Tomales Bay Trip Recap

It sort of feels like this little space has been lacking in the recipe department lately. Not to worry, after the holidays they’ll be back in full force. The past month has been hectic, though full of amazing things happening. All of which I cannot wait to share with you! Part (the most exciting news ever, part) I’m spilling today…ggaaaahhhh, I feel so giddy just at the thought of telling you this!

For weeks I’ve been trying to get my act together to tell you about my trip to Tomales Bay and Point Reyes. And by “tell”, what I really mean is, dump a ton of photos on you. It’s pretty much my favorite place on the entire Earth. And this trip made me love it even more!

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

L and I first came out here two years ago and have been dying to come back. And, since we were spending Thanksgiving in northern California this year, we figured it was perfect timing for another visit.

Tomales Bay is beautiful gem tucked away, just under a two hour drive from San Francisco. It’s so close to the city, yet it feels like a world away. We spent most of our time in Point Reyes Station, on the south end of the bay, the Point Reyes National Seashore, and Inverness, a small town on the western shore. This area is so beautiful and peaceful…rolling green hills in every direction, small, winding roads, dairy farms, and the salty smell of the ocean is everywhere.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

Point Reyes Station is a small, super cute town with a few restaurants, a bakery, bookstore, and a great market. It’s also home to Cowgirl Creamery and some of my favorite cheese, ever. The cramery was obviously our first stop. We stocked up on Mt. Tam triple cream (my fave!), Humboldt Fog and Wagon Wheel cheddar.

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The town “center” of Inverness is even smaller, and my favorite place there is the restaurant, Saltwater Oyster Depot.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

During our three night stay, we came here for dinner twice, and nearly ate our way through the entire menu. The menu has a local selection of oysters that changes daily, and fresh, well-prepared farm/sea to table meals.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

Instead of staying in a hotel, we opted for a small, cute Airbnb rental in Inverness, that sits on the pier over the water. And really, what’s not to love about opening the front door to a view like this.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

I normally don’t have trouble with the time change when I go to the west coast, but this trip I found myself wide awake every morning at 4 am. The silver lining was catching sunrises like this every morning.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

On our agenda was trail running (because west coast trail running is so much better than on the east coast), hiking, and oyster eating. There’s no shortage of any of these three things out there!

We kicked off our first full day with a hike out to Tomales Point. We did this hike when we were out here two years ago, and couldn’t wait to do it again.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

The trailhead is at the end of Pierce Point Road, where an old dairy farm used to sit. When we pulled up we were excited to see only one other car in the parking lot. We pretty much had this whole amazing place to ourselves!

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

The hike to Tomales Point is just under 10 miles round trip, with gentle rolling hills, stunning coastal views and tons of wildlife, including the Tule Elk. The best reward comes at the halfway point when you reach the tip of the peninsula (Tomales Point), overlooking the Pacific and Bodega Bay. To say it’s beautiful is a complete understatement.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

When we got out to the Point, I had one thing one my mind, I wanted to dive into our backpack for some Gatorade and a granola bar. L had other plans, though. Before I could reach for our bag, he started talking about how we were at this same spot two years ago, and all of the amazing things we’ve done together since then, and how our lives have changed, and grown together. And, the next thing I knew he was on one knee ASKING ME TO MARRY HIM!!!!!

It really couldn’t be more fitting, or more perfect that we got engaged halfway through a 10 mile hike, dressed in workout clothes, in one of our most favorite places. To say that I’m (and we’re) over the moon excited, is a complete understatement. At the risk of being cheesy, I feel thankful and excited everyday that I get to do fun things and have cool experiences with my best friend on a daily basis, and now I get to do that for the rest of my life! Agghhhhh!

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To celebrate, we picked up some lunch at Perry’s Deli (which more like a well stocked market with tons of great local products and produce, an amazing menu of take away food, and killer home-baked cookies) in Inverness, then drove to Tomales Bay Oyster Company to shuck our own oysters.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

The oysters are harvested right in the bay, and the shore is lined with a sea of picnic tables and grills. People arrive in packs with coolers, bags of food, wine and beer, and settle in for a day of picnicking and oyster eating. It’s such a fun atmosphere.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

I’ve shucked oysters once before, and I thought I remembered how. Not even close. Thankfully there were some oyster pros at the next table over and they came to our rescue.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

We spent the rest of our trip exploring the National Seashore, with stops at the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse and Drakes Bay to see the harbor seals, and did a lot of trail running. And of course, smiling nonstop.

Tomales Bay Trip Recap

As for running I felt like we hit the trail running jackpot here! There are so many trails and so many options – flat, hilly, wooded, beach, and distances ranging from 2 miles to 14 miles. Our favorites were the Bear Valley Trail out to Arch Rock (about 8.5 miles total) and the hilly Estero Trail.

By the end of our stay I was half sad to be leaving and half super excited to get to San Francisco to share the news with L’s family.

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Now, nearly four weeks later, we’re still filled with giddy excitement on a nonstop basis, and in full on wedding planning mode. It’s been so fun sharing this news with people over the past few weeks, and now so great to be sharing it with you guys!!

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