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Report 1728: Tomales Bay Weekend

By gloria from California, Fall 2009

Trip Description: A weekend, October 31, 2009 spent along the northern California coast.

Destinations: Countries - North America; Regions/Cities - California

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Beach; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 3-4 people

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We left the Bay Area Saturday morning. Our friends left Sacramento and two hours later we arrived in Tomales Bay on the northern California coast. We met in front of the Continental Inn and enjoyed a quick treat while sitting in the sun in front of the inn. We hopped into one car and made our way to the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse. After our beautiful drive through the rolling hills of Marin county, we arrived and hiked .5 mile to the lighthouse. There are 308 steps down a steep incline to the lighthouse itself. I think the gods were with us as we were able to see miles and miles of the northern coast without any fog cover at all. It is something that happens very rarely in this part of California, which is covered with low, wet fog most of the year. After sitting in the beautiful sun and hardly any wind at all, we headed back up the steep 308 steps. A word to the wise, take your time if you are not in great shape. It's a good hike.

After resting our limbs from the climb, we drove to the town of Pt. Reyes Station and stopped at Tomales Bay Food (where Cowgirl Cheese factory is located) for fresh cheese, bread (from Bovine Bakery), wine and fruit. If you have never had the fresh cheese from Cowgirl, you must give it a try.

As evening approached, we made our way back and stopped in Marshall to have dinner at Nick's Cove, a wonderful seafood restaurant right on the water. There also are accommodations available consisting of several cabins on the water. If you go, you must try the Tomales clam chowder. I enjoyed the chowder along with an incredibly fresh shrimp Louis. Our friends had the mixed salad and crab cakes, while my husband had the grilled sea bass. All the food was fresh and delicious.

After a long day of hiking and eating we arrived back at our hotel, the Continental Inn. We were given the combination to the front door and the keys to our room were left at the desk. The owners are there only for a few hours in the morning and evening, so the arrangements were made by phone the day before. We found our room to be impeccably clean with beautiful, comfortable furnishings. There are only 10 rooms at the inn and it appeared that we, our friends and another couple were the only guests there. Breakfast is very minimal with coffee, yogurt and cereal available, however, we were given a $5 gift card to the Tomales Bakery right across the street.

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