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Weekend Sherpa
San Francisco/Northern CA July 19, 2012
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Point Reyes GrazeFacebook Like ButtonTweet
While Point Reyes National Seashore is known for its outdoors wonderland, the tiny towns of Point Reyes Station and Marshall also stand out—for their food! Combine the best of both worlds this summer with delicious bites and nearby adventures.
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Point Reyes Farmers Market
Summer brings a bevvy of fresh veggies and produce to California’s farmers’ markets, and Point Reyes is an organic lover’s dream. Every Saturday through November 3, the Point Reyes Farmers’ Market is the only all-local, all-organic market of its kind in the Bay Area. In addition to fresh produce, there are great pasture-raised eggs from Coastal Hill Farm (check out the basket of enormous "double yokers" on display). Foodies will relish the cooking demonstrations: each week a different chef demonstrates the best ways to cook locally sourced food. But the real standout is the GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious) Point Reyes Grilled Cheese stand. Three types of sandwiches are available. “Karen's Gold” is the simplest, offering sourdough bread spread with butter, while Valley Ford's Estero Gold is grilled to melting, mouth-watering perfection. Wash it down with a homemade probiotic fizzy "soda" from Wild West Ferments (the menu changes each week, but the fruit soda sweetened with honey is delicious when available). Relax with a massage from Melissa Claire: at $1 per minute, it could be the best $20 bucks you’ll spend at a farmers market this summer. Point Reyes perfection.

BIKE ‘N’ HIKE BONUS: One of the best bike-and-hike combos in the Bay Area leaves from Point Reyes’ Bear Valley Visitor Center. Pedal 3 miles (one-way) on Bear Valley Trail, then lock your wheels at the bike rack and hike the last mile to Arch Rock, a dramatic perch for premier coastal views.

The Point Reyes Farmers' Market happens every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Toby's Feed Barn (11250 Hwy. 1, Point Reyes Station). The Farmer's Market runs until November 3. No dogs. 
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The Marshall Store oysters
Oysters are the peanut butter to Point Reyes’ jelly: they just go together. The region is ground zero for some of the best oysters in the West, hands down. Only one small problem—a lot of people know it! Skip the craziness of Tomales Bay Oyster Company and Hog Island Oysters, but still enjoy the oh lá lá of oysters by venturing farther north to The Marshall Store. Here you can eat your oysters in a boat yard, a scene that is pure Point Reyes as moored boats bob in the gentle waves of Tomales Bay, and the finger-shaped Tomales Point sits a mile in the distance. Order your oysters one of four ways: raw, chorizo, Kilpatrick, or the staff-favorite, Rockefeller (bbq oyster, garlic butter, spinach, cheese, and onion). While you can buy beer or wine at The Marshall Store, you can’t drink it inside or on their deck (tip: drink at the wine barrel tables just outside the store). Those who are fanatical about oysters should stop by after the lunch rush, around 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. Extra oysters are sold (unshucked) for $10 a dozen; just be sure to bring a cooler for the drive home.

BEACH BONUS: A few miles south of Marshall sits the less-traveled section of Tomales Bay State Park: Millerton Point. Within a few minutes of setting foot from the parking lot, you’ll be strolling the narrow Alan Sieroty Beach. See if you can spot the Osprey with a nest at the top of the utility pole.

The Marshall Store is located at 19225 Hwy. 1 in Marshall (415-663-1339). On the weekend it's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To reach Millerton Point, drive a few miles south of Marshall on Hwy 1. Look for the sign and parking lot on the west side of the road. Dogs are allowed at the wine barrel tables at The Marshall Store, and Millerton Point is dog-friendly!
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Boat Shack at Nicks Cove
One of the best picnic spots in Point Reyes is literally on the water. Just north of Marshall, The Boat Shack at Nick’s Cove & Cottages sits at the end of a long pier extending over Tomales Bay. While Nick’s is a top-choice for splurging on a weekend cabin, the boat shack is perfectly accessible for non-splurges too. It’s free and open to the public. Grab a patio table on the deck, or if a breeze kicks up, step inside the boat shack to cozy up to a warm fire. The all-wood interior is decorated with white string lights, plus windows that look out to Hog Island. The upright Burmeister piano beckons an impromptu session. Bring your own picnic or dial 112 from the shack’s telephone to order sustainable, inventive California cuisine from Nick’s Cove Restaurant. The restaurant isn’t authorized to serve out there, but it’s perfectly okay to do take-out! Place your food and drink order, stroll to the restaurant to pick it up, and saunter back to the shack, gourmet meal in hand. Eat outside or in. It’s what you call a win-win. Tip: In addition to stellar weekend brunches (try the Laughing Bird Shrimp Enchiladas), Nick’s Cove also hosts "Wine Wednesdays" through the rest of the year, offering 50% off of every bottle on their wine list, including reserve vintages.

KAYAK BONUS: Just north of Nick’s Cove is Miller Park, the put-in for Point Reyes Outdoors’ White Gulch kayak trips. Paddle directly over the San Andreas Fault as you glide toward Tomales Point, home to hundreds of Tule Elk.

Nick's Cove & Cottages, 23240 Hwy. 1, Marshall; 415-663-1033. On the weekend, brunch starts at 10 a.m. and dinner starts at 4 p.m. The boat shack is dog-friendly!  
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Up for an Adventure?Facebook Like ButtonTweet
Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge
In case you missed it, we've launched the first ever Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge! This summer, complete any three self-guided outdoor adventure stories from weekendsherpa.com and get a free Weekend Sherpa T-shirt (pictured) and $10 Gift Card from Sports Basement.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to weekendsherpa.com and choose three adventures from any of our stories. It can be anything we’ve published (hikes, bike rides, picnic spots, camping, etc.).
  2. Take a photo of yourself doing each of your three adventures and upload them to Weekend Sherpa’s Facebook page (upload one photo at a time or all at once).
  3. When you’re done, email adventure@weekendsherpa.com naming the three adventures you’ve completed, and you’ll receive an email back with a Certificate of Completion (aka official bragging rights!).
  4. Present your Certificate of Completion (via printout or mobile device) at any of the following Sports Basement stores—Presidio, Sunnyvale, Walnut Creek—and receive your free Weekend Sherpa T-shirt (made by American Apparel) and an Adventure Challenge sticker, plus a $10 Gift Card to Sports Basement.

The Weekend Sherpa Adventure Challenge ends September 30, so get outdoors already!

T-shirts come in all sizes. Men's colors: grey and brown. Women's colors: lemon, purple, and brown. Only one T-shirt and one Gift Card per person for the duration of the challenge while supplies last. Ends September 30.

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San Francisco/Northern CA

Cruz on Down
It’s one of the most popular beach towns in California, filled with charming quirks and outdoor perks. Set yourself up for a Santa Cruz adventure.


Los Angeles/Southern CA

Center of Attention
Stretching from the Hollywood Hills to the Oxnard Plain, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area covers more than 153,000 acres. Now the sprawling natural area has found its center, thanks to the opening of a new visitor facility at historic King Gillette Ranch in Malibu Canyon. Grab a piece of the action.
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