Oyster farms, local fresh creameries and seaside vibes, sounds like a dream right? Some of the best food mixed with a seaside country town exists in Point Reyes, California. A quick drive north of San Francisco, this area is a definite weekender’s dream. The perfect road trip would require to at least stop half a day here. So what to do, eat and see in Point Reyes? Tons.
Point Reyes, California Weekend Guide
If you are one for fresh oysters on the half shell with fresh squeezed lemon and mignonette, you have arrived in heaven. Some of the best oyster farms in the country come right out of this bay. The two to reckon with are Hog Island Oysters and Drakes Bay Oyster Company. Drakes Bay is a fun little road trip, about 20 minutes out of town headed toward the water, and is a little shop situated on the bay with a definite rustic feeling. You can shuck your own or get them on the half shell (p.s their mignonette sauce is to die for.) Hog Island is a bit more commercialized and offers many options for consuming their delicious oysters. If you are there on the weekend, the “boat” is open which serves oysters on the half-shell or barbequed and local cheeses and wines to pair with. You will notice also there are numerous shops selling fresh oysters, they are all a good bet and sure to be fresh.
Lets talk cheese for a minute.
Sure, we all know the best cheese comes France (a bit biased) but the Cowgirl creamery is to die for. The original location is an old hay barn restored in the Point Reyes Station area. As you walk in, you pass a room lined with fresh cheese being made (literally lines of cheese wheels). The hall includes other local treats to buy as well such as salads and sandwiches. The barn is surrounded by tables and makes for a great place to have a picnic, to grab some local cheese and enjoy the sunshine.
If you haven’t consumed enough yet, head to the infamous Osteria Stellina for some local Italian eats such as fresh handmade pizzas and some good pasta. Of course at some point you will have to work off all of the local cheeses and goodies you have eaten so head to the hills. Drive down the 1 and take a hike. Literally anywhere, hike. The views from the top of the hills are beautiful and the grass is typically green all year round with plenty of trails to choose from. You can go kayaking in Drakes Bay or go out to the lighthouse for a more scenic option.
Point Reyes is known for a few unusual photo ops. One of the better known one is the “ship-wreck” on the shore. It’s an old ship that has been washed up on the bay and makes for a great place to take photos. The other unusual activity is the tule elk preserve that is along the shore. It is quite bizarre to see these large elk with the ocean as a backdrop. The other famous animal in this area is the elephant seal. These mammals have quite a funny look and are worth a gander. They can be observed from the overlooking area near Chimney rock.
Whether you find yourself eating the countless different cheeses or hiking the beautiful views of the ocean, Point Reyes is a great place to spend a Saturday.