Summer Roadtripping with Airbnb (part 1)
Last year was the first year that we felt confident enough to try road tripping with the girls. I love being able to pull over for an impromptu swim or picnic and seeing so much beauty along the way. This summer I have partnered with Airbnb and were lucky enough to have them pick up the tab in Bolinas, Ca and Seattle, Wa on our way up to the San Juan Islands where our family lives.
We arrived in Bolinas before sunset and, since it is summer, we had plenty of sunlight left to explore our Airbnb and the amazing property. The Airbnb we stayed in is called The Hill House, one of three artist retreats on a property called Briarcombe. The two other Airbnbs on the property were equally amazing and, since no one was staying on the property while we were there, we had the full lay of the land and were able to explore the whole property. I've had several emails and DMs asking about the other listings and they are as follows: The Fox House and The Bridge House (which was our other choice!)
I felt like we were Hobbits in the Shire. There were little doors leading to different floors and even an umbrella hanging from the ceiling. Everything was wooded and covered with flowers. The girls happily played in the fields and gardens directly below our house and we even picked a basketful of plums from a tree bursting with the sweet summer fruit and mint to make fresh mint tea.
If you don't know the little slice of heaven that is West Marin, Bolinas is perfectly situated to explore the surrounding towns of Stinson Beach, Point Reyes Station, Inverness (on the west shore of Tomales Bay) and Marshall (on the east shore of Tomales Bay). Bolinas has a history of not being friendly to tourists (residents have removed the sign entering the town so many times that they stopped posting it) and the turn off to the town is unmarked. Everyone was super nice to us though!
The weather in West Marin is known to be about 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding areas so we bundled up every morning. So cozy! By noon, the fog usually burned off and we enjoyed driving to Inverness and Marshall for Oysters and to Point Reyes Lighthouse. There was so much to explore I definitely plan on going back, maybe even without kids as the fancy restaurants there looked amazing!
The Hill House at Briarcombe left a little tug in our hearts with all of the beautiful textiles and windows overlooking the forest. I love places that make you long for them and we will definitely return to this listing or hopefully The Bridge House!
Places to Visit:
Point Reyes Lighthouse and National Seashore - This is a must! I didn't realize that Pt. Reyes is a Cape. JFK founded the park in 1962 and it does remind me so much of beautiful Cape Cod. Plan at least three hours round trip to visit and leave even more if you want to visit the beach out there. We stopped briefly at North Beach on the way back to Marshall for lunch.
Agate Beach in Bolinas - there are so many beaches to explore here and I wished we had time to visit Alamere Creek Beach as well. The girls loved our walk here - it's best to go at low tide if you can as there are loads of tide pools!
Cowgirl Creamery (for delicious cheese and picnic provisions)
Places to Eat:
Coast Cafe - we stopped here for breakfast. The girls loved it!
We picked up food to cook for one evening at the Bolinas People's Store
Halfway between Bolinas and Pt. Reyes is the little town of Olema, our friends raved about Sir + Star at The Olema (a hotel) at the corner of Sir Francis Drake Blvd and Star Route One. It was closed the night we tried to go and I definitely want to go next time. The menu looked wonderful!
We sat down to eat at Saltwater Oyster Depot as so many friends had recommended it but it was a little too fancy for our girls so we opted to drive the 10 minutes to Pt. Reyes instead!
Point Reyes Station:
Point Reyes s the biggest of the surrounding towns (Inverness, Bolinas, Olema, and Marshall) and had a load of food choices and a great farmer's market.
We loved Reyes Cafe for casual wood fired pizza and giant salads. It's also super kid friendly.
Station House Cafe was good for a hot cocoa on a cold morning.
Osteria Stellina had delicious Italian!
Bovine Bakery for fresh croissants
Marshall on Tomales Bay:
This is where it gets good...the oysters!
We stopped at The Marshall Store for a casual outdoor picnic at the picnic tables after a day at the lighthouse and surrounding beaches.
Everyone told us to go to Hog Island Oyster Co. up the road from The Marshall Store but it didn't fit into our schedule (i.e, we didn't make reservations in time. Make reservations in time!) It feels like summer out in Montauk, I can't wait to go back and experience it!
Tomales Bay Oysters was closed on the day we went but I've also heard this is super fun for a picnic!
I am in love with this new-to-me area and hope to return soon!
Thank you Airbnb for picking up the tab!