Driving just two hours north of the city to Point Reyes is like entering into another world. Untouched natural beauty and open space. It’s what I imagined California to look like pre-civilization.
P and I woke up bright and early and drove the 2 hours up to hike Alamere Falls, just south of Point Reyes National Park. The trail is about 9 miles round trip through a mostly well-maintained path. There are parts of the trail that include some obscure shrubbery, and the path down to the falls itself requires a bit of rock climbing. But, the gushing waterfall trickling straight into the ocean is quite a sight!
After the hike, we headed straight to Lagunitas Brewery Company in Petaluma for some ice cold beers and nachos. The beer garden was the perfect post-hike rest stop with a live band, great food, and great beer. It was one of the most fun brewery / tap room / beer garden I had ever been too, and I had visited my fair share of breweries when living on the east coast.
Wanting to enjoy our time up north, we decided to spend the night in Petaluma, a mere 30 minutes east of Point Reyes. We stayed at Hotel Petaluma, which was located right in the heart of downtown Petaluma. It may be newly renovated, but it still had all the charm and character of a historical hotel, reminding me a little bit of our old Boston brownstone studio. It was perfect for a one night stay, and we absolutely loved the location.
Initially thinking that Petaluma didn’t have much to offer, the downtown area was relatively lively in the evening. Since we had a late and large lunch, we opted for an early evening dessert at the Petaluma Pie Company, where we slurped ice tea and shared a peach pie à la mode. The sun was setting, the piano man played oldies from the street corner, and we ended the night playing a few rounds of darts before hitting the sack.
The next morning, we grabbed our morning coffee and checked out the Petaluma Seed Bank, an old bank turned gardner’s heaven, selling a variety of rare seeds from all over the world. The collection was very impressive, and I left Petaluma with three different types of tomato seeds.
With the whole day ahead of us, we headed to Tomales Bay for the ever famous oysters. Because we were too lazy to shuck our own oysters at Tomales Bay Oyster Company, we opted to visit the Marshall Store for an early lunch. We ordered both raw oysters and grilled oysters (our favorite being the Kilpatrick) and shared a large clam chowder and beer. It was quite the feast and the Tomales Bay views from our table were stunning.
Once we filled up on oysters and seafood, we were ready to explore Point Reyes National Seashore. Despite having grown up in the Bay Area, I had never visited this region and was excited to visit someplace new. It certainly was a place like no other. This area is such a special place that I hope will remain relatively untouched for years to come. We said hello to the cows, spotted some whales, and admired the large birds circling the grasslands. It was a perfect end to our weekend before heading back to the hustle and bustle of the Silicon Valley.