I’ve asked for a pair of binoculars for the past three Christmases and no one seems to take me seriously. Call me whale obsessed. It’s prime whale watching season out here and while another trip to the Farallon Islands may be a little too aggressive in my current pregnant state, watching from Point Reyes this past weekend seemed like a good backup plan.
Jutting 16 kilometers (10 miles) into the Pacific Ocean, the headlands of the Point Reyes Peninsula offer one of the finest spots to view the gray whale. The areas around Chimney Rock and the Lighthouse offer some of the best whale watching spots in the park.
Last week, I posted about Nick’s Cove lodging but what makes this place so special is the property. The views of Tomales Bay and the rolling hills of Point Reyes. The old-school boat shack where you can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. The little knickknacks you find on property: the old telephone booth, rustic beached boats, the decrepit yet charming piano in the boat shack. The restaurant.
Nick’s seafood-focused restaurant is adjacent to the on-site garden and Frog Creek Farm, which generates produce, herbs and eggs for the restaurant. The newest projects: Asian pear, fig and citrus fruit trees and a green house. The farm is growing enough Russian kale, purple romaine and butterleaf lettuces to serve the restaurant, and all of their herbs are also being grown on the grounds.
Even if you don’t plan on staying the night, it’s worth a day trip (after all, it’s only 50 miles from San Francisco).
PS: Nick’s Cove’s Dungeness Crab Mac n’ Cheese
Old Man Halip John’s 31st birthday in Point Reyes this past weekend. It was glorious. I would even go as far to say that Point Reyes is my West Coast Nantucket. We stayed at Nick’s Cove in “Uncle Andy’s Cabin”–a quaint little bungalow overlooking the glassy bay. The room was decorated in classic coastal style with hunting lodge accents; filled with fishing poles, prints of the area’s indigenous birds and maps. When the temperatures dropped at night, the heated marble bathroom floors and woodburning stove came in handy. Next cabin to stay at on my list: Bandit’s Bungalow.
1) Saltwater—Our favorite restaurant in Inverness. The dino kale pizza is to die for. Make sure you book a reservation in advance, especially during the warmer months as the restaurant is quite cozy.
2) Osteria Stellina—Point Reyes Italian located in the heart of Point Reyes Station. The food is excellent.
3) Sir and Star–The most popular foodie destination in the area at the moment.
4) Nick’s Cove Restaurant—We love this restaurant for the ambience and friendly staff. Enjoy cocktails in the boat house before you sit for your meal.
5) Cowgirl Creamery—Located in Tomales Bay Foods in Point Reyes Station, it’s a great place to pick up cheese or sandwiches before a hike.
1) Coyuchi—My go-to spot for organic high-quality linens and blankets.
2) Point Reyes Jeweler—I love David Clarkson’s Hammered Hoop Earrings (and all of his clean designs, really).
3) Toby’s Feed Barn– best coffee in Point Reyes can be found here at Toby’s Coffee Bar. Be sure to check out the Saturday Farmer’s Market too for some of the best produce around.
4) Flower Power—An adorable shop with unique home décor, gifts, and yes, flowers too.
5) ViewPoints—With some digging, you can find great home décor items including: pillows, serving trays and Point Reyes watercolors/ prints.
1) Blue Waters Kayaking—There’s no better place to kayak than on Tomales Bay.
2) Point Reyes Lighthouse—Check the weather before heading out here; it can be quite windy and cold! Definitely worth the trek.
3) Hike Chimney Rock Trailhead—For spectacular views of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Prime spot for whale watching January – May too.
4) Heart’s Desire Beach or Abbotts Lagoon Beach—The best beaches for warm days.
1) Manka’s Inverness Lodge–This is #1 on my West Coast bucket list at the moment. I’ve heard the recently renovated hotel is incredible so don’t be fooled by the outdated website.
2) Nick’s Cove–We recently stayed here for John’s birthday and had an amazing experience. More to come.