Oysters don't get any fresher than buying them just as they are harvested from Tomales Bay. The San Francisco Chronicle named the Hog Island Sweetwater the "Best American Oyster" in a blind taste test and the aquaculture operation received the Award of Excellence for Animal Husbandry from the American Institute of Food & Wine. Today, Hog Island...more
A great beach to visit is Limantour Beach. This is a wide sandy beach with the very soft silky sand - perfect for building sand castles. Unlike some of the beaches that require a long walk from the parking, this one is relatively close. It gets a bit more people for that reason, but because it is so huge, it never gets crowded. Once at Limantour,...more
On a clear day, this trail is one of Marin County's most beatiful trails. I've done the hike both on a clear day and a foggy day, and I highly recommend doing it only a clear day. On a foggy day, it is hard to appreciate the fact that you are near the edge of a bluff that drops 500 feet to the ocean. On a clear day, you'll have the most stunning...more
Abbot's Lagoon is another fun beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore. After walking along a flat one mile trail from the parking lot, you will reach the beach and its large sand dunes.West Marin was a center for rum running from Prohibiton days up til the 1990s. There are stories of people finding cases of gin washed onto the beaches near...more
My favorite beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore is McClure's Beach. It is at the end of the road leading to Tomales Point, and you have to hike 1/2 mile to get down to the beach. Because of its remote location, on any given day, very few people are here. The beach sand varies from beach to beach, even along the Point Reyes coast, and here...more
McClure's beach has one of the best spots for tidepooling. The best tidepooling is at low low tide - when there is a new or full moon and early in the morning or late afternoon. The rocks at McClure's are loaded with starfish, sea anemones, mussels and crabs. During low tide, more of this beach is accessible. You will be able to explore the rocks...more
The Bolina Ridge bike trail is an 11 mile trail (one way) of medium difficulty giving you breathtaking views of Olema Valley and Tomales Bay. The road follows ranch roads through pasture land in parts, and you are expected to close the gates after you ride through them.Trailhead Rentals (663-1958) has mountain bikes for rent during summer only.more
Tomales Bay is 15 miles long and relatively calm (although rarely totally placid), which makes it a perfect spot for sea kayaking. The only place you can rent kayaks on Tomales Point is Blue Waters Kayaking at Inverness.In addition to rentals, Blue Waters will take you on custom tours, and give you self-rescue lessons, so you can learn cool things...more
9940 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., , Olema, California
Good for: Families
9870 Shoreline Hwy, Olema, California, 94950, United States
Good for: Couples
My husband and I recently stayed at the Point Reyes Seashore Lodge for our 11th wedding anniversary...more
Pack your own lunch and head over to the Bear Valley Visitor's Center just outside Olema. The Visitor's Center has a beautiful, spacious picnic ground. Even on a Saturday at noon, we had no trouble getting a table. You can pick up lunch at the small market and deli in Olema (next to the Olema Farmhouse). Or you can go to the neighboring town of...more
This restaurant is masterful at preparing local cuisine. They are extremely creative with dungenous crab, rabbit, duck, salads and vegetarian dishes. If you like oysters, this is the place to come. They serve the oysters with a choice of 8 different toppings that are highly unusual, such as their "Serafin" topping, which is made from shallots,...more
107 Reviews and Opinions
Stop by for a beer or glass of wine and BBQ oysters.
Pretty darn good food, too.
Dress Code: Really, really casual -- this is an excellent place to stop by after hiking, bicycling or spending the day at the beach.
You really should have a car when you visit Olema, otherwise you'll be challenged to reach some of our most beautiful (and thus remote) locations. There is a private bus that will reach some destinations - the West Marin Stagecoach. It runs from inverness, through Olema, all the way to Fairfax and San Anselmo.
The Stagecoach will give you access to several activities, and you can even hop on down to Fairfax for grocery shopping, or San Anselmo for antique hunting.
There are only 4 runs each way each day. No late night runs. It will also feeds into Golden Gate Transit in Fairfax and San Anselmo, which will give you access to other parts of Marin County and San Francisco.
Olema is so tiny that I was able to capture half of the town center in this picture. If I had turned around and taken another shot, I would have gotten a picture of the other two buildings in this booming metropolis. All kidding aside, the smallness of this town is what makes it a great base for seashore activities. A place to stay, a couple of restaurants, a general store -- what more can you need?
What to buy: This is the only place in Olema to pick up snacks, a picnic lunch and drinks before heading out to Point Reyes National Seashore.
They are beautiful, but don't swim in them. These beaches are notorious for their sneaker waves and riptides. Drownings and shark attacks have occurred all along the Northern California Pacific beaches.
The ocean looks deceptively inviting, but don't be tempted. Even strong swimmers should heed this warning.
If you must take a dip in the sea, go to Heart's Desire Beach on the Tomales Bay side. The water is safe, even for small children, but this is not my favorite beach. Heart's Desire Beach gets crowded and does not have the dramatic scenery of the Pacific side beaches.
Tomales Bay is a protected area, so those obnoxious personal water craft and jetskis are not permitted. Kayaking and sailboating, however, are both allowed. If you happen to have your own boat, there are a couple of places where you can launch the boat - Heart's Desire Beach (you have to carry your boat for about 100 yards), or Golden Hinde Inn...more
If you've got a real burning desire to swim in the sea in Marin County, Tomales Bay is the place to do that. The water is safe, unlike the Pacific side beaches (see my Warnings and Danger tip). However, I really don't know why anyone would want to swim in this water - it is FREEZING, even in summer.If you must, go to Heart's Desire Beach at Tomales...more