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Drake's Bay from Elephant Seal Lookout at Chimney Rock

Drake's Bay from Elephant Seal Lookout at Chimney Rock

On the long road to the Point Reyes lighthouse, is a trail worth making into a side trip. Chimney Rock is a short trail high on a bluff with views of spring wildflowers and of Drake’s Bay with its elephant seals. The seals are visible from a lookout; access to the beach where the seals rest is prohibited.

An old US Coast Guard Lifeboat Station can be seen on this string of coves.

US Coastguard Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock

Old US Coastguard Lifeboat Station in Drake's Bay

Springtime is a good time to visit as migrating whales can be seen off the coast. And the hillsides are colorfully blanketed with a variety of wildflowers.

Wild iris at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes

Wild iris at Chimney Rock, Point Reyes

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When visiting Point Reyes north of San Francisco, I always yearn for fresh oysters. A convenient place to stop and indulge in such as fancy is the Farm House Restaurant in the hamlet-sized town of Olema. This restaurant is now part of small resort Point Reyes Seashore Lodge which also operates a conference center. As it was a mild spring afternoon, we sat outdoors on a terrace at the back of the restaurant. The terrace overlooks a well-kept garden with a creek, and the adjoining carpark.

Oysters by half or full dozen at this restaurant are offered raw with a cucumber mignonette sauce, fried with tartare sauce, and grilled as Oyster Sartains with a garlic butter heavily flavored by the Sartain’s chipotle barbeque sauce. I only tried the last two options. The fried oysters was the more successful dish as the batter was a crispy envelope that held each oyster moist inside with its juices. While I like barbeque flavors, the Sartain based sauce was a bit strong, overwhelming the delicate flavor of the oysters.

Grilled oysters with a barbeque sauce

Grilled oysters with a barbeque sauce

The oysters were described by the waiter as medium sized, but they were quite large. Drake’s Bay Family Farms where the oysters are harvested is nearby and is open to visitors.

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