Just south of the Sonoma Coast beaches lies a similar, yet distinctly different playground. For delicious and fresh oysters, Tomales Bay and Drakes Estero are definitely the places to visit. Visitors are welcome at the three oyster farms in the area, where farmers delight in showing off their skills at sustainable aquaculture. Their vast knowledge of sustainable oyster farming is integral to the health of Drake’s and Tomales Bay’s waters.
The Hog Island Oyster Company is open seven days a week. It’s located on Highway 1 in Marshall, 15 minutes north of Point Reyes Station on Tomales Bay. Hog Island boasts of a superior oyster bred for presentation and taste. The farm also aims to show off the pristine environment in which the oysters are farmed. Visitors can enjoy the fresh shellfish at the bar or picnic area, and can choose from various types of fresh oysters to take home. They also have an Oyster Bar at Oxbow Market in Napa and at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. For more information, call 415.663.9218. •hogislandoysters.com
Tomales Bay Oyster Company, open daily, is a great place to sit at a picnic table, shuck oysters and barbeque them on the spot. There is no charge for the table space for ten or fewer people, but they do ask for a large group fee when 11 or more show up together. Bring a cooler to keep the oysters fresh. They have, available for sale, oyster knives, ice, charcoal, limes, hot sauce and gloves. You can bring drinks (beer and wine OK, no alcohol). They are located at 15479 Highway One in Marshall (just north of Point Reyes). 415.663.1242 •tomalesbayoysters.com
In Bodega Bay, Fisherman’s Cove offers a menu of Oysters from Tomales Bay, served raw or grilled. 1850 Bay Flat Rd, Bodega Bay. (707) 377-4238. •bodegabayoysters.com