Tuesday, June 01, 2010

West Marin County

Last week, I took some guests to West Marin County, where we visited the Marin French Cheese Company, Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station, the summit of Mount Tamalpais, and the Audubon Canyon Ranch

The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve of the Audubon Canyon Ranch is home to nesting egrets and herons every spring.  This year the reserve will be open for visitors through July 11.  When we visited last week, we were given a telescope and trail map and told where we could walk for the best views of the nesting birds.  We were told that both Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons were nesting but we could only see the former, even with the scopes.  We saw both adults and chicks in the nests.  The Preserve is open on weekends and holidays from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  With a prior reservation, you can visit the Preserve on Tuesdays through Fridays.  A $15 donation is suggested for each visitor.

The Marin French Cheese Company claims to be the oldest cheese manufacturer in the country.  Since 1865, the Cheese Factory, has been making soft cheeses similar to French Brie and Camembert.  Tours are offered daily, but most cheese making activity occurs Mondays through Thursdays.  I was disappointed to find that no cheese was being made when we visited last week, and that the tour was just a five-minute visit to see some aging cheese and an empty room.  My guests, though, loved the grounds with the picnic tables next to the duck pond and surrounded by rolling green hills.

We finished the tour with a drive to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, 2570 feet above sea level.  Here we were treated to a spectacular view of southern Marin County and San Francisco:

West Marin County is a world apart from the rest of the Bay Area.  If you'd like to see rolling green hills, spectacular ocean views, and quaint small towns, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.

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