- TOMALES BAY, CALIFORNIA
BBQ OYSTERS + SUNSHINE = HAPPINESS
It's been hot. I live in San Francisco, so when I say hot, it's probably not as hot as non-Northern California people are used to in the summer, but for us, its quite hot. For me, when it gets hot, I get tired much much faster and the prospect of doing anything in the city on my days off seems undesirable and unlikely. On days like these, I opt for a coastal outing outside the city.
The Bay Area as a whole is blessed with location. Not only is the immediate area itself gorgeous, but take a drive just 30 minutes outside the city and there are so many places to go and see. Up your time a little and within 1-3 hrs the world really is your oyster. Speaking of oysters...I love them. Typically, I order them raw ($1 oyster Happy Hour at Waterbar anyone?), however, whenever I take a trip up to Tomales Bay I almost always elect the BBQ variety. This weekend, I hopped into my Mini with my partner in food crimes, and made the quick trek up to Tomales Bay. We made a brief stop in Point Reyes Station to pick up some cheese from Cow Girl Creamery (the seasonalPierce Pt cheese being our selection this time) and then continued on to my personal favorite Tomales Bay oyster spot - The Marshall Store. The Marshall Store is an oyster bar and smokehouse ideally located right on the bay. They have a cute wrap around deck you can eat on while overlooking the water and the boats, as well as long wooden boards on barrels stretched out along the water. It's the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon snacking on oysters and cheese and sipping on a chilled glass of white wine. Although getting to be a little bit pricey, every so often when you really need that escape (really though, they have wifi inside, but there's no cell reception here) it's a great choice.
My food recommendations are as follows:
BBQ Oysters w/ Garlic Butter & House Sauce (DELICIOUS. We had two dozen between the two of us)
Raw Oysters w/ Lemon & Mignonettes (very fresh and non sea-watery tasting which I prefer!)
Pulled Pork Sando (super tasty, even though I really prefer to stick with seafood when I am here - would be great for those fools you have with you that aren't super into seafood)
Bottle of Sancerre
If you want to fill the rest of your day, or just want to feel that you have earned your oysters, there are lots of great hikes in the surrounding area. Here is a full list provided by the National Park Service. The Pt Reyes Lighthouse is also a fun stop (open Thursdays-Mondays in the Summer from 10-430, Fridays-Mondays rest of the year from 10-430), where if you're lucky like I was recently you can see whale spouts! Or just lounge at Drake's Beach. Really, it's hard to go wrong.