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Weekender: Escape to Pt. Reyes

Jenna Scatena | November 2, 2012 | Story Travel Weekend Escapes California Destinations


10 a.m. For the drive north, opt for Highway 1, and revel in this year’s last taste of summer sunshine. Cruise over the newly repaved road on the stretch from Mill Valley to Stinson, perfect for careening around the golden hills with intermittent views of the Pacific.

11:30 a.m. Swing by Cowgirl Creamery in Pt. Reyes Station and pick up some fresh local cheeses on your way to Tomales Bay Oyster Company, about ten minutes up the road. Hint: They provide the oysters, shucking equipment, Tapatio, and music, so it’s BYO mignonette, plates, and beverages.

4 p.m. Check in to Point Reyes Seashore Lodge, just off Highway 1 in Olema (a few miles south of Pt. Reyes Station). The English-style garden and sprawling lawn with Adirondack chairs are perfect for afternoon tea and a good book. Wander a few yards down to Olema Creek and, if you’re feeling adventurous, cross the mini bridge that connects to a trail which leads to the Pt. Reyes Park Headquarters. From there, dozens of trails beckon you to explore the 71,000 acre wilderness along the coast. Hint: Request for a room on the second floor with a fireplace and French doors that open to your private deck and sweeping views of rolling hills. Rates start at $145/night.

7 p.m. Go to Osteria Stellina for dinner for the most well-executed local dishes. Local produce and zesty house-made meats takes center stage in a variety of forms. Request a seat by the window for people watching. Hint: Go for the likes of braised goat with herbed polenta or orecchiette with chillies and house-made sausage.


7 a.m. Wake up Sunday morning refreshed and head up the road from Olema to Inverness for an early morning low-key kayak session with Blue Water Kayak. November is one of the best times of the year to paddle on the bay, as winds are calm and. Hint: Keep an eye out for dozens of species of migrating birds--the recently restored Giacomini Wetlands has become a hotspot for them.

10 a.m. Stop by Bovine Bakery in Pt. Reyes Station for their famous hand-made morning bun and drip coffee.

11 a.m. If you’re just feeling warmed up, hike Divide Meadow via the newly re-opened Bear Valley Trail, which leads you through a forest of Douglas Firs to an open meadow. It’s bout 3 miles total. Hint: The ambitious can opt for the entire Bear Valley Loop (10 miles), which takes you along coastal outlooks and eventually the beach.

4 p.m. Start your drive back to the city, just in time to see the sunset from the Golden Gate Bridge.

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