The world is your oyster in Marshall, CA! Specifically, you'll have your pick of local oysters, clams, coastal sights and activities, and more all within a few short miles from our Marshall vacation rentals.
With a population of only 50 that runs nearly all on oyster farming, Marshall, CA is a paradise on the Point Reyes National Seashore and Tamales Bay on the Northern California Coast. Though it’s only 51 miles north of San Francisco, Marshall feels like it’s a world away from city crowds and congestion. With its quaint appeal, Marshall is a popular California destination for bayside getaways near the towns of Bodega Bay and Petaluma, just north and to the east, respectively.
Whether you're visiting for a long weekend or exploring the coast on an epic road trip, Marshall is a lovely little hamlet to stop through for foodies and ocean lovers alike. It's in the heart of Tomales Bay attractions, and is home to the Tomales Bay Oyster Company. This local institution offers freshly farmed oysters, clams, and mussels for takeaway or eating on the spot, picnic areas, and demonstrations for large groups (make sure you call ahead for information).
Sample farm-to-table dishes at Nick's Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar. You can also pick up a daily crop of shellfish at a roadside vendor to shuck yourself back at your Marshall vacation home. Slurp an oyster straight for that pungent ocean flavor, experiment with mignonette recipes, or even fire up the grill.
In addition to its shellfish industry, this area of affluent Marin County produces some of the state's best cheeses. You can't visit the Tomales Bay without stopping at Cowgirl Creamery at the southern end in Point Reyes Station. Splurge on some of the richest award-winning aged and fresh cheeses you'll find. Add a bottle of Sonoma coast wine and local figs, and have an unforgettable bayfront picnic.
From the northernmost headland of the Point Reyes National Seashore to the lighthouse perched at its western arm, there is over 71,000 acres of coastal woodland harboring over 1500 species of wildlife. From your Marshall, California lodging, explore wild and rocky coastlines where Dungeness crab, kelp, and clusters of mussels make their home. Countless tide pools below cliffs covered in blooming ice plants offer a close-up look at the area's diverse ecosystem, while soul-tickling vistas of the Pacific dominate your view from the trails above.
Hike along the gusty shore (bring your windbreaker!) to Point Reyes Lighthouse for a bit of history. Closer in, Tomales Bay State Park is a grand spot for birdwatching - look out for the statuesque egrets. You could also suntan on any of the park’s four sandy beaches or rent a kayak from Blue Waters Kayaking to explore the Bay’s marshes, in which a variety of waterfowl and raccoons, foxes, deer, skunks, bobcats, and many more animals can be seen.
While the Tomales Bay area is enchanting, there's even more to explore a bit further afield. The scenic California State Route 1 Highway, often referred to as “Highway One,” twists and turns around breathtaking cliffs and soaring mountainsides along the entire California Coast – and Marshall is surrounded both north and south by particularly pretty sections of this iconic road.
Stop through the quaint town of Bodega Bay, just 22 miles north, for golfing at Bodega Harbour, a waterfront lunch, or even a tour of sights filmed in the Hitchcock flick The Birds. About 25 miles from Marshall (and only 15 from Bodega Bay) is Sebastopol, which has a growing wine scene and a fun nightlife. Swing by Santa Rosa for bites and beers at Russian River Brewing Company then stroll back through friendly Petaluma for its little downtown area dotted with coffee shops and boutiques. For secluded seaside hiking, visit Gualala on your way to the relatively bustling Mendicino for local shopping.
If you've never been to San Francisco, it's only a quick drive south and offers all that you'll find in Marshall, Sebastopol, Bodega Bay, and beyond within a seven-by-seven square mile peninsula. Of course, you'll discover that these small Northern California towns are packed with a unique charm and character that you just can't find in the city!
Experience one of the most beautiful destinations in all of California when you stay at one of our Marshall vacation rentals. You'll share in a vacation you'll never forget!
Photo credit: momboleum via Flickr