I spent this past weekend on a girl’s trip with my mom and sister in Point Reyes, California. I hadn’t been to Point Reyes since I was a kid so I really did not remember much about it other than it was a sleepy little town on the Northern California Coast.
My mom rented us a house just outside of town where we would stay for two nights. The house came with some expected delights, as well as unexpected surprises. It was a wooden cottage set within a forest of trees and designed landscaping around the house that was just beautiful. Walking up to the door we took in the strong floral scent of Daphne. The inside of the house had the less appealing smell of animals since, as it turns out, there were two cats that lived there. We were left a note by the owner, Jack, that it was our responsibility to make sure these cats were fed and cared for in his absence. It was a good thing none of us had a cat allergy, but I’m pretty sure my mom could’ve done without the midnight cat snacking by her head while she was trying to sleep.
The weekend was filled with simple luxuries. Saturday morning we all enjoyed our cup of coffee while reading our books at leisure. The quiet was deafening. These days, or for the past 3,467 days (I did the math starting when Ava was born), I find it difficult to carve out good quality time to sit and read my book at my house with so much that I always feel I need to do around the house.
Later that morning we went into town to browse in the shops before taking our hike. The adorable town called Point Reyes Station was created because a railroad ran through it for 59 years, ending in 1933. The town pretty much consists of one of everything you need: one market, one pharmacy, one hardware store, one bakery.
There are several wonderful restaurants that do not disappoint. On this trip, we visited Old Station House Cafe, which is celebrating 40 years in existence this year, just like me, so we bonded right away. I enjoyed a delicious salad with Point Reyes Blue Cheese dressing and the roasted chicken with brussels spouts and potatoes. We also dined at Osteria Stellina, a more upscale atmosphere with amazing fresh pastas, pizzas and salads.
When visiting small towns, dining out can often leave you disappointed, but Point Reyes is filled with dairy ranches and oyster farms, so this small town offers up amazingly fresh farm to table fare.
Point Reyes is known for their cheese and Cowgirl Creamery right in town has developed quite a name for itself outside of its home town. I bought a Cowgirl Creamery triple cream cheese and crackers that was absolute heaven and worth every bit of the $15 I paid for it. Inside the creamery is a great little boutique clothing store that is worth a browse.
There is not a Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Point Reyes. But there is my mom’s favorite little bookstore aptly named Point Reyes Books right on the main drag. This bookstore conjures up nostalgic feelings of when it was actually possible to browse around an old-fashioned mom and pop bookery and buy a real genuine book made of paper.
We made a stop into Toby’s Feed Barn, which is much more than its name indicates. Toby’s Feed Barn has cards, linens, gourmet foods, household decorative items and more. On the way into the shop we were stopped by two locals relaxing in bright red rocking chairs in front of Toby’s, enjoying a leisurely chat on a Saturday morning. They were so friendly and had a lot of great tips about Point Reyes to share with us. One was that we absolutely must go to Drakes Bay Oyster Company for some freshly caught oysters. The interaction between these friendly locals really made my first day in Point Reyes start out right. Never underestimate the power of the outpouring of friendly communication.
So of course we had to make our way out to Drakes Bay Oyster Company and have an oyster. None of us eat oysters but I could not go to an awesome place where they harvest oysters, and not try one. We got a special lesson on the art of opening and eating an oyster from another friendly local working at the farm. She also gave us the history of Drakes Bay Oyster Company and how they are currently in a heated legal battle with the Interior Department and National Park Service (NPS) who want to shut the family business down. The NPS is claiming the company is causing environmental harm while Drakes claims that they have been good stewards of the land for nearly 100 years now, providing California with a third of all oysters in California. The locals desperately want to save this oyster farm which is apparent with the abundance of Save Our Drakes Bay Oyster Farm signs posted all over town.
We went on an amazing hike Saturday afternoon along the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We hiked six miles along the Tomales Point trail where we enjoyed an amazing view of the ocean the entire way, and also got to watch roaming herds of elk that were recently reintroduced into the area.
Point Reyes is definitely worth a visit for a weekend of delicious cheese and oysters, great restaurants, a plethora of amazing hikes at every turn and a handful of local shops to keep you busy browsing and buying.
Thanks mom for arranging a great little getaway!
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.