Take A Culinary Tour and More: Point Reyes

Want to get away? No, you don’t need to book a flight on Southwest. Simply take a trip to Point Reyes, a San Francisco coastal treasure. Read on for the low-down on a fun- and food- filled day, weekend, or even week-long getaway. Build your own itinerary with this Parties That Cook guide on where to find the best oysters, places to dine, and other fun things to do.

Oyster Heaven & Beyond

Osteria Stellina – Located in downtown Point Reyes Station, this should be your first stop to kick off your Point Reyes food adventure. All the food here is local – all-from-Marin-County local. Named in SF Chronicle’s top 100 Bay Area Restaurants, Chef-owner Christian Caiazzo’s “Point Reyes Italian” cuisine is not to be missed. Try Stellina’s speciality oyster pizza with braised leeks, lemon thyme and parsley. If oysters are not your thing, this osteria has a surprisingly well-rounded menu, and everything looks delicious!

Tony’s Seafood Restaurant – Does “osteria” sound too fancy for you? Or do you just love BBQ oysters? Drive up a bit further Highway 1, and it doesn’t get any divier than Tony’s. Still, paired with a great view, everyone agrees they have the best BBQ oysters around.  It’s only open Friday – Sunday and is cash only so plan ahead!

Want to go straight to the source? Be sure to pack a picnic and/or pick up a few things at Point Reyes Station.  Pick up some fresh bread and other baked goods at Bovine Bakery, and stop by Cowgirl Creamery to watch cheese being made. It’s always a great idea to pick up some yummy cheeses before heading out to Hog Island Oyster Company or Tomales Bay Oysters, also along Highway 1. Both provide picnic tables, barbeques, lemons, hot sauce, a glove, a shucker, and beautiful views! Staff will suggest other picnic areas nearby, so if you plan on being adventurous, bring your own shucker, glove, and oyster fixins. Tomales Bay will give you a quick demo on how to shuck if it’s your first time. You should be prepared to pay a picnic fee at Hog Island, but it’s well worth it!

If you prefer a down home family restaurant experience, head back to Point Reyes Station for live music in the evening at Station House Café.  The café even uses local organic ingredients! If you haven’t had enough, you can also get fresh oysters from Hog Island or Drakes Bay. Make a note: the specials are ever-changing! Reservations are not a bad idea, either.

If you’re lucky enough to grab a bag of oysters to-go, here’s a great oyster recipe from the Parties That Cook appetizer recipe library!

Getting Back to Nature

If you want to spend more time running around in the wild, pack up that picnic and:

HIKE along Bear Valley Trailhead.  Take this trail to get to Arch Rock for gorgeous views to go with your picnic lunch. Campers can also find a few campsites starting from Bear Valley. Check out Bay Area Hiker for detailed descriptions of the trail.

RIDE along Marshall Beach Trail or over to the Lighthouse. From Marin Magazine on Marshal Beach Trail: The fairly easy ride offers a challenge with the short uphill climb from Marshall Beach but the bulk of the trail is flat and manageable. How to get there: After entering Point Reyes National Seashore, turn right on Pierce Point towards Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay State Park will appear on the right. Turn right onto Marshall Beach Road. Drive up this road a short distance to the cattle guard and park. The ride is about seven-and-a-half miles.

WALK along Limantour Beach for a somewhat secluded experience combining beautiful views of the ocean and the forest.

Beautiful West Marin offers many locations to explore. Whether you come in search of a great oyster, a great meal, or a great trail, you have to check out Point Reyes!

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