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Celebrate Summer and Shop Local!

Celebrate Summer and Shop Local!

Hooray! Summer is finally here in Novato. It’s time for backyard barbeques, sunny days in the yard, and afternoons lazing in a hammock with a good book. As fun and exciting as summer is, sometimes the heat can take a toll on us. Luckily, local retailers in Novato have everything you and your family need to make this summer one of the best yet.

Now that the kids are out of school, for a lot of families, the open road is calling! Whether you’re gassing up to visit Mickey Mouse in Disneyland or road tripping to visit relatives, make sure your vehicle is in good shape before you hit the road. If in doubt, take your wheels into H & J Tire, a local auto business that offers oil changes, brake service, and every tune-up and repair in between. And when you come back from that road trip, perhaps a visit to

If a “stay-cation” is more your pace, or what your budget is favoring, you can feel like you’re in a beautifully landscaped resort in your own backyard, with a little help from Sloat Garden Center. Choose from a large array of different plants, like hummingbird mint and lilies, to create your dream outdoor space this summer. Sloat even have a Garden Design Department that will help you brainstorm a planting plan to determine which plants should go where in your new oasis.

If you’re fortunate enough to have your own pool or hot tub in your backyard, make sure you keep that pH balanced. Novato pool and spa specialist store Don Johnson’s Pool and Spa has over 40 years of experience and pride themselves on their quality service. If it’s been a while since you last adjusted the chemicals in your hot tub, Don’s team will be happy to give you a refresher course in spa management. You can also pick up fresh pool toys around town, when you’re passing Five Little Monkeys on Grant Ave or on a Target run at Vintage Oaks.

If you’re trying to avoid the sun rays, but still want to have that summer glow, visit Island Glow Spray Tanning Bar downtown and get yourself a spray tan. The owner, Vonnell uses an all-natural product for a nice and even airbrush tan. While you’re there, make sure to check out the array of swimsuits and beachwear to complete your summer look. And when you do step out in summer style, don’t forget the sunblock. You can pick up natural products that nourish and protect your skin at Pharmaca or Whole Foods. The beauty and wellness staff will help you find the lotion that’s perfect for your skin.

Downtown Novato has the perfect escape when there’s a particularly hot day here in Marin County. Enjoy some ice cream with the kids at La Michoacana Natural Ice Cream. La Michoacana has a cheery interior with plenty of unique and tasty ice cream flavors and paletas (traditional, and quite delicious, Mexican ice lollies) to choose from. With ice cream scoops starting at just $2.75, what are you waiting for?

While you’re in Downtown Novato, take the kids and pop into Studio 4 Art, a children’s art store that offers mosaics, sewing, pottery painting, and more! This air conditioned studio is a perfect place for your child to practice critical thinking while getting in touch with their creative side. No reservations are necessary and they’re open 6 days a week!

When it comes to Summer BBQs, you’re spoiled for choice. You can admire the fancy Green Egg grills at Pini Ace Hardware, pick up some fresh steaks at Nugget Markets, head back to Whole Foods for some good-to-grill organic veggies, grab some BBQ sauce at Safeway or get all your grilling fixings wherever you do your local Novato grocery shopping. If you want to impress some BBQ guests, pick up the ingredients for some homemade sauce. Marin Magazine ran an article a while back with some secret ingredient ideas from local chefs.

Looking to burn off a few summer BBQ calories? Nothing fuels a good mood like the endorphins you get from a CycleBar Novato class. Cyclebar provides a challenging 50 minute ride in their theatre-like studio, fully equipped with LED lighting and a booming audio system. For a more straight-forward workout, Anytime Fitness is a good place to get in some summer reps.

This sunny season always tends to speed past us, so be sure to make the most out of your precious summer days. Luckily, you don’t have to go far to get summer essentials. Our local retailers have everything you need to unwind, explore, and have some fun right here in Novato.

Photo credit : Rich Maloy / used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.