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Chowish day trip ideas...?

the bf and i are looking to get out of the city and take a day trip this saturday. mostly what motivates our lives is what/where we're goining to eat next, so i'd love it if the trip had a chowish persuasion. we've done several wine countries (sonoma, napa, livermore, santa cruz) so are looking for something a little different. also, we don't want to stay over night hence the day trip title.

thanks in advance!

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  1. pt. reyes is a pretty good day trip. stick to hwy 1 for the scenic views, have breakfast at pine cone diner, visit the cowgirls (the creamery is across the street) for some picnic stuff, drive up to hog island for some oysters and then scout around the bay for a picnic spot. drive back to the city in time for sundown and drinks at the pied piper bar (palace hotel).

    2 Replies
    1. re: steve h.

      I'd second Pt. Reyes/Tomales Bay. In fact, I'm planning a chowish birthday excursion there in a couple of months; here is what I've found so far...

      Hog Island Oyster Company
      Drakes Bay Family farms http://drakesbayfamilyfarms.com/visit...

      Cowgirl Creamery (aka Tomales Bay Foods) at 80 4th Street in Point Reyes Station, open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10am to 6pm. Tours are held every Friday at 11:30 a.m. The tour consists of a 25-minute presentation, followed by a tasting of Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. The charge for the tour is $3 per person and reservations are recommended.

      McEvoy Ranch tour (only after March, though): http://www.mcevoyranch.com/html/tours...

      1. re: steve h.

        We recently did the Pt. Reyes part but instead of driving back into the City for dinner we headed north and went to Nick's Cove in Marshall. We got there on the early side - the way early side for us - but got to enjoy sunset and got a window table. And actually, it turns out the quickest and most direct home to the City is to go north from Marshall and cut over - you land on 101 in Petaluma and it is a straight shot.

      2. Taco truck and strawberries (in season) in Salinas, seafood in Monterey, breakfast at Deetjens in Big Sur (although not much else around).

        Further south, artichokes (in season) and tri-tip, Swedish food and pancakes in Solvang.

        1. Lunch or an early dinner at Duarte's in Pescadero is always a nice option if you do not want to travel too far from SF.

          4 Replies
          1. re: DavidT

            This can also be combined with a paid tour at the goat cheese farm or a walk in the hills. There's an old cemetery just down the road from Duarte's that is sort of interesting. I've never done the goat tour b/c of the cost, but it could be fun.
            http://www.harleyfarms.com

            1. re: Candice

              I would VERY strongly second this suggestion. Pack an indulgent picnic lunch, get an early start and take a major-league hike through the redwood groves at Butano, Big Basin or Pescadero Creek. Then hit Duarte's for an early-ish dinner. If you're killing time in the bar, so much the better .... There's something about the combination of a classic Santa Cruz Mountains walk followed by a classic Pescadero meal (gotta get the cream of artichoke soup, the fish appetizers, etc ... and if you're feeling flush, the (farmed) abalone) that just hits the spot. Trust me: You'll walk out of Duarte's congratulating yourself that you are lucky enough to live in one of the best places on the face of God's earth -- no matter what the sacrifices involved. Several times I've taken jaded out-of-state relatives on a hike (or tidepool walk) and Duarte's only to hear the weak admission: "Oh mannnnnnnn, I can understand why you pay what you do to live here... "

              Sushi Monster
              http://www.emeraldlake.com/sushilist....

              1. re: Sushi Monster

                I third this suggestion. My boyfriend and I did exactly that last weekend: 11-mile loop at Butano followed by a 5:00 dinner at Duarte's. Butano is great because it's only a few miles up the road from Duarte's and was incredibly quiet: we only saw one other hiker during our 4-hour trip.

                It was an absolutely perfect day.

            2. re: DavidT

              Near Duarte's is Phipps Ranch, they sell produce and a big variety of beans. Nice to bring kids because they have lots of animals (birds, chickens, etc.) to look at and you can buy carrots to feed the donkey.

            3. I'd never been to Carmel Valley until a couple of years ago. There's winetasting and some interesting shops, several with amazing pots, fountains and statues -- fun to look at even if you're not in the market for a fountain. There's earthbound farms, too, though I found the produce and other food in the market overpriced. We also had a really nice lunch -- can't remember the name of the place -- sitting outside in February. The weather in the valley is much nicer than on the coast. Pretty drive, too.

              1. Caltrain to Tamien, Light Rail to the Tech Museum, then either walk to Original Joes or take Light Rail to Vung Tao.

                1. If you want a shorter trip, the ferry to Tiburon is pleasant, and there were some pretty good restaurants up there (not excellent, but good). My info is from a decade ago, but searching the board turned up some threads.

                  1. Have you been to Berkeley and Oakland lately? I was just at Pizzaiolo on Saturday and can't wait to get back. If you're up for a long day of walking a lot and eating, then I'd take BART to Solano Ave. and walk to Telegraph in Oakland via College. There are a lot of places in that area and you can end your walk by having dinner at Pizzaiolo or Dona Tomas. You can stop at La Farine, the market on Rockridge, ICI for ice cream. There are probably variations of this walk as well.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Mari

                      Walking around Berkeley and Oakland is a fine idea -- but BART to Solano?

                      1. re: Glencora

                        Albany I guess - but that is a trek from Solano!

                      2. re: Mari

                        There is no Solano Ave Bart station. The distance from Central Berkeley Bart to Telegraph, next to UC Berkeley Campus, and then to College to get to Rockridge,
                        passing La Farine is about 3 miles. Olivetto Cafe is across from the station. An additional mile or so gets you to the corner of Telegraph and 51st. There are Betty's Bake Shop, Asmara, Dona Tomas and Pizzaiola. The latter 2 are not open for lunch. I would walk back to Rockridge rather than down Telegraph to catch Bart back to SF. I would not do any of this at night.

                      3. wow thanks for all the great ideas!! keep them coming!

                        1. Even though you've done Napa, have you done Eat Nopal and kare raisu's Napa? Following in their footsteps is high on my list of to-do day trips.
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/464642

                          1. We like to take day trips that we call "Indian Adventures" to Fremont/SouthBay. I do a CH search for some Indian or Afghani or Asian place, more often than not a hole in the wall, and take off. We've always been rewarded by interesting food. Ardenwood Park is in Fremont and I've heard that the butterflies are settling there. Right across the street is a place called Chatta Patta (not sure on name). We had delicious chat, especially the pani puri, and then wandered around the park for a while. This weekend we are thinking of a food adventure to San Jose and going to the Human Body exhibit (not the most appealing combination for some I admit!).

                            1. Well, Saturday's come and gone, but I thought of another one for the "hiking and dinner" theme... hike Mt. Diablo, followed by dinner at Kopitiam in Lafayette, on the way back.