We started our second day in Napa (well, our first of just two FULL days!) with a nice drive out to the Point Reyes National Seashore. We were going to hike locally around the Lake Berryessa area, but wild fires were still threatening the area. So we headed west. It’s a much larger area than I thought.
While it took about an hour to get to Point Reyes Station, the little town where you enter the Point Reyes area, it was a good bit more driving to get to the shoreline points of interest. Basically, plan on a several hour endeavor (not just a couple hours like I was thinking). Luckily, I realized this pretty quick and pushed back our afternoon appointment at a winery.
We made our way over the Inverness Ridge to our first stop at Point Reyes Beach South. Beautiful scenic drive and several turn off options along the way, we turned down a short drive to the beach here.
The Pacific Ocean was chilly this morning, but it was fun to dip my toes in and think how I was just doing the same in the Atlantic Ocean just a few weeks earlier in OBX! We jumped back on the road down to the point. Lots of cute cows along the way, but the hubs drives kinda fast and I didn’t get any good pics of them.
Although the lighthouse was closed for renovations, we found some other good trails and overlooks to enjoy. We first stopped at the Sea Lion overlook, though the diving pelicans were more exciting than the basking sea lions!
Just a short little trek from the parking lot to this point. It was pretty chilly with the wind whipping at the overlook, so we didn’t stay long. We headed over to the trail on the other side of the point to hike out to Chimney Rock.
Only about half a mile, it’s an easy trail and definitely worth it for the views!
I’m not a birder, but supposedly this area is one of the best birding spots for those who are! So take note if that’s you!
And you can really see the sea lions from here – much better than at the other overlook. Check em out! You can hear them too. Well, not in the pic, but when you’re here!
Just chillin on the beach, going in for a swim every now and then and living the dream. Seems like a great life they’ve got, just steer clear of sharks! I thought maybe they come up here for vacation, it looks like a really nice spot for sea lions, right? This was a beautiful hike, definitely secure your hats because it’s very windy up here!! And we were dressed much lighter than most, you might want to have a windbreaker even in early September up here!
We jumped back in the car to get some lunch back at Point Reyes Station at one of my favorite creameries – Cowgirl Creamery. They used to have a store in DC, but much to my extreme dismay, it closed a few years ago. That was a very sad day when I learned of its closing. But I was happy to be here at their location in Point Reyes. Unfortunately they didn’t have tours going, so we just hit up the store. We sampled several cheeses first, of course, before settling on our meal choices!!
There is a wonderful selection of cheeses, and also wines and beers along with a nice deli to make for a great meal to have outside in their picnic area. This was a wonderful lunch!!
Heaven!! Two great cheeses (one from Scotland and the other a local favorite by Marin French Cheese, one of the first creameries out here located nearby), a big ol loaf of fresh olive bread, a raspberry rose spread, some kale salad, and a delicious stout beer. Mmmmm!! Perfect lunch. I was saving myself wine-wise for our afternoon tasting back in Napa Valley.
We arrived at Clos du Val, one of my wine clubs, which is one of the older wineries in the Valley and has some of the most deepest, richest, delicious-est reds out here. We checked out the Pinot Noir as it slept in its tanks.
They are renovating their members tasting area and unfortunately it hasn’t opened yet, but we did get some sneak peeks!!
We had our tasting amidst the barrels and seated with a great host! Very intimate and personalized, we progressed through Clos du Val’s beautiful reds.
One of my favorites of theirs is their Petit Verdot. It’s rich and bold, but yet so inviting. I remember once splitting a bottle of it with my sister and feeling so sad when it was gone but yet confused at how fast it went!! Their Cabernet Sauvignon is among the best out there, in both the pure and the blended forms. We got to sample from a 2007 bottle of their Cab…ahhhhh, it was good!
The Stags Leap district is classic Napa. The wines from here are beautiful, and Clos du Val does them so well. For the red wine connoisseur, I recommend a stop here for sure. After some great tasting, we drove over to Lake Berryessa on its west side, not where the fires were, to check it out.
It is a very windy road to get here, and I have to admit, the windy road back didn’t make me feel so good. But the lake was nice!! A great day trip for camping, grilling, and chilling in the lake!! We just walked around it a bit. And somehow I didn’t snap pics of it! Oops!
Stay tuned for one more part!! To include the Castle! Who knew I’d have three parts to write for such a short trip!! Just proves there’s no shortage of great stuff to enjoy out here!!