I think Inverness is my favorite place on earth. With its rolling forest covered hills, Oak and Bay trees, calm ocean inlets, chirping birds and wild life – it’s simply majestic. I love everything about being home in the Bay Area. From driving in my mom’s car, to stopping at the Apple Box in Petaluma, to walking the dog (must do that) up on the mountain, to wine tasting in Sonoma – it’s all great. But nothing beats Inverness and Pt. Reyes. I grew up on Sonoma Mountain, so the wine country (the more arid country) was familiar to me. But Inverness was introduced to me when I became friends with Helena when I was about 20. Helena and I had a lot in common. We had both recently moved back to northern California after living in France. We both liked theater. I think we met in an acting class, which given how different our lives have become seems odd.
Random, but just as I was writing this, I found this article on Yahoo. I woke up in Inverness and spent the morning drinking coffee in Pt. Reyes. I love this town!
Point Reyes Station, Calif.
Nearest City: San Francisco, 39 miles
The dilemma in Point Reyes Station is what to do first: explore Point Reyes National Seashore or just wander around and eat. At Toby’s Feed Barn, second-generation owner Christian Giacomini runs a farmers market, gallery, and yoga studio, while still selling hay and salt licks. Also inside, the baristas at Toby’s CoffeeBar pour cappuccinos with rippled hearts in the foam. Nearby, Cowgirl Creamery produces excellent soft-ripened cheeses, such as the Pierce Point, which is made from organic whole milk, washed in organic Riesling, and rolled in herbs. When you’re ready to experience some nature, Chicago native Laurie Manarik leads hiking trips to see seal pups and conducts nighttime kayaking excursions to check out bioluminescence in nearby Tomales Bay. The bay’s oysters, it must be said, are the best around. Eat them where locals do—up the road at The Marshall Store. The beautiful scenery may make you want to put down roots. “After my first visit after college, I spent the rest of my life figuring out how to live here,” Manarik says. — Scott Hutchins