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karenincalifornia Says: 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...
karenincalifornia Says: 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...
karenincalifornia Says: 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...
karenincalifornia Says: 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...
karenincalifornia Says: 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...
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.
Updated Dec 7, 2003
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.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
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.
Written Feb 8, 2004
Address: Next to the Olema Farmhouse
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.
Updated Feb 9, 2004
karenincalifornia Says: 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...
karenincalifornia Says: 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...