Your Five Must-Do Bay Area Hangouts on Your Ride
The back roads of the San Francisco Bay Area offer plenty of curves, but I’m definitely not throwing you a curve when offering up this list of the coolest, out-of the-way places to check out along your route. Whether you’re a local on a weekend ride or a visitor looking to explore the region’s amazing back roads while on two wheels, the below are the five must-do hangouts.
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant
18863 Hwy. 1, Marshall, CA
Is it the weekend? Well, here’s your pearl of wisdom, as it’s time to head over to one of the most beloved oyster shacks on the coast. This standout by Tomales Bay, a 15-mile inlet off the Pacific, has been serving up tasty bivalve mollusks for decades. Now’s your time to savor some sweet sauce complemented by a dash of freshly chopped garlic. You’ll be feeling quite amorous after downing all of those barbecued or raw oysters, so you might want to consider getting a room for the night.
Mountain Home Inn
810 Panoramic Hwy., Mill Valley, CA
Just north of the Golden Gate stands a forest-covered, 2,572-foot peak called Mount Tamalpais—with the moniker Mount Tam to Marin locals--and on this amazing peak stands the Mountain Home Inn. This bucolic retreat, high above San Francisco, Sausalito and Mill Valley, has a faithful following. Take in the views from this perch above one of the most scenic cities in America. Feeling adventurous? Trails head out in numerous directions right out the inn’s door, as you can hike to the top of Mount Tam, down to Muir Woods, across the mountain to Stinson Beach or down through a pine forest to the town of Mill Valley.
10 Pacific Way, Muir Beach, CA
This charming British-style country inn is just minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, but feels a world away. Besides comfy rooms with canopy beds and an acclaimed restaurant, the Pelican also offers a tiny but beguiling pub, complete with Shepherd's Pie, Smithwicks and darts. English events are celebrated big time here: there’s a bash slated for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years as monarch) the afternoon of Saturday, June 2nd, with a bagpiper on hand to add to the ambience.
17288 Skyline Blvd., Woodside, CA
Whether it's garlic fries, a Jalopy burger or a Mexican scramble, scramble over to this Peninsula eatery, as you can get anything you want . . . at Alice's Restaurant. This is a favorite haunt of area motorcyclists; the restaurant nestled among the trees, pastures and hills of rustic Woodside. Soups, sandwiches (including a standout steak sandwich) and specialty burgers are the order of the day at this action-packed roadhouse that also hosts live acoustic music every Thursday from 7pm to 9pm.
San Gregorio General Store
7615 Stage Rd., San Gregorio, CA
Talk about a California concept: this general store is a bookshop, watering hole, music venue and gathering spot . . . all rolled into one. Even though a philosophy professor founded it, this store is not pretentious in the least, being down-home enough to feature the world's largest pair of Levi's jeans hanging on the wall. The bookshelves teem with everything from existentialist tomes to books on edible plants.
This is just a sampling of the coolest attractions to be found by riding with MAD Maps Northern California.
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