Sunday, July 20, 2014


Bars & Nightclubs
Smiley’s Schooner Saloon – 41 Wharf Road; 415-868-1311;; established 1851.

Il Fornaio – 223 Corte Madera Town Center; 415-927-4400;; Italian.

Good Earth Natural Foods – 720 Center Boulevard; 415-454-0123;; grocery store opened in 1969; stocks mostly natural or organic foods; designated area in front for chatting, drinking, eating, and sitting.

Bars & Nightclubs
Farley Bar – Cavallo Point, Lodge at Golden Gate, 601 Murray Circle; 415-339-4700; does not live up to promise.

Cavallo Point – Lodge at Golden Gate, 601 Murray Circle; 415-339-4700 or 888-651-2003;; 68 rooms in restored officers’ quarters (older nostalgia, some with gas fireplaces); 74 rooms in new buildings; new rooms have unparalleled views; spa; restaurant, Murray Circle, and bar, Farley Bar do not live up to promise.

Murray Circle – Cavallo Point, Lodge at Golden Gate, 601 Murray Circle; 415-339-4700; does not live up to promise.

Sights & Sites
Fort Baker – Bunker Road (Golden Gate National Recreation Area); 415-375-8281 (cell phone tour);; call for walking tour info.

Manka’s Inverness Lodge – 30 Callendar Way; 415-669-1034;; wondrous collection of estates from early 1900s; main property holds 2 redwood cabins, annex, and old fishing-hunting lodge, all of which look like something out of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale; 16' ceilings, wide plank floors, views over Tomales Bay, and spaciousness lend rooms in converted 1991 boathouse loftlike feel; cabins have double-ended tubs and private outdoor showers opening up to sky; 3- or 4-course fireside supper or private chef's meal (in their own accommodation); all ingredients farmed, fished, gathered, and/or grown within reach of lodge.
Osprey Peak Bed & Breakfast – 10 Miwak Way (Inverness); 415-669-1467;; farmhouse-like inn (ryokan); near Point Reyes.

Saltwater Oyster Depot – 12781 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard; 415-669-1244;; Luc Chamberland’s new cafe.

Bars & Nightclubs
Buckeye Roadhouse – 15 Shoreline Highway; 415-331-2600;; Aspen-like lodge with fireplace.

Muir Beach – Highway 1; 415-388-2596;; beach closed to visitors from July 7 through November.

Acqua Hotel – 555 Redwood Highway; 415-380-0400 or 888-662-9555;
Mill Valley Inn – 165 Throckmorton Avenue; 415-389-6608 or 800-276-7415;

Balboa Cafe – 38 Miller Avenue; 415-381-7321;
Buckeye Roadhouse – 15 Shoreline Highway; 415-331-2600;; Aspen-like lodge with fireplace; notable for prime rib.
El Paseo – 17 Throckmorton Avenue; 415-388-0741;; open since 1947; owned by Tyler Florence and Sammy Hagar; French steakhouse.
Tamalpie Pizza – 477 Miller Avenue; 415-388-7437;; eat-in or take-out; hand-crafted pizzas and salads; high-end.

Sights & Sites
West Point Inn – 100 Old Railroad Grade Fire Road; 415-388-9955;; 2 hour hike from Mill Valley up crooked railroad right-of-way; secluded among trees on Mt. Tamalpais upper south slope; once stopover for “Crookedest Railroad in World” passengers, up from Mill Valley; now haven for hikers; sweeping panoramic view includes East Bay, San Francisco, Marin Headlands, 1 Golden Gate Bridge tower, and out over Pacific Ocean.

Hilltop 1892 – 850 Lamont Avenue; 415-893-1892;; Michelin-recommended.

POINT REYES (includes Bolinas, Marshall, Olema, Point Reyes, Point Reyes Station & Stinson Beach)

Nick’s Cove & Cottages – 23240 Highway 1 (Marshall); 415-663-1033;; on skinny, Point Reyes peninsula; 5 waterfront cottages on pristine Tomales Bay; try to get “Big Rock” cabin; some room service.
Olema Inn & Restaurant – 10,000 Sir Frances Drake Boulevard (Olema); 415-663-9559;; near Point Reyes; opened on July 4, 1876, lost as gambling debt, and survived 1906 earthquake (Olema was epicenter); today combines modern luxuries with antique furniture and light fixtures; views are of beautiful back garden – wedding site – and Olema Valley; stroll on stone pathways behind inn to orchard and flower gardens; try to reserve #3 – quietest room, overlooking garden.
Breakers Café – 3465 Highway 1 (Stinson Beach); 415-868-2002;; great breakfast, brunch and lunch spot; huge bloody marys with extravagant garnishes, fresh local produce, and wood-burning stove.
Hog Island Oyster Co. – 20215 Highway 1 (Marshall); 415-663-9218;; sit outside at picnic tables with estuary views; oysters only (barbecued or raw), with crackers or bread; beer and wine.
Nick’s Cove – 23240 Highway 1 (Marshall); 415-663-1033;; on bay; chowder house.
Olema Inn & Restaurant – 10000 Sir Frances Drake Boulevard (Olema); 415-663-9559;; romantic candle-lit restaurant; features local produce and meats; try Bellwether Farms ricotta gnocchi with pine nuts and sage brown butter, duck confit and apple ravioli in sherry reduction, and/or grilled, center-cut Niman Ranch pork chop with cider glaze; much produce grown at inn’s organic garden and orchard.
Osteria Stellina – 11285 Highway 1 North (Point Reyes); 415-663-9988;; elegantly yet simply furnished; attentive service; comfort and modern American cuisine.
Sand Dollar Restaurant – 3458 California 1 (Stinson Beach); 415-868-0434;; expansive deck; sometimes has live music.

Epicenter – 9960 California 1 North (Olema); 415-663-1239; hippie women’s wear.
Gallery Route One – 11101 California 1 (Point Reyes Station); 415-663-1347;; alternative art gallery.
Point Reyes Books – 11315 California 1 (Point Reyes Station); 415-663-1542;
Spirit Matters – 12307 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (Point Reyes Station); 415-663-8699;; eclectic boutique selling “oddities and deities”; found materials used in garden and store; books, incense, etc.
Toby’s Feed Barn – 11250 California 1 (Point Reyes Station); 415-663-1223;; general store.
Vita Collage – 11101 California 1 (Point Reyes Station); 415-663-1160;; home accessories boutique.
Zuma – 11265 California 1 (Point Reyes Station); 415-663-1748; ethnic handicrafts and jewelry.

Sights & Sites
Bolinas Art Museum – 48 Wharf Road (Bolinas); 415-868-0330;
Cypress Grove Research Center – 20545 State Route 1 North (Marshall); 415-663-8203;; part of Audubon Canyon Ranch; bird preserve.
Martin Griffin Preserve (formerly Bolinas Lagoon Preserve) – 4900 Shoreline Highway 1 (Stinson Beach); 415-868-9244;; part of Audubon Canyon Ranch; bird preserve.
Point Reyes National Seashore – 1 Bear Valley Road (Point Reyes Station); 415-464-5100;; 71K-acre park preserve located on Point Reyes Peninsula; nationally important nature preserve within which existing agricultural uses allowed to continue (historic ranching and oyster farming); beaches listed as cleanest in state in 2010; worth special trip for walk to lighthouse.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Arizmendi Bakery – 1002 4th Street; 415-456-4093;; worker-managed, cooperative bakery specializing in breads and morning pastries; closed Mondays.
Double Rainbow – 860 4th Street; 415-457-0803;; old-fashioned location (on Main-ish Street) and old-fashioned touches (stools at soda fountain), but funky modern vibe; generous portions of ice cream in large variety flavors.

Arizmendi Bakery – 1002 4th Street; 415-456-4093;; worker-managed, cooperative bakery; pizza; closed Mondays.
Double Rainbow – 860 4th Street; 415-457-0803;; old-fashioned location (on Main-ish Street) and old-fashioned touches (stools at soda fountain), but funky modern breakfast and lunch.
Sol Food La Bodega – 903 Lincoln Avenue; 415-451-4765;; Puerto Rican.

Masterweavers – 901 4th Street; 415-455-9653; handwoven and machine-woven area rugs.
San Rafael Luggage Center – 871 4th Street; 415- 459-0181;; business cases, fine luggage, and travel accessories for serious travelers.

Sights & Sites
Tennessee Valley Trail – Tennessee Valley Road (in Golden Gate National Recreation Area); 415-331-1540 (Marin Headlands Visitor Center);; from Highway 101, take Mill Valley-Stinson Beach-Highway 1 exit and turn left onto Tennessee Valley Road from Shoreline Highway; follow to parking lot and trailhead; offers beautiful rugged coastline views along Marin Headlands; easy, level access to beach and ocean; 3.8 miles; can get windy.

Bars & Nightclubs
Bocce Bar – 1250 Bridgeway; 415-331-0555;; sit outside, weather permitting; primarily for wine.

Casa Madrona – 801 Bridgeway; 415-332-0502 or 800-288-0502;

Bocce Bar – 1250 Bridgeway; 415-331-0555;; sit outside, weather permitting; pizza and desserts.
Feng Nian – 2650 Bridgeway; 415-331-5300;; Chinese.
Fish Restaurant – 350 Harbor Drive; 415-331-3474;; dedicated to sustainable seafood; tiny shack on water where you eat at picnic tables; Zagat rates it 24/30.
Le Garage Bistro – 85 Liberty Ship Way; 415-332-5625;; do not be thrown by name; French food on docks.
Poggio – 777 Bridgeway (at Casa Madrona); 415-332-7771;; classic Italian trattoria food with indoor and outdoor seating; service is often hostile and sometimes nonexistent; food is worth the hassle.
Spinnaker – 100 Spinnaker Drive; 415-332-1500;; dramatic location, jutting out over water, with every table having splendid view; interior is 1970s drab; food is surprisingly good, but simple, time-honored, American dishes; seafood emphasis.

Lili’s Salon – 219 Caledonia Street; 415-332-8700;; hair, make-up, and nails.

Heath Ceramics – 400 Gate Five Road; 415-332-3732;; factory headquarters and outlet.

TIBURON (includes Belvedere Tiburon)
Lodge at Tiburon – 1651 Tiburon Boulevard; 415-435-5996;
Lodge at Tiburon – 1651 Tiburon Boulevard; 415-435-3133 or 800-762-7770;
Water’s Edge Hotel – 25 Main Street; 415-789-5999 or 888-662-9555;

Caprice – 2000 Paradise Drive; 415-435-3400;; beautiful waterfront restaurant; French.
Sam’s Anchor Cafe – 27 Main Street; 415-435-4527;; favorite waterfront restaurant.

Strawberry Village – Redwood Highway Frontage Road (US Highway 101, Tiburon Boulevard Exit; 415-388-4460, ext. 487;; high-end-ish outdoor shopping.

Sights & Sites
Angel Island State Park – San Francisco Bay (off Tiburon, from where take ferry); 415-435-5390;
Paradise Beach Park – 3450 Paradise Drive; 415-435-9212;; pier, Redwoods, sandy beach, grassy expanses; perfect for picnics.

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