One of my favorite escapes from San Francisco is heading north to Point Reyes and Tomales Bay. It's a beautiful spot that feels far away from everything but in reality is only about an hour and a half drive from the city. I've shared some favorite spots in the area before in my Tomales Bay Guide. You can do it as a day trip, but it’s worthwhile to invest the time to stay a few nights. It’s a beautiful slice of part of the world it is.
Any time we drive up to the Tomales area, we plan our drive to stop at the Marshall General Store for lunch. The oysters are fresh and the sandwiches are filling and delicious.
After lunch, keep driving to reach Nick's Cove, a charming and unassuming inn off the side of Highway 1. Twelve cottages line the coast and the hillside across the road to make up this spot. Low key but completely luxurious, with wood burning stoves, claw-footed tubs and heated tile floors in the bathroom in most of the cabins. I've stayed here twice, once in a waterfront and and once in a waterview cottage. If you can justify the splurge, the waterfront bungalows are perfection. Waking up to the water is one of life's great pleasures, and it's equally as pleasing to watch the sun set over Tomales Bay from your own private over-water porch.
Be sure to indulge in your complimentary oysters upon check-in, and enjoy the casual atmosphere at the roadside restaurant for a hearty dinner after working up your appetite on a hike in Pt Reyes National Seashore earlier in the day.
If You Go
Pack… No matter the season, it gets chilly in the evenings and mornings on the water. You'll want an extra layer for hiking, cozy sweats for lounging by the fire.
Good For… Romantic getaway
Plan Ahead… To maximize your relaxation, you’ll want to book a waterfront room. Al’s is my favorite! If you are just going to eat at the restaurant (which I recommend so you don’t have to drive) you can make dinner reservations when you arrive.
Value… There’s a fairly big range in price depending on which cottage you book, and when you go (also note there’s a 2 night minimum on the weekends). The rooms are cozy, comfortable and outfitted with details like heated floors in the bathroom and in some rooms soaking bathtubs and fireplaces. The value for the price is worth it if you are looking for an off the grid place to recharge.