Pacific Coast Highway roadtrip 2021

This is the first time that we went on an extended road trip since the pandemic began. We picked a roadtrip along the Pacific Coast Highway where we can stay outdoors almost all the time. Thanks for the feedback from the community in a number of other discussions. Those were very useful as we plan for both the itinerary and the meal.

Since we didn’t plan very far ahead, we had a basic plan for where we wanted to go every day. And then had our meals based on where we actually were when we were hungry, which really meant many preplanned meals didn’t happen because we were nowhere near where we thought we would be. We had almost all our meals picnic style, or in the car (because a lot of times we had long distance to cover between our destinations)

Day 1: Point Reyes Station, Point Reyes National Seashore, Geyserville

Every time we came to Point Reyes, we said we should come here more often, for both the food and the views, but its always years before we come back.

Lunch stop 1: Cowgirl Creamery

Cowgirl Creamery had grilled cheese sandwich and cream of tomato soup during lunch. We got one of each.

The grilled cheese sandwich had a combo of three cheeses. Well grilled, filling, and delicious.

The tomato soup with a dallop of creme fraiche was also well made. Some other customers were saying its too tart but I thought a somewhat tart tomato soup was spot on.

They sold their own cheese and good cheese from around the world.

Since we are going to be in the Humboldt Redwood State Park tomorrow where its harder to find good food, we got a Mount Tam triple cream to go.

Just in case if you want to know how Pierce Point in the Pierce Point cheese looks like, this is Pierce Point Ranch in Point Reyes National Seashore, which we went in the afternoon. Super foggy. They obviously did a lot of ranching back in the days at Pierce Point.

Lunch stop 2: Bovine Bakery

We stopped by Bovine Bakery before leaving Point Reyes Station for some sugary treats.

@Hyperbowler said they are more known for the fruity seasonal offering. We got a plum walnut scone. Yummy. Though the kids insisted on getting cupcakes.

Lunch stop 3: Inverness Park Market.

Since a grilled cheese sandwich and a soup wasn’t going to feed a family of four, we needed some additional sustenance before our hike to the lighthouse in the afternoon. So we stopped by Inverness Park Market in the town of Inverness, which is on the other side of the Tomales Bay inlet.

We got the chicken ranch and the hearts desire sandwiches. The chicken ranch had grilled chicken on a ciabatta with a sundried tomato tapenade aioli. Delicious. The hearts desire sandwiches had bbq tri tip, cheddar, bacon and a slightly hot bbq sauce. Also delicious.

Btw, has anyone tried the czech restaurant down the road in Inverness?

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The lunch gave us plenty of energy to hike the Point Reyes National Seashore in the afternoon.

Hard to believe this is only an hour from most of urbanized Bay Area.

Plenty of whales that day!

Lots of dairy farms at the National Seashore supplying milk to Straus, Clover, and others.

Even at Point Reyes National Seashore, its so dry that National Park Service had to supply supplemental water to the elks.

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I haven’t been to northern CA since 1978, so I’m very much looking forward to your trip details!

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What a road trip! Plus you are enjoying fabulous cheeses. Thank you for the virtual ride along.

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Are you in progress?

You hit most of my faves in the area, except for Toby’s Feed Barn. I’ve really wanted to go to the Czech place–maybe once indoor dining feels comfortable again.

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Fun to vicariously participate!! All the sandwiches sound fabulous.

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Its only a few hours of flight away :smiley:

We are done already. Funny thing was at the end of our trip we were all tired of sandwiches, pizza, burgers, even though they were all arguably pretty good.

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What do you recommend at Toby’s?

We have the last 2.5 weeks of Aug-Sept off, so my top choice was Pacific Coast Highway ending up at Monterey Bay Aquarium, which I thought would be less crowded due to timed entry (we’ve never been) and tied in with Lassen Volcanic Park. (The other potential trip is Idaho/Lava Hot Springs/Oregon Trail which my 6-year old is really into right now). How is the air quality out there? Yesterday, here in Massachusetts, the air quality was very poor due to the wildfires.

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Which stretch of Pacific Coast Highway are you considering?

We originally thought about going to Lava Beds/ Crater Lake/ Lassen/ Shasta instead of the Oregon stretch of the highway. Basically a duplicate of a trip we had more than a decade ago. But wildfire was burning near the Shasta area and only partially contained, and it was also very hot. So we decided to stay mostly to the coast.

Air quality now in the Bay Area is ok. But who knows how it will be next month.

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Got a little rain here today in mt Shasta. As far as lassen. The air quality comes and goes do to the bootleg fire . Same for here . 90 temps are back

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The coffee. :wink: It’s not a food place per se–it’s a combination market/tourist shop/livestock feed store–but I love visiting it. There is a nice little coffee takeout window.

Also, I’d recommend Brickhaven Breads, which is near Cowgirl.

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That looks like an amazing trip. Good for You! There is absolutely no excuse for me not doing that.

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We did Monterey and Carmel several weeks ago and it seemed like a comfortable crowd.

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Day 1 dinner: Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria, Geyserville

After leaving Point Reyes, we drove an hour to Geyserville where we were staying for the night. We wanted to eat at Diavola where they had an outdoor patio but its fully booked for the night. So we ended up just getting the food to go. They were so busy that even takeouts take an hour to get ready, and that’s a Monday evening.

We had the Diavola pizza. It had red peppers, and sliced meatballs on provolone with arugula on top. Nicely charred, good texture for the crust. The meatballs were good. The arugula could be sprinkled a little more evenly. Overall, a very good pizza.

We also wanted to get the Dictator pizza, but unfortunately its out that evening. So we got the gnocci alla Bava instead. Came with roasted pepper, romano bean, squash in stracciatella. They also had something unidentifiable to me that’s vinegary and added a certain tartness to the gnocci that’s quite interesting. It looked like and tasted a little bit like huitlacoche but this is an Italian joint so that couldn’t be :sweat_smile:. Didn’t particularly care for the romano but this coming from a guy who never cared for romano, but that’s my problem. The gnocci was pretty good, but I did wish we got another pizza instead.

Roasted beets and local green salad. Fresh.

Overall, enjoyable meal. Would love to go back and try other items.

The wood fire oven:


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I really enjoy eating in the back patio at Diavola, but they are ALWAYS busy it seems. The last two times I tried I was shut down with several hour wait.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold