During the summer months, from mid-may through August, we have a family goal to never be home on a Saturday — and we’re pretty serious planners, so by April-ish every year, every Saturday is usually booked with something fun.
While we love full weekend getaways, Saturdays are our days for play and fun and Sundays are typically our days for rest and getting things done around the house. That means we’ve pretty much never home on a Saturday… because if you’re not at home, you won’t be tempted to work on anything that is obligatory!
Our most recent Saturday day trip was to Tomales Bay State Park and the Point Reyes National Seashore. But here’s the thing: Tomales Bay State Park may include almost the entire shoreline around the bay, but most of the trails and family-friendly beaches are all on the far side. This meant we took a scenic drive, past loads of fresh oyster bars, all the way around the bay to get there. It also meant we drove right through the small town of Point Reyes Station.
Point Reyes Station, gateway to the Point Reyes National Seashore, is a thriving commercial district and weekend getaway destination in West Marin. On gorgeous sunny weekends, day trippers, couples, hikers, groups of adult friends, biking clubs, tourists, and families descend on the charming town’s Main Street for shopping, delicious eats, and fun.
When the railroad arrived in 1875, the town was called Olema Station. The Point Reyes post office opened in 1882 and after a couple of name changes, it settled on Point Reyes Station in late 1891. It is named for the nearby Point Reyes Peninsula and its status as a terminus stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry.
Most of the north-facing store facades date back to the railroad era. Flower beds line the streets, murals dot the walls, and the bright colors of sidewalk displays draw you into quaint shops. You’ll also find amazing restaurants, local crafts, a grocery store, a surf shop, a country emporium, an old western saloon, and a to-die-for bakery.
Bovine Bakery, next to Point Reyes Books, is a from-scratch bakery that was established in 1990. Decadent, mouth-watering smells float from the tiny bakery, which is why there is usually a line out the door! Luckily, the line moves fast and the short wait is totally worth it. Their fresh organic coffee and chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies are incredible.
No sweet tooth? Don’t worry, at lunch you can also get savory snacks like croissant sandwiches and pizza slices that you can enjoy in the picnic area just outside.
Toby’s Feed Barn
Toby’s Feed Barn is a family owned and operated general store and working feed barn that has been serving the Point Reyes Station community since 1942. Toby’s Feed Barn sells salt licks, hay bales, and pet food. Inside, you’ll also find a coffee bar, gift shop, yoga studio, and art gallery, and on Saturday mornings, the Point Reyes Farmer’s Market.
Cowgirl Creamery, founded in 1994, manufactures artisan cheeses and sells other imported and domestic cheese and fine artisan foods.
Located in the Tomales Bay Foods building just off the main drag on 4th Street, Cowgirl Creamery crafts its own cheeses using organic milk from the neighboring Straus Family Creamery, as well as John Tavernas’ dairy. Their most popular aged cheeses are the Mount Tam, a triple cream cheese, and Red Hawk, a triple cream cheese with a washed rind.
From the minute we walked in, Natalie was in heaven. She was in her happy place surrounded by breads and cheeses and charcuterie supplies. Living vicariously through Natalie, I bought some Mount Tam cheese and crackers for her picnic lunch. If you are hungrier for more than a snack, the Cowgirl Cantina offers delicious, savory sandwiches, mac and cheese, soups, and salads.
Know Before You Go
- Point Reyes Station is a small unincorporated town located 13 miles south-southeast of Tomales on CA State Route 1 in western Marin County, California.
- Can’t figure out the name of the main street in town? Main Street is the same street as A Street, which is also Highway 1, but signs call it Shoreline Highway. Bottom line: It’s all the same street.
- Point Reyes Station is very close to the San Andreas Fault. A walking tour of the fault can be taken from the Point Reyes National Seashore’s Visitor Center.
- Marin County weather, like the San Francisco Bay Area, has unpredictable weather. During summer, it is often cold and foggy, and during winter, it can be gorgeous and sunny and warm. It’s best to dress in layers and be prepared for anything.