After spending the day before wandering around San Francisco, which is up there for one of my favourite cities, I couldn’t wait to start exploring up the California coast slowly. When it came to planning our day it was the normal. Look to where we are going, see what the touristy things are to do and see if there are any other stops to make.
After making the mistake in San Fran of doing the touristy thing I am happy to say there was none of that on the list for the day. We were heading towards Muir Beach and even though the Muir Forest is right there, and I love the Redwoods I knew Baron wouldn’t be allowed being it was a State Park, and I am pretty thankful for it.
We headed down the road and as we approached the Muir Forest it was sightseeing overload. Every single parking lot was packed, the sides of the roads were packed and this continued for a few miles down the road. I was so thankful this was not our plan for the day at all; we just had to drive through it to get to where we were going. As we got to the parking lot for Muir Beach it was like a breath of fresh air. The parking lot wasn’t busy at all and the beach was SUPER pet friendly. I even had a cute old lady approach me while Baron was on his leash to say he was allowed to run off his leash, to which Baron jumped on her and I laughed telling her that is why he was still on his leash. Baron!
With my original worry wondering if we’d find places we could both go and enjoy beaches together, it quickly went away. This place was like a little piece of heaven. The day was cold and moody, but Baron being a dog couldn’t care less, and I was just happy to have a beach Baron could enjoy too. He ended up finding a small river flowing into the ocean and combining a river and beach I knew it would be hard to pull Baron away from 2 of his favourite things. When it came time to leave I was just given those sad eyes of, “Really? Please no! Can we stay”?
Next stop for the day was Stinson Beach. Surprisingly after being to San Francisco many times now I had never made my way here. Now getting here this time was rather entertaining. After the crazy amount of rain and floods over the past few weeks in California, Highway 1, that you need to use to get there, was closed so you had to detour through the Panoramic View HWY. Although it was called that and I am sure the views were amazing there was absolutely no time for that or you’d likely die. I’m not kidding. EYES ON THE ROAD! This road was insane. I am talking full 180 degree turns, no shoulders and your only goal was to stay on the road. All of these things would have been fine for me if I was the only person on the road, but since half that others on the roads were those going to see the Muir Forest I was just hoping everyone did their job and stayed in their “lane”. I say it like that because there weren’t really any lanes either.
Once we arrived I was disappointed to find out the beach here was not dog friendly, but I didn’t even care because I had found the Riverside Cafe. This place I swear was made for me in every single way. Not only was there dog friendly seating on the upper patio where Baron and I hung out while I ate one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. I’ll be posting about this food soon. I am still thinking about it and would honestly drive 24 hours back there just to eat there again. This place had a little market on the side with preserves, fresh baked bread, deserts, sandwiches and they even had a wood fire stove to warm up a slice of their pizza. If I hadn’t already eaten far too much I would have kept eating in this little side market too. It was like being back home at the farmers markets and just being surrounded by real food and people who cared about what they were making. I ended up buying some jam instead so I’ll be enjoying that little memory on the road.
Even a few days later I can’t get over this Cafe in Stinson Beach and maybe when I head back this way again I will find a little road to sleep on for the week and make it my home so I can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here. I’m not kidding. This place screams happiness to me and if only I could put Muir Beach, which was Baron happy place, and this Cafe, my happy place, next to each other I’d likely never leave.
I am truly hoping this is how the rest of our trip up the coast keeps going. It set a pretty high bar for exactly what I am hoping will happen while we are on the California coast. I’m not sure it will be topped as it is a pretty amazing way to start, but let’s wait and see if there is something else equally as wonderful in its own way.