Timber Cove Inn on the Sonoma Coast, just two hours from San Francisco is a wonderful weekend getaway and this loop provides majestic ocean views, pastoral fields and a sampling of harvests of the sea and vine.
Hog Island Oyster Company
Winding along the back roads of West Marin, the Hog Island Oyster Company in Marshall near Tomales Bay offers fresh, delectable oysters, a perfect picnic to pick up along the way and if you bring along a bottle of champagne in your cooler you’ll have the makings of your own picnic. The tiny Kumamoto oysters are favorites for consuming uncooked as they have a delicate, sweet, briny flavor. Ranchland gives way to twisty coastal Highway 1 where the sun shimmers on the Pacific Ocean on one side, while on the other, cows with mountain goat sensibilities contentedly grazed on steeply sloped hillsides. Cow pastures transition to redwoods and in the distance one can spy a mysterious tall, slender totem glinting in the sunlight.
Timber Cover Inn
Reaching Timber Cove Inn, long a rustic redwood hideaway for romantic coastal escapes, it was built in the 60s when hot tubs were the rage and every room has either a hot tub in the room or on the deck, or a soaking tub in the room. The massive timbered lobby and the recently updated cozy rooms with hot tub are both equipped with fireplaces to drive away any coastal chill. The oceanfront deck is the perfect place to enjoy the sumptuous sweet oysters paired with champagne.
One unusual aspect of the Timber Cove Inn is the preponderance of raccoons. They can be spotted from the restaurant, frolicking in the trees, and in front of the reflecting pool. The masked bandits are everywhere at dusk, playful and content in their wildland habitat, adding a touch of fantasy to dinner time entertainment.
Timber Cove Inn is situated on 26 acres of trails providing ample space for seaside strolling, as well as investigating the mysterious obelisk spotted from the highway. This is Benny Bufano’s Expanding Universe Sculpture. A beacon on land and sea, the 93 foot sculpture depicting a Madonna and a universal child was Bufano’s plea for peace during the height of the Cold War in the early 1960’s. As we walked around the statue in this quiet oasis we couldn’t help thinking that his plea is just as poignant today.
Meandering up the coast on Highway 1 one is reminded of the proximity to the Sonoma wine country by small road signs pointing inland. Turning at an Annapolis Winery sign you will depart the coast, heading east, and the terrain abruptly changes from rolling coastal ranchland to steep redwood-forested hills. Coming out of the redwoods, a vineyard suddenly appears, accompanied by a small tasting room. The motto of the winery is “quality not quantity”, producing a smorgasbord of reds and whites. This winery in the redwoods has lovely picnic grounds in the apple orchard and is a popular place for weddings.
Korbel Champagen Cellars
A visit to the Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville is the perfect cap to a Sonoma getaway weekend. They provide an entertaining tou through the colorful past of the Korbel & Heck families as well as every facet of methode champanois-produced champagne. The highlight, of course, is the generous champagne tasting at the end.
Heading east to Highway 101 completes the varied loop through some of the features that makes Sonoma County unique: stunning views of bays, ocean beaches, coastal ranchland, redwoods, wildlife, comfortable lodging and wineries, all easily visited in a relaxing weekend.
Timber Cove Inn-Special Deal
Timber Cove Inn is currently offering a discounted rate of 20% off a 3 night stay or more.
To reach the Hog Island Oyster Company in Marshall from San Francisco (about a 1 hour drive by automobile, depending on traffic)
- Take Highway 101 out of San Francisco
- Take the San Anselmo Exit and merge onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd
- Turn right onto Highway 1 going North
Stay on Highway 1 to reach the Timber Cove Inn (about 1 hour more)
Places to Visit
Hog Island Oyster Company
The oyster farm is located on Highway 1 in Marshall, about 15 minutes north of Point Reyes Station and 45 minutes south of Bodega Bay.
20215 State Route 1
Marshall, CA 94940
Timber Cove Inn
21780 North Coast Hwy 1
Jenner, CA 95450
26055 Soda Springs Rd
Annapolis, CA 95412
Korbel Champagne Cellars
13250 River Road
Guerneville, CA 95446
By Inga Aksamit, Inga’s Adventures