • Baker Beach

    Baker Beach

    Gibson Rd
    A beautiful, immaculately kept 1 mile stretch of beach, set just behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, due to strong currents, the beach is not very safe for swimming, but for "land-lovers" it does have many outdoor barbeques and designated picnic areas to eat and relax at. Toward the northern end of the beach there is also an unofficial nude section that mainly seems to attract gay men. It has free parking and clean restrooms.
    eat nearby
  • Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

    Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

    99 Grove St
    The auditorium is not open to visitors or for tours, but only during event times which vary. Price varies depending on act. This four-story tall, "Beaux-Arts" style building occupies an entire city block in the heart of the Civic Center and has 7,000 seats inside. Large and small bands, exhibits, concerts, and galas are all hosted at the Civic Auditorium. Check Ticketmaster to see what's playing [2].
    Downtown restaurants nearby
  • San Francisco Giants Baseball Club

    San Francisco Giants Baseball Club

    24 Willie Mays Plz
    Giants tickets range from $10 to over $100, depending on section and date of game. Ballpark tours $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children. One of the building projects that revitalized this area, the stadium is an imposing brick edifice that has all the necessary modern amenities, such as beer and Wi-Fi. It looks out upon San Francisco Bay, which makes a fine backdrop for those home runs that splash into McCovey Cove. On days where there are no Giants home games, public tours of the ballpark are available at 10:30AM and 12:30PM.
    South Of Market food nearby
  • Golden Gate Bridge

    Golden Gate Bridge

    Hwy 101
    Cross the bridge by car and after taking the first Marin County exit make your way up to the Marin Headlands which overlook the bridge, the entrance to San Francisco Bay and the City itself.
    eat nearby
  • Conservatory of Flowers

    Conservatory of Flowers

    Golden Gate Park100 John F Kennedy Dr
    $5 adults, $3 teens/seniors/students, $1.50 children, free for children 4 and under, free on the first Tuesday of each month. This antique palatial greenhouse, one of the first structures of its kind in the county, is filled with a huge variety of beautiful and exotic plant species.
    restaurants nearby
  • Williams Sonoma

    Williams Sonoma

    340 Post Street
    While it is technically a national chain, the Union Square store is the flagship store, and it's a cathedral to the gracious kitchen. Acres of housewares gleam beneath twin spiral stairs that lead to the land of crystal and tablecloths. This isn't your mother's mall-store Williams Sonoma. There are usually pretty good free samples being passed out, too.
  • Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium

    Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium

    175 Jefferson St
    Mid June - Labor Day Su-Th 9AM-11PM, F-Sa 9AM-midnight; rest of the year Su-Th 10AM-10PM, F-Sa 10AM-midnight. $19.99 (ages 13 and older), $9.99 children (ages 5-12). Set over 2 floors it has over 10,000 square feet of galleries, exhibits, illusions, and interactive displays.
    North Beach eat nearby
  • Haas-Lilienthal House

    Haas-Lilienthal House

    2007 Franklin St
    Tours: Su 11AM-4PM, W and Sa noon-3PM. Tours leave every 20 to 30 minutes and last about 1 hour. General admission: $8, Seniors and Children 12 and under: $5. This is an 11,500 square foot Queen Anne Victorian, built solely out of redwood in 1886 for William Haas. It has been fully preserved as per its original design. It presently houses the San Francisco Architectural Heritage who offer tours inside the house and around the grounds.
    Pacific Heights restaurants nearby
  • Letterman Complex

    Letterman Complex

    Letterman Dr
    Established in 1898 to care for sick and wounded soldiers, it is the Army's oldest named general hospital and during WWII it became the largest Army hospital in the country. Today the complex is home to Lucas Films and lots of Star Wars fans make the pilgrimage there each year. You won't get inside unless you know someone, but you can practice your "Jedi" skills outside with Yoda, at the "Yoda Fountain."
    food nearby
  • Crissy Airfield

    Crissy Airfield

    Crissy Field, 603 Mason St
    From 1921 to 1936 Crissy Army Airfield was the center of West Coast military aviation. During these years of explosive advances in air power, pilots from Crissy performed maneuvers and mock battles, flew endurance flights, surveyed the west by air, and scouted for forest fires.
    eat nearby
  • West Coast Memorial to the Missing of World War II

    West Coast Memorial to the Missing of World War II

    at Kobbe Ave and Lincoln Blvd
    One of three memorials on U.S. soil dedicated to missing service members of WWII, the West Coast Memorial is a curved wall of California granite set in a grove of Monterey pine and cypress. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it bears the names of 413 members of the Armed Forces who lost their lives or were buried at sea in the offshore Pacific coastal waters.
    restaurants nearby
  • Sutro Baths

    Sutro Baths

    Point Lobos Ave & Merrie WayGolden Gate National Recreation Area
    The Cliff House, a well known landmark at the extreme western end of the park, provides both semi-casual and a more formal eating and drinking place [1]. Next door is the remnants of the Sutro Baths, once a massive public bath house which once held multiple swimming pools, now stone ruins that make for some fun exploration. Just off shore is Seal Rock, home to a population of sea lions. Above the Cliff House, just to the east and across the street, is Sutro Heights Park, the former grounds of the estate of Adolph Sutro, who built the Cliff House and Sutro Baths. Today the mansion is gone, but the beautifully landscaped grounds remain, with Romanesque statuary and splendid views over the coastline and down to Golden Gate Park.
  • Pershing Square

    Pershing Square

    Pershing Dr
    The flagpole in Pershing Square (at the Main Post) marks the site of a disastrous 1915 fire that destroyed the residence and killed the wife and three daughters of General John "Black Jack" Pershing of World War I fame. Just east lies the site of the original Spanish presidio, built in 1776 on this windswept slope. A boulder by the sidewalk approximates the northwest corner of the original Presidio, which formed a square about 300 feet (100 m) on each side. Two bronze cannons at this site, forged in the 1600s, were originally mounted at Castillo de San Joaquin, a fort built at the point overlooking the Golden Gate. They are among the oldest cannon in North America.
    eat nearby
  • Fort Winfield Scott

    Fort Winfield Scott

    Ruckman Ave
    Situated near the gun batteries of the coastal bluffs, Fort Scott was established in 1912 to serve as headquarters for the Coastal Artillery Corps of the San Francisco Bay area. Spanish Revival style buildings, the first of this style to be built on the Presidio, characterize the post, and the U-shaped parade ground breaks from traditional quadrangular design. The post was eventually converted to an Army Education Center.
    restaurants nearby
  • El Polin Spring

    El Polin Spring

    El Polin Loop
    El Polin spring water bubbles from a rock wall at the head of this riparian valley. The spring provided a source of fresh water for the Spanish Presidio, and Spanish and Mexican families built their homes in this sheltered valley. Today, you can picnic in the bucolic meadows near the spring or explore the surrounding forest and grasslands.
    Presidio Heights food nearby
  • Old Post Hospital

    Old Post Hospital

    Funston Ave
    Built in 1864, it displays both Italianate and Greek Revival architectural styles. Constructed during the Civil War, it is one of the oldest standing buildings on the Presidio. The original structure was modified by adding wings and enclosing the porches. In 1897, an octagonal surgical tower with windows on all sides was added to provide a well-lit operating room.
    Inner Richmond eat nearby
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Novato uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.