Alan and I spent the week after our wedding in Tomales Bay, a relaxing spot on the Northern California coast known for its oysters. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of wedding planning, so our time away filled with naps, hikes and amazing food was just perfect.
Even though we were just an hour outside of San Francisco, it felt like we were miles away from home. What an adventure! We rented a cottage right on the beach in the tiny town of Inverness. At night we would fall asleep looking up through the skylight, listening to the waves lapping up against the shore. (And there was a shipwreck you could explore, too.)
I prepped for the chilly coastal weather by packing my new wool hat. (I kept calling it my honeymoon hat -- because it's okay to buy things if they're named for a specific purpose ;)
One thing we weren't expecting (but loved) was the awesome food scene. Almost all the restaurants we ate at used organic, seasonal ingredients and pasture-raised meats locally produced in Marin. Everything was fancy without being hoity-toity.
On the first night of our stay, we walked across the street to "downtown" Inverness (it's one block) to have dinner at Saltwater. Of course, we had to try the oysters. They tasted just like eating the ocean, which, as Alan said, was "wild." For our entrees, Alan had a clam and pork belly pozole, and I had the grilled sea bass which were both so fresh and flavorful. The restaurant feels romantic and intimate with airy seating inside and out. It would be a great place to host a dinner party.
The next day, we drove a few miles into Point Reyes Station which is so quaint and chock-full of delicious dining options. We had lunch at Marin Sun Farms which is half restaurant and half butcher shop. Alan and I split a tasty burger, but the real show-stoppers were the fries and brussels sprouts fried in pork lard. I know. I know you're clutching your heart and about to have a heart attack on my behalf, but before you do, you need to get in your car and drive here so you, too, can die and go to fried food heaven.
How cute is this little swimming hole we found just down the street?
Next, we drove to the very tip of Point Reyes to visit the iconic lighthouse. There are 308 steps to get down to the bottom! It was so cold and windy that it was hard to believe it was still summer, but will you just look at those colors? So dreamy.
One day, the sun came out in full force so we picked up a pizza and beef stew at Osteria Stellina (we don't believe in sandwiches) and had an impromptu picnic at a park. And since there were tons of trails just a few miles from our cottage, we took a shady stroll, talking about our wedding and admiring our newly-adorned hands. I'm still getting used to seeing Alan wearing jewelry.
We got dressed up on our last night and drove up the coast to have dinner at Nick's Cove. They're known for their seafood, so we ordered the halibut and clams in an aromatic broth, the clam chowder, crab mac and cheese (get this!) and a big bowl of truffle fries. Right next door to the restaurant, you can also stay in one of their twelve super cute cottages.
After almost slipping into a food coma right there at the table, we had to rally to make room for dessert. I'm so glad we did because the s'mores we ordered were one of the most unique experiences of our whole trip. Their s'mores kits included "handcrafted marshmallows, buttery graham crackers rolled fresh and super fine Belgium chocolate discs" and two wooden sticks. You can roast your marshmallows in the dining room fireplace, or you can do something way better...
You can walk down the pier to an illuminated boat shack and roast your marshmallows in an old fireplace! How cool is that?!
The s'mores, especially the homemade graham crackers, were out of this world. I haven't stopped thinking about them since.
The inside of the boat shack is really cute, and if you're feeling chatty, you can talk to the other s'more roasters there. One couple felt compelled to tell us how to "properly" make a s'more, then laughed when they realized they were acting like our parents. I'm pretty sure they thought we were in high school, ha!
Anyway, here are a few other fun places to visit in the area if you'd like more recommendations...
Bovine Bakery: We came here almost every day. Everything is delicious! We both loved the morning buns and pies. I also enjoyed their take on the bear claw.
Cowgirl Creamery: Cheese, cheese, cheese! They offer free tastings of all the Cowgirl Creamery cheeses and other artisanal cheeses. I mentioned to the guy helping us that I was not a blue cheese fan through and through but wanted to be adventurous. He had me try an Oregon cheese called Rogue River Blue, promising me that it would change my mind. He was right! It was perfectly creamy and tangy and reminded me of a zesty buttermilk ranch.
Sir and Star: It's been described as having Shaker-like, goth, steampunk decor. The hyper-local menu includes items with quirky names and descriptions like the "bouillabaisse of all things green and gold gathered from local gardens with a very stirring stick of focaccia and aioli" and a "soup of Annabelle’s acorn squash under a small cloud of spiced coastal cream crowned with a confetti of woodacre walnuts." The ceiling is painted the "blackest of blacks" and the space is decorated with taxidermy. This is definitely on my to-visit list for next time!
Nutmeg: The cutest little boutique in Nicasio that sells home decor, gifts and a small selection of clothing. A fun stop on the way to Point Reyes.
Tomales Bay is a great place to just chill. It was the perfect place to be on cloud nine after the wedding :) I'd highly recommend staying at the Dancing Coyote Beach if you're planning a trip in the area. We stayed in the Birch cottage, but the Beach cottage next door has a killer deck!
(Photos of Sir and Star at the Olema via Remodelista; all others by me)