Travel tips for Pt. Reyes up to Bodega Bay?

We’ll be staying in Dillon Beach later this summer, which is between Pt. Reyes and Bodega Bay. I would appreciate any travel tips for the area–things to do, places to go, restaurants to visit, wineries, etc.
I’ll be there with family, so there may be some places that some folks want to do and others won’t; that’s OK.

I know that fresh, local oysters are supposed to be very good.


In Pt Reyes, visit Marin Sun Farms, which is a roadside butcher shop/restaurant that just also happens to be Sean Thackrey’s tasting room.

The best food in West Marin is Sir and Star. It’s world-class. But 1) Make reservations and 2) Be patient. Some nights, the service goes off without a hitch; other nights, the entire staff has just been fired and replaced. YMMV.

I haven’t been there in a year, but if it’s still there, go to Tomales Bakery in the morning. Their Chocolate Devil might be the best morning pastry thing I’ve ever had. The coffee ain’t bad either. Favorite stop of bicyclists.

There are dozens of trails to hike, and most of them will be crowded. Locals tend to go to Limantour Beach and Pierce Point Road to avoid (some of) the throngs. There are more good beaches than I can count – I’m a fan of Kehoe, but North and South Beaches are also dramatic. The Lighthouse is worth visiting, as long as you don’t mind 300 stairs down and then up again. If you’re about to go hiking, stock up at Perry’s Deli (they’re better than Palace and the Inverness store).

Nick’s Cove is really pretty, but the food has been hit and miss, depending on who’s running the kitchen. The Marshall Store has epic chowder, if that’s your thing. If you go northerly, to Jenner, it’s an incredible set of vistas, and if you go to the Rivers End Cafe, they have pretty decent wines to drink while you sit on their deck and watch the seals.

Lunch at Marshall Store is great if you are an oyster lover. You can bring your own wine and use the tables N of the store on PCH, bring stems too and enjoy Tomales Bay.

Maybe not fully on point but just want to chime in that I love the drive up US1 from San Fransisco. Not sure from you are headed.

There is a Park Ranger at the Lighthouse. Lots of stairs.

Cowgirl Creamery, Valley Ford Cheese Co, Bodega Head

Not much out there but nature. Gotta head East for civilization and restaurants.

They shut down the Oyster Farm at Pt Reyes. Dept of Interior would not renew their property lease.

A certain must do after a day of hiking and driving in Point Reyes is to stop in at Cowgirl Creamery to sample some cheeses and maybe buy a few then head over to their kitchen and pick up some of their salads and bread and mac and cheese and head up to Hog Island Oyster Co. It is a 15-20 minute drive up there and is well worth it. Make sure to make reservations and don’t forget to bring a nice chilled bottle of muscadet and some decent stems if you can! The setting is beautiful and relaxing and the 3 kinds of oysters they usually have are fantastic. +1 on Glen’s Marin Sun Farms suggestion and the hikes he suggested. They are not to be missed. As an aside, a road a will highly recommend taking to get to Point Reyes from the 101 freeway is Lucas Valley Rd. It is both idyllic and nostalgic.

fresh baked cheese or cinnamon twists, quiche, pie etc at Tomales Bakery.

Yes, I’ve driven it before; very pretty drive. Since Dillon Beach is just off Highway 1, I’m sure we’ll explore it quite a bit.


2nd Cowgirl Creamery. Also Marin French Cheese Co. is inland and usually has noticeably better weather, plus has nice picnic grounds.

Part of the beauty of the area is that there is very little to do but watch the bay and walk in the woods. The nothingness, is kind of the draw. Be cautioned that trips in the area take longer due to the roads, so plan accordingly. You can spend a lot of time in the car if you are not careful.

I would third the suggestion to Marin Sun Farms as well as Cowgirl and Hog Island (you can bring ANYTHING you want to accompany your oysters…book ahead to get a grill (you can buy BBQ oysters from them if you don’t).

The other restaurants in Marshall/Pt. Reyes are pretty unremarkable. I have enjoyed trips to Manka’s, but the restaurant burned down years ago. Nick’s and Tony’s are fair (but hey when you are the only show in town…). I have found it best to rent a house and cook myself with the great ingredients which seem to be available everywhere.

In the other direction (South of Pt Reyes), you can check out Sir and Star which can be good, but is wildly inconsistent. In that direction, you may want to check out Bolinas for a cool little town with a decent surf break and an old saloon and Stinson Beach for fun on the water with the fam (Siren Cafe as well).

We ate at Nick’s a week ago yesterday and the food sucked. You might want to grab a beer or glass of wine and walk out to the boathouse at the end of the pier.

Oh yeah. Don’t forget to go to Terrapin Creek. Amazing Michelin Star unassuming restaurant in Bodega Bay on the way out to the point. Andrew and Lee have been incredibly consistent for years.