Road trip to Marin County

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We spent our three day weekend in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. My grandfather was born there and I had never really ventured further than San Fran. Searching online, I found that they host one of the best farmers markets in the nation and are home to many organic farms, ranches, and creameries.

It was beautiful! Well worth the 14 hour round-trip drive time!

As we crossed over the Bay Bridge the rain begun. We felt very much at home(being from the Pacific NW). We tooled around a bit in the rain, stopping to visit an old mission and a historic house. For dinner we thought to try La Toscana, where I had read makes homemade gnocchi. To our surprise it was wonderful! It is always a gamble, trying out a new place. My husband had an antipasti platter with amazing, fresh marinated calamari and assorted meats and cheeses. I had the homemade pesto gnocchi that melted in my mouth! Highly recommend!

The morning brought a clear sunny day, perfect for a visit to the farmers market and nearby farms. My husband is not easily impressed by farmers market but he was by this one! (I overheard him raving about it to his dad on the phone later in the day.) There was just about anything you could possibly want there! Tons of organic produce, artisian breads, cheeses, yogurts, and more. I had to contain myself since I did not have a kitchen to cook anything in. I did buy some beautiful raw olives to cure when I got home. This will be my second batch, as I found some at the Santa Monica market a couple weeks back. They are great fun and I am excited to see how they turn out.san-fran0045.jpgsan-fran0046.jpgsan-fran0047.jpgsan-fran0048.jpgsan-fran0053.jpgsan-fran0041.jpg

Leaving the market, we headed west to cruise the area toward to coast. Point Reyes Station is home to Cowgirl Creamery, our next destination. The kids enjoyed watching cheesemaking in action but our tummies beckoned us to lunch. We decided on the Station House Cafe, member of the Marin County Agricultural Land Trust(www.malt.org), serving local and organic fare. I had the rueben sandwich that was very good. Another recommended stop.

From there we headed to Point Reyes Lighthouse. It was a long windy drive out to the coast. Along the road, signs posted “Historic G ranch”, “Historic F ranch” and so on. We later learned that these were the Alphabet ranches, bought in the late 1800’s by a well-to-do San Franciscan and rented out to ranchers. The ranches are still active today. I wonder where the products from these ranches are sold, as the cows look very happy out on the open plain.marin0040.jpgmarin0076.jpg

It was a wonderful trip. I am so happy that we took the jump to head out of town and do something new.

Categories: travel, Uncategorized

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One Comment on “Road trip to Marin County”

  1. November 16, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    Hi Melissa,

    I enjoyed your blog about West Marin and thought you might like to know that you can find out more about Marin’s family farms and the food they produce on Marin Agricultural Land Trust’s (MALT) website, http://www.malt.org in the ranching and farming sections.

    Elisabeth

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