Somehow, I lived in California for four years, wrote more than a dozen guidebooks on the state and countless magazine features, and yet explored so little of the North Bay beyond Muir Beach, where we got married. But isn’t that so often the case—you neglect what’s in your own backyard?
So on our recent trip back, I aimed to change that, and we planned a glorious day trip to Point Reyes National Seashore with SVV’s family.
Now, the weather did not cooperate, hardly. But then again, had we been blessed with sunny skies, there would have been no rainbows.
Besides, the drive up past Bolinas Lagoon is stunning no matter the weather.
We were staying on the coast in Marin County, and it was about an hour drive up to Olema, where we met up with the family. But first, I had one thing I just needed to see: the Cypress Tunnel, aka every Instagrammer’s dream.
After we arrived, found we were the only ones there (see: poor lighting and weather conditions), and snapped some photos, we looped back to Olema then up along Tomales Bay where we met the family at the Marshall Store, another place I had written about with some frequency yet never visited.
It’s known for its oysters and crab, but seeing as I eat neither, I consumed all the Cowgirl Creamery cheese (on ACME bread, natch) instead. I don’t regret that decision.
Once our bellies were full, SVV’s parents took us to their favorite beach, Limantour, a new spot to both SVV and me, despite him growing up in the Bay Area.
Again, it was too cold to be in anything shy of two layers (in other words, a typical Northern California day), so we bundled up and sought refuge against the dunes.
This day was a blessing for many reasons, but mainly because I got to spend it with my niece Kiva. She was only one when SVV and I started dating and somehow has now turned 14 in the blink of an eye. She’s sweet, compassionate, beautiful and has the biggest heart (basically, the opposite of me as a teen!). I look forward to her being a little bit older and (hopefully) flying her out to stay with us in Tennessee.
We were there during the breeding season for the elephant seals, but we somehow missed going out to Drakes Beach. If you’re visiting between December and March, I highly recommend making this a priority—though be forewarned: they stink! You also might have to take a shuttle out there from the visitor’s center, depending on the day you’re visiting.
After Lindamar, we went into the town of Point Reyes Station, another place I’d never actually explored, and went to the Cowgirl Creamery headquarters (started by two fellow UT alums, it bears noting!) then had dinner at Station House Cafe.
Our day was over far too quickly, and I was sad to say good-bye to SVV’s parents, Kiva and her dad Jim.
What’s your favorite San Francisco day trip to enjoy with family?