Hamilton Field History Museum, Novato

#3 of 13 in Things to do in Novato
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum

This Museum is open from 12-4 PM Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Tours may be scheduled by appointment. Call 415-382-8614 to make an appointment to schedule a tour.

Parking and admission are both free. This museum is ADA accessible.


The Hamilton Field History Museum is located in historic Hamilton Field, on the east side of Hwy 101 in Novato, California, 20 minutes north of San Francisco.

From northbound Hwy 101, take the Hamilton Field/Nave Drive Exit. From off-ramp, go toward the sign pointing right for Hamilton Field/Nave Drive. Once on Nave Drive, make a right at Hamilton Pkwy, then make another right at Hangar Avenue.

From southbound Hwy 101, take the Hamilton Field/Bel Marin Keys Exit, then make a right on to Nave Drive, a left on to Hamilton Pkwy, and a right on to Hangar Avenue.

The Museum is located at 555 Hangar Avenue, across the street from Hangars 3 and 4.

About the Museum:

The newest museum in Novato, the Hamilton Field History Museum, opened in May 2010 and drew many airmen who once served at the former air base. The grand opening took place on the 75th anniversary of the dedication of Hamilton Field. The base was operational from 1935 to 1974, first as an Army Air Corps field and later as a station for the U.S. Air Force. Hamilton Field is named after a World War I pilot from Marin who was killed in action in France.

The museum, a rebuilt firehouse erected in 1934, was renovated by a crew of volunteers and was years in the making. It is a joint venture between the city and the Novato Historical Guild. Inside are hundreds of artifacts from the base's heyday, including photos, uniforms, pins, medals and a cockpit simulator. There is a library and research center full of books, posters and videos. Volunteers, curators and docents actively seek additional items from the public to place on display.

Wikipedia article about Hamilton AFB:

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Hamilton Field History Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
41 reviews
  • Have visited twice now and each time amazed what I’ve learned just speaking with the staff most of whom are veterans with many tales to tell. Hamilton Field was a glorious base to be stationed at...  more »
  • Husband stationed at Hamilton Air Force Base from 1966-1967. We were married at the Chapel there - that still has weddings in it! We were very pleased at the museum and the video they showed of the.....  more »
  • I just wish it could've been a bit bigger. But overall, it was a great experience.
  • We done job. We feel the love from the volunteers who put all this together. It is worth a trip, specially if you like history. 👍👍

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