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Inverness, California, United States

Marin, California Culinary Tour

Along Highway 1 north of San Francisco, explore a foodie enclave with leisurely hikes, picnics, and an enticing vibe.

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Duration: Full day
 
Overview: It’s just a 35-mile drive from the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Reyes Station. The distance is pocket change by California’s sprawling standards, but the trip takes forever—or to be fair, a little more than an hour—because the best way to get there is on Highway 1, a narrow ribbon of asphalt that twists along sheer coastal cliffs before plunging past Stinson Beach and finally jagging through Point Reyes Station, a dusty little town that’s outwardly unchanged from a century ago.

Point Reyes Station is the unofficial seat of West Marin, which, in turn, is the unofficial name for the hardscrabble coastal part of Marin County. It’s one of the most unspoiled corners of the state, a region that has more in common with the sun-faded, handmade California of the 1970’s than the wealthy nearby suburbs of Mill Valley and Sausalito.


Points of Interest

Food/Dining
map

Cowgirl Creamery

Go to Cowgirl Cantina—a deli counter opened by Cowgirl Creamery—to put together a picnic for a hike through the national seashore. The converted barn that houses Cowgirl Creamery and Cantina is just a block off Highway 1. There’s an impressive cheese shop, and you can spy some cheese making through plate-glass windows. The menu changes daily but some standouts are the house-cured gravlax, fig-and-blue-cheese salad, seared day-boat tuna with fennel, assorted Fra’Mani charcuterie, duck pâté, and still-warm bread from Brick Maiden.

Address:
80 4th St.
Point Reyes Station, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 663-9335
Other Resources
Official Website
Shopping
map

Drakes Bay Family Farms

For brinier bivalves than those harvested in Tomales Bay, head to Point Reyes National Seashore, where oysters are exposed to the cold Pacific waters.

Address:
17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Inverness, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 669-1149
Other Resources
Official Website
Food/Dining
map

Hog Island Oyster Co

The most famous of the Marshall oyster purveyors sells unshucked oysters—but unfortunately they charge $5 per person merely to sit at a picnic table.

Address:
20215 Hwy. 1
Marshall, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 663-9218
Other Resources
Official Website
Food/Dining
map

Marshall Store & Oyster Bar

This seafood shack perched on timber pylons offers a dining experience that’s low-key, the ultimate example of a certain kind of meal: unfussy, delicious, relaxed. It’s nominally a general store, and though they sell beer and wine—including some inspired selections from importer Kermit Lynch—they can’t legally serve it, though they will lend you a corkscrew. The store farms its own exquisite oysters, and prepares them three ways: raw, Rockefeller (piled with spinach and cheese), or, the local specialty, barbecued (grilled with house-made barbecue sauce).

Address:
19225 Hwy. 1
Marshall, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 663-1339
Other Resources
Official Website
Hotel
map

Nick’s Cove & Cottages

Just an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Area restaurateur Pat Kuleto’s 1930’s-era fishing lodge looks straight out of an Edward Hopper painting with its rusted gas pumps and vintage Coca-Cola signs. Details that in lesser hands might seem cloying—shell-frame mirrors; mounted moose heads—fit naturally in this rustic corner of Marin. Our favorite of the 12 cabins is the Bandit’s Bungalow, a two-bedroom suite with handsome wainscoting and beadboard, wraparound windows, and a claw-foot tub.

Address:
23240 Hwy. 1
Marshall, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 663-1033
Other Resources
Official Website
Food/Dining
map

Olema Inn & Restaurant

While the food is enjoyable, the dining room is exceptionally loud.

Address:
10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Olema, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 663-9559
Other Resources
Official Website
Water
map

Point Reyes National Seashore

There’s no way to see all of Point Reyes National Seashore in one day. An elk preserve is located to the north; steep peaks are covered with pines to the south; coastal highlands are blanketed with brush. Then there are the roads to the ocean through a lunar landscape of rolling hills and active pasture.

Address:
1 Bear Valley Rd.
Point Reyes Station, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 464-5100
Other Resources
Official Website
Food/Dining
map

Tomales Bay Oyster Company

Jumbo oysters are $16 for the dozen, seats at the tables don’t cost a penny, and the weekend crowds make it feel like a bivalve festival.

Address:
15479 Hwy. 1
Marshall, California
United States

Phone:
(415) 663-1242
Other Resources
Official Website
Pictures in this guide taken by: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

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TravelandLeisure
TravelandLeisure
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