On the Northwestern edge of San Francisco lies Marin County, an area famous for seafood, coastal views, hiking trails, and redwoods. Also rich in history, Marin is one of California’s original 27 counties, established all the way back in 1850.
Melis and Melda recently piled in their cars with their families to drive up the Sonoma Coast in search of oysters and a refreshing sea breeze. We asked them to share their hot tips and favorite moments from around Marin:
1. What are your top five traveling essentials when you’re on the road?
A Turkish towel to use as a picnic blanket, or for the beach.
Wet wipes, to keep our hands and our surroundings clean.
A portable charger.
A cooler filled with some delicious snacks and road sandwiches.
2. How do you keep the kids occupied on a long drive?
Our kids like to bring their journals with them to write about the amazing things they see on the road. We make sure to bring their favorite snacks for them to enjoy during the drive. They also like to read books and listen to music. They have fun creating their own playlists for the trip. Right now, their favorite podcast to listen to is “But Why” where kids ask interesting questions about the world and adults answer.
3. What initially drew you to Marin/the Sonoma Coast?
We wanted to experience the fresh seafood/oysters and farm life that we have heard so many incredible things about. We also enjoy taking road trips as a big family, no matter the destination. The scenic drive that took us up the Sonoma Coast was a huge plus.
4. What are your top three Spotify playlists to listen to while on a road trip?
5. Walk us through dining at Hog Island Oyster Co. What did you order? Did you shuck your own oysters?
We've been wanting to come here for years...and we finally made it! A reservation is required, and if you plan on coming on a Saturday or Sunday be sure to plan months in advance! We came on a perfect weekday ...sunny, not windy, mid-60s, and the scenery was earthly and gorgeous!
The oysters here are harvested right here in these waters, shucked on-site, and brought right to your table. These fresh, gooey, juicy, salty, and heavenly creatures are so incredibly delicious! Try a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of hogwash sauce... We ordered bread and butter, olives, cheese charcuterie plate, and lots of oysters. We accompanied them with a bottle of Hog Island white wine. All we can say is WOW!
6. What do you order for the table (in general)? Describe the ideal space to dine in.
We prefer to dine outdoors somewhere comfortable with kids. We like easy, casual, and scenic surroundings. We try to choose local items or fresh appetizers to start with. Family-style is the way to go and we love to share! We tend to order several main dishes, starters, and a salad.
7. How does the Northern California coast differ from the Southern Coast? Which do you prefer?
The Sonoma Coast has some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, and the entire west coast. The Pacific here is nothing at all like the Southern California coast. It lies in its breathtaking waves, cliffs, and rock formations. We spent almost half a day watching the giant waves crash against the rocks. The rolling green on one side of the road and the rugged cliffs on the other. There are also some cool little towns to stop through. Lastly, you get to see where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean.
8. What are your go-to vintage shops in NorCal?
We shopped in Cayucos. Our favorites were Remember When and Main Street Antiques.
9. When you shop vintage, what do you typically look for?
We like to shop for ceramics, wooden kids' toys, and small furniture items. We love any random unique décor pieces as well. Vintage architectural books are always a hit for us as well.
10. What part of your trip took your breath away?
Sea Ranch took our breath away, for sure. If you’re every passing through, make sure to stop by Sea Ranch Lodge to grab a quick coffee or lunch. You can spend the beginning of your day walking along the beach, watching the waves hit the rocks, and come back to have some tranquil time at the scenic Sea Ranch Lodge. It’s just so peaceful.
With another successful family road trip in the books, Melis and Melda are rested and ready to get back to House No. 23. We can’t wait to see where they head to next!