Roadtripping: Tomales Bay, CA

Looking outside on a gloomy Tahoe afternoon in April, all I can think about is the beautiful adventure we were lucky enough to go on this weekend. I didn’t know anything about where we were about to go. Only that my parents were there for the first time in September and fell in love with this quaint little area on the California coast. They loved it so much that they wanted to share it with us this weekend (thanks Mom and Dad!), so we packed our bags for a four hour road trip to Nick’s Cove, located in Tomales Bay, CA.

Normally leading up to a trip I am researching everything I can about it — checking Instagram hashtags, reading blogs, and looking at Yelp reviews. I decided to leave all my expectations at the door and didn’t do any of that this time around. Research or not, I am one hundred percent positive I would have been blown away no matter what. From our drive through the lush green country side (thanks to a particularly wet winter), to the smell of fresh eucalyptus, to the breathtaking backdrop of the cabins we stayed in, it could not have been anymore magical.

We arrived at Nick’s Cove at about 4:00 on Thursday afternoon. We had a bit of weather and traffic driving from Lake Tahoe to the coast, but it was nothing horrible. Upon arrival we checked into our ocean front cabin and got settled in before meeting up with my parents, brother, and his girlfriend. Brian and I stayed in a cabin called Big Rock, which is a two bedroom/two bathroom cabin right on the ocean with a beach to the left. It worked out great for us because we let two of the pups tag long on this trip. Nick’s Cove is very dog friendly and they even had freshly made treats in the room for us.


Big Rock Cottage, Nick’s Cove


View from Big Rock Cottage deck, Nick’s Cove

My parents stayed in a cabin called Ruthie’s, which is a one bedroom/one bathroom and also handicap accessible. My brother and his girlfriend stayed in Al’s, which was right next door to Ruthie’s and pretty similar. All of the cabins have little gardens in front, decks that sit right above the ocean, fireplaces, and mini fridges. You really can’t go wrong with any of the waterfront cottages.


The Boathouse at Nick’s Cove

Also at Nick’s Cove, there is a restaurant and dock with a boat house at the end. If you are staying here, you really don’t need to go anywhere else for dinner or drinks. The food was pretty good, although a little on the pricey side, but make sure that you make reservations, because it was very busy even for the “off season.” I’d also suggest that you try the BBQ oysters. I don’t eat oysters and neither does anyone else in our party, but they were a big hit for even the biggest oyster skeptic. Just check out the progression of Brian’s face. If that doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what does.


Oyster eater…and he liked it!


I was trying to take a picture of a sealion in the bay when these guys swooped in and photobombed my picture!


View from our deck at Big Rock across Tomales Bay to Hog Island on a misty morning

In total, we were there for three nights, which could never seem like long enough. While we were there we explored Point Reyes National Seashore one day and Bodega Head State Park the next.


View of Great Beach from Point Reyes Lighthouse

Point Reyes National Seashore is located about 30 minutes South of Nick’s Cove on Highway 1. I couldn’t believe how beautiful this sanctuary is. It is filled with green pastures, endless beaches, and lots of wildlife. While we were there, we took a short walk to the Point Reyes lighthouse, watched some baby gray whales, played on Great Beach, saw some river otters doing the naughty dance, and drove to the trailhead for McClures Beach, but turned around because I was getting over a cold and didn’t feel up to another hike. Actually, it was just my lungs that didn’t feel up for another hike. I could not stop coughing. Ugh. If anyone has a tried and true remedy for a bad cough, please share! There is so much to do here, you could spend days exploring this National Seashore.


The stairs leading down to Point Reyes Lighthouse


Gray whale spouts we spotted right off shore


Driving down to Great Beach (North Beach)


Happy puppies!

Bodega Head State Park is about 30 minutes North of Nick’s Cove on Highway 1 and another amazing spot worth exploring. We were so lucky to come the time of year that we did because the wildflowers are absolutely insane right now. There is no way that pictures could do them the slightest bit of justice. We walked a two mile trail along the headlands and it was so pretty. The landscape itself is beautiful, but then when you add in the variety of colors from the wildflowers, it is breathtaking.


View from Bodega Head Trail


View from Bodega Head Trail


Brian walking through the wildflowers


Wild irises everywhere!

We drove home yesterday and were so sad to go back to the snow. Before we headed back though, we wanted to check out one last spot for our next adventure. We drove to Dillon Beach, which is located just North of Nick’s Cove at the mouth of Tomales Bay, and I am pretty sure we know where we are going on our next road trip. We can’t wait to get back and explore more. Has anyone else stayed here before?


Tired pups on the way home mean it was a good trip

2 Comments on “Roadtripping: Tomales Bay, CA

  1. Pingback: Roadtripping: Dillon Beach, CA | Forever Adventuring

  2. Pingback: 2018: A Time for Reflecting and Goal-Setting | Forever Adventuring

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