When you drive 20, 40, 60 minutes out of Los Angeles or San Francisco, it seems like every small town you pass by is a destination in itself. When it comes to leaving Manhattan, unfortunately, New Jersey disappoints on that front. No fist pumps here.
Just an hour and a half north of San Francisco, on a July summer day, I found myself daydreaming out the window to a winding road flanked by redwoods as we escaped the fog and the techies, heading towards Point Reyes. The road trip was not the romanticized California ones you typically read about. It was a true test in patience from the not-so-seamless car rental process to a reminder of what it is like to travel in a packed car with your family. The '90's are back alright!
It's a rarity for us to travel together so despite the standard bickering in the car, I felt truly fortunate to have this time together.
We were headed to a family wedding as my cousin was getting married in Petaluma at Olympia's Valley Estate, an organic farm in Sonoma County. It is the stuff Pinterest farm-to-table wedding dreams are made of. Point Reyes, is a favorite local getaway of the now-newlywed couple, and lucky for us we got to make a weekend of it and take in some of their go-to spots. It is maintained by the US National Park Service and depending on the season you can whale watch, scout elk or birds. Best way to explore the California coast? A cliffside morning hike.
Elk Refuge / Tomales Point hike - 360 views of the coastline and Tomales Bay. Directions to trail head can be found here.
Point Reyes Lighthouse - historic lighthouse. Directions can be found here.
Blue Water Kayak - with two locations in Marshall and Inverness to rent kayaks in Tomales Bay.
Farmer's Market - outside Toby's Coffee, on Saturdays. Because who can say no to fresh California produce?
EATS (as recommended from the bride, pre-wedding diet):
Hog Island Oyster Co. - sustainably harvested oysters with a view of beautiful Tomales Bay. Reservations required.
Bovine Bakery - known for their sticky buns
Marin Sun Farms - outdoor and indoor dining, best burger in 50 miles!
Cowgirl Creamery - world famous cheeses and the place to get iced coffee in Point Reyes
Saltwater - delicious, sit down dinner in Iverness. The name sold me. Reservations recommended.
Marshall General Store - casual oysters and snacks with a view of Tomales Bay. No reservations needed.
Marin French Cheese Company - the oldest operating cheese company in America!
Stay smitten. Stay bitten ;)