:: Novato, CA - NCBeth
Station/Boat Location~

Date there~
July 2006 thru June 2009

The annual temperature is 67 degrees, with an average minimum of 46 degrees and an average maximum of 71 degrees. Rainfall averages approximately 27.5 inches per year.
I have found the weather to be quite comfortable in the summer but window ac units are suggested but not provided by housing. In the summer typically it is cooler outside of the house than inside (reason for ac suggestion). Nice breeze on most days. Only one week of extreme heat of 100 degrees, which I was told was very unusual for the area. The fall and winter months are often rainy and chilly. These months are cooler than I assumed they would be; so, don't toss out your winter coat, even if you are relocating to California!

Military facilities~
Small Coast Guard Exchange within Novato Housing area. Petaluma is a short drive to the North apx 15 miles. Alameda, where most commute to work is apx. 33 miles away. Petaluma and Alameda have more Coast Guard facilities. Also, Travis AFB is apx 45 miles to the East and worth the drive to the Commissary. There is also a large Exchange there as well.

We are on Tri-Care Prime and have a civilian Primary Care Manager in town. All other services are referred out to surrounding areas. There is a small Hospital apx 3 miles away; but, for anything other than a broken arm or something minor, there are larger hospitals to the North in Petaluma and South in San Rafael. San Francisco and Stanford are known for some of the best medical care in the country and both are to the South but within a close drive.

Apx 280 housing units within Novato Housing, Spanish style homes and duplexes. The 2 bedrooms, do not have a yard and therefore you are not required to perform lawn maintenance. The 2 bedrooms are settled in 6-plex units, each with a garage. Some of the bottom units have been converted to 1 single 4 bedroom unit. The majority of housing here, is 3 bedroom Housing and Officer Housing. The 3 bedrooms are duplexes with garages and a yard. I have found most Officers live in Novato Housing. Senior Officer Housing is settled into the back of housing, all of which are very nice and large single family homes with a large yard and garage. Pet Policy is set in stone, need not ask for a pet waiver beyond the maximum allowable 2 pets.

Safeway 1 mile away. There is a shopping center apx 2 miles and 1 exit to the North with a Target, Costco, Old Navy, Marshalls, Ross, Petco and a few restaurants such as Chevys, Burger King, Taco Bell, Carl jr's, Fresh Choice. Also there is a nice mall 3 exits South apx 4 miles away. There is a movie theatre inside of it, Macys, Gymboree, Picture People, Gap, Victoria Secrets etc. In Petaluma there is an Outlet Center with many famous store, such as Coach, Liz Claiborne, Brooks Brothers, Bose, etc as well as another Outlet Center in Vacaville near Travis AFB. Closest Walmart is 20 -25 miles North in Rohnert Park. If you like Walmart they are a little less frequent to find than back East, many more Targets. You can find almost any store you like to shop at around here but you may have to drive to the next town.

Child Care/Schools~
I'm not familiar with all of the child care in the area but there are several mothers on base who do home care within Novato Housing. Hamilton Elementary School is about a half a mile from housing with grades K-5. This is a nice school and the education level seems to be quality. More information on other schools can be found at the Novato Unified School District site:

Adult Schools~
College of Marin is close by and also Dominican University just a few miles to the South in San Rafael. There are many technical colleges within 30 miles of here as well as other major university such as University of California San Francisco and medical campus Across the bridge is the well heard of University of California Berkeley and prestigious Stanford University to the South of San Francisco There are many colleges, technical schools, culinary arts and arts schools within 40 to 50 miles all surrounding San Francisco.

Fun Activities~
The area is surrounded by many fun activities to do. There is 6 flags Marine World Amusement Park in Vallejo. This is where Coast Guard Day is celebrated and tickets at deep discounts are sold thru MWR in the weeks ahead of Coast Guard Day. Marin County is next to Sonoma and Napa Counties, both are known for their wineries and tours. There is the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. Tons of Bike trails, Famous Pier 39, tons of museums in San Francisco, the San Francisco zoo, Alcatraz Island tours. Jelly Belly Factory, which was voted the best factory tour (so they advertise). Cable Car tours, Bay cruises and sailing, hot air balloon tours through wine country. Several hours North is the great Redwood Forest with HUGE Redwood trees, some you can drive thru. Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe MWR rentals available, Several hours from Las Vegas and Disney Land. There is so much to do in this area you will likely run out of time or money before you have visited everything!

Additional Info~
Telephone service in Novato is provided by Verizon in Novato. Cable television service is provided by Horizon Cable TV Inc. in properties associated with Hamilton Field They have an office next door to the Housing Office on Novato Housing. I have found Horizon Cable is not bad cable but the internet is not the best I have seen. I would not suggest using alternate phone sources through Vonage with their internet service. We tried it and experienced unusable connections.
There is a drive associated with working in either Petaluma or Alameda. If you work in Alameda you will have to cross a toll bridge in any direction. Commuting to work can be an unforeseen expense. However their are alternatives. There are van pools which cost apx $150 per month to and from Novato Housing to Alameda and the Government building in Oakland. The Coast Guard will reimburse you $105 of the $150 van pool cost per month. Also, you can commute across the Richmond Bridge to the BART and take the BART to Alameda. The Coast Guard will also provide Bart passes if you apply to ease with the cost of your commute. If you decide to drive to and from work each day the Coast Guard will not reimburse you for any of your expenses in fuel or tolls.I have found Novato Housing to be more suburban than Alameda Housing. The majority of people living within Novato work in the city and commute daily. If you are looking for housing which is more suburban and outside of the city atmosphere, I would suggest Novato or Concord Housing. Alameda Housing is however closer to I.S.C. Alameda and San Francisco and more forms of public transportation. I feel the Housing area here to be very safe; but assumption of safety is not a substitution for still remaining safety minded.

Homeport CA

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