Can a mini road trip be an awesome road trip?
January 20, 2008 2:02 PM   Subscribe

On Friday, we're driving from San Francisco to Marshall for an oyster extravaganza at Nick's Cover. We're planning on leaving after lunch, so we'll have like five hours to do a 90 minute trip. What should we see or do to add a bit of road trip quality to the experience?

Obviously, this is a region with marvelous natural beauty. Is there a particular place to stop to experience it? Any cute little towns or colorful tourist spots? Unless the weather is dreadful, we're thinking Point Reyes, but we'd like to have a bit more of a clear plan. Any more specific ideas or suggestions for that or anything else worth seeing on the excursion would be much appreciated.
posted by jaybeans to Travel & Transportation around Marshall, CA (5 answers total)
Point Reyes is an excellent choice. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the coast from the park entrance, so plan accordingly. It's the height of whale watching season right now. Since you're going on Friday, you might be able to drive directly to the lighthouse (best whale viewing spot) instead of having to board a shuttle. It's about a 1/4 mile walk (uphill and windy) from the lighthouse parking lot to the lighthouse itself. Well, to the top of the lighthouse steps, anyway.

You can also see elephant seals right now if you head towards Chimney Rock.

North Beach and South Beach are the closest beaches to their parking lots, if you don't feel like a hike.

If the weather sucks, Point Reyes still makes for a beautiful drive.

Point Reyes Station is a neat little town. Toby's is a fun old feed store. There are a couple good bookstores in town too. Don't miss Cowgirl Creamery in the Tomales Bay Foods building.

You could also stop in Bolinas. It's a funky little surfing town. Emphasis on *little*. Not much there but a bar and a couple galleries. It makes for fun people watching/beach walking, though.

Finally, don't miss this recent Chowhound thread about Nick's. It's not entirely positive.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:42 PM on January 20, 2008

Meant to add -- if you do stop at Point Reyes, make sure to make the Visitors' Center your first stop. The white board just inside the door will give you an up-to-date report on the day's best wildlife viewing, weather conditions, etc. Plus, free map and neat exhibits.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:56 PM on January 20, 2008

Muir Woods is worth stopping by if you've never been there, and Mt. Tamalpais has some great hiking as well.

Of course, both of those are only worth it if the weather is okay. If not, Point Reyes is definitely the way to go.
posted by tkolar at 4:53 PM on January 20, 2008

Go to Nick's Cove (if you must) for cocktails and the view but go to the Marshall Store, just a little bit further south, for the food and cheery dining experience!
posted by Lynsey at 9:01 PM on January 20, 2008

in the late '70s-80s when i frequented this area, there was a nude beach several miles south of stinson beach. you park on the side of 1 and climb down an easy slope.
posted by bruce at 12:11 AM on January 21, 2008

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