Can I combine food and scenery into one gorgeous day trip?
I'm sheduled for a meeting in San Francisco, beginning June 16. But I'm arriving on June 15 (a Sunday) and have the whole day free. My plane is due in at 10 a.m.. My thought was to pick up a car that could be dropped off in town that evening, and head out. I would like to checking into my hotel around 8 p.m.
I would like to see the ocean, some redwoods, a winery or two (though it's not a wine tour per se), and eat all along the way - anything is fair game, from roadside farm stands to picnics to a nice dinner spot.
I'd love to see Muir Woods though the consensus seems that it's ungodly mobbed on weekends. Is there an alternative? And Point Reyes looks lovely. Is there anything picnic-worthy around there?
consider a picnic. leave the car at home and take the 71 bus to golden gate park. the rose garden is absolutely stunning. deb and i have been members of the botanical garden in the bronx for a long time. the peggy rockefeller rose garden is really good but can't hold a candle to what we saw last week.
on the bus back you can always stop at magnolia pub (haight and masonic) and check out the burgers and beers in a '60s timewarp. renovations were still going on last week but should be finished by now.
Given that you're starting at the airport, I'd be tempted to go the other way: head south and west across Hwy 92 to Half Moon Bay, then south on Hwy 1 along the coast -- once you get ten minutes south of HMB the drive is very scenic with lots of pretty beaches -- to Pescadero, where you can stop at Duarte's Tavern, get some artichoke bread at Norm's/Archangeli market or a taco at the gas station, and visit Harley Farms goat cheese. You can head up into the Santa Cruz Mountains to visit some of the wineries around Bonny Doon; check out the redwoods at Butano or Big Basin; pick strawberries at Swanton. It will be less traffic and driving and waaaay fewer tourists. The redwoods are more impressive at Muir Woods, but the last time I was there the place was so swarming with visitors (late afternoon on a Saturday in March, not even high tourist season) that I couldn't really enjoy them. If you want more specific "tourist" ideas, drop me an email at the address in my profile.
202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060
205 North St, Pescadero, CA
Swanton Berry Farm
25 Swanton Rd, Davenport, CA 95017
Taqueria y Mercado Los Amigos
1999 Pescadero Creek Rd, Pescadero, CA
287 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA
re: Ruth Lafler
To do Duarte's, I would suggest getting to-go and heading out to the picknick tables at Pescadero. Duarte's is very cool with takeout. There are lots of good eats in the general half-moon-bay area, check them out by searching on the board.
There's some goat-cheese farm in Pescadero too - anyone know about them? I see their signs.
North vs South - if you like oysters, the choice is clear, otherwise, a tossup.
Our last scenic weekend outting was to Pt. Reyes. As Robert mentions, the Cowgirl Creamery Complex is a great little place to stop for picnic supplies: wine, cheese, sandwiches, salads, desserts, etc. The staff was incredibly helpful and indulgent in terms of letting us sample the goods and offering combination suggestions. We loaded up on napkins and utensils, and even had them pop the cork because we forgot our corkscrew (the cork was re-inserted and the bottle kept in the trunk in a paper bag, of course).
We then proceeded to Johnson's Oyster Farm and picked up a sack of oysters (Drake and Hog Island are other possibilities). Typically, the oyster farms themselves are teeming with people (read: loud people with children and radios). So we kept driving, keeping an eye out on the road for signs that led to parks and tiny beaches just off the main road. There are many spots with picnic tables and park benches overlooking the bay.
-xsmall and small oysters
-Humbolt Fog cheese
-some kind of aged parmesan that my friend picked out
-a Molinari's salami from SF
-a lovely white wine that was featured as a "great with oysters" choice at the Cowgirl Creamery store
-plenty of ACME baguettes
-a to die for 180 degree view of the inner bay.
Depending where you are staying, maybe you'd do better checking in, taking a breather, and then walking to your dinner restaurant. Just an idea; enjoy your stay!
I'd say Seaweed Cafe in Bodega Bay, but unfortunately it may be closed or in the midst of an ownership change.
The Cowgirl Creamery complex in Point Reyes Station's a good place to stock up for a picnic.
Some topics on the West Marin area: