How was your long weekend? Mine was fantastic. Having one extra day off makes all the difference. Maybe we should all convert to the 4 day work week? Plus this past weekend San Francisco and Northern California were on their very best behavior and trying their hardest to prove that West Coast living is where everyone should be. It was 70 degrees and sunny the entire time. I will have to remind myself of this perfect weather when we are in the heart of the summer and I can’t see down the street because it is so foggy. Since it was so beautiful we decided to get out of the city and head up for a day trip to one of my favorite places ever. In the world. Pt. Reyes. Pt. Reyes is about an hour and a half north of the city on the coast. It is a tiny spot on the map but completely heavenly. When you are there you feel like you are in a different world. A quiet world where everything moves a bit slower. A world where you could get lost from everyone and anyone and that is kind of why I love it.
When Luke and I first started dating, he invited me over to his apartment for dinner. He was going to cook dinner. Ohh. He was trying to impress me, so I took the bait. I showed up on a Friday night expecting dinner and the only thing he had gotten were oysters. Oh and mignonette sauce to put on the oysters. I left that meal very, very hungry but it was the first time I had oysters. I can’t say it was love at first sight, especially since they look like what you cough up when you are sick, but the taste and texture grew on me and I have grown to love them.
Pt. Reyes is one of the best places to sit outside and enjoy oysters. The Pt. Reyes area sits on the Tomales Bay, a bay that is not only teaming with wildlife but also oyster beds. So in search of some oysters, a couple glasses of wine and a place to enjoy this perfect winter weather,we packed up the car, grabbed a few friends and headed up to Pt. Reyes. We were not the only ones with that idea, the place was packed! Luckily enough we found a table at Tomales Bay Oyster Depot, bought some oysters and opened some wine. It was one of those perfect days where it is warm, the food is good, and the company is great.
Since Luke proved he was such a good oyster shucker back when we were dating, he was in charge of shucking. I made some picnic supplies, as well as the mignonette sauce to go with it. Here is the recipe:
- 1 tablespoon shallot, diced very very small
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Combine the above ingredients and serve with oysters on the half shell
If you ever find yourself in Northern California, please make sure you visit Pt. Reyes. It is a little less glamorous than Napa and not as dramatic as Big Sur but it is just as amazing.
Here are my recommendations for the Pt. Reyes area.
Where to eat
Nicks Cove - beautiful boutique hotel with a wonderful dinning room overlooking the Tomales Bay
Sir and Star - Formerly known as the Olema Inn, Sir and Star is the new restaurant opened by the owners of Manka’s, a Pt. Reyes institution
Hog Island Oyster Farm - great spot to grab some oysters and enjoy the view
Tomales Bay Oyster Depot - less polished place than Hog Island but the view is still amazing and the oysters are incredible
Bovine Bakery - bakery for coffee and breakfast in Pt. Reyes Station
Cowgirl Creamery - the mecca of amazing cheese. Stop by Cowgirl for some bread and cheese before heading out to one of the oyster farms.
Where to stay
Mankas - Hands down my favorite hotel. Maybe even in the world. We got engaged here so it holds a special place in my heart but honestly it is amazing. Think big comfy beds, wooden outdoor soaking tub and a roaring fire. Perfection
Nicks Cove - Another great spot with cottages on stilts overlooking the Tomales Bay.
Things to do
Kayaking - I have been kayaking in the Tomales Bay a couple times and it is amazing every time. My favorite are the nighttime bioluminescence tours when algae floats into the bay lights up the waters
Hiking - Pt. Reyes National Seashore is a National Park so there are miles and miles of beautiful hikes.
Visit the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse - It is a hike to get to but worth it. Plus if it is whale migrating season, you might just a glimpse of a whale as it passes by.