Nick’s Cove is one spectacularly beautiful place to work! The views of Tomales Bay and sunsets over the hills are something I will always cherish while working here. For me, the only thing that beats the natural beauty of Nick’s is the fact that we are pet friendly. As someone who grew up with dogs, I will always approach them if I see one coming my way. We’ve experienced some pretty cute pooches here on property, including repeat “guests” year after year, like Sir Nero and Luna, two adorable French Bulldogs who have become staff favorites! Our guests really appreciate the fact that we allow and welcome their fur babies. Upon arrival they are given belly rubs by our innkeepers and once they get to their room they have homemade dog treats waiting for them. Nick’s Cove has 3 beaches that are available for your pets, and Dillon Beach, only a 15 minute drive north, is my favorite place to go with my Basset, Bruce. Dillon is a gorgeous pet friendly beach and always promises a good time for your pooch. In April we are celebrating my favorite package of the year: the “Pampered Pooch Package”, where you dog can enjoy a massage, toys, and treats. Check it out here!
Hello from the Croft! It’s been a somewhat dry winter here, but the rain we have had has turned the landscape surrounding the gardens a plush green. It’s February already, and time is flying by as quick as ever. With the days steadily getting longer and the warmer weather we’ve had in the last week, it feels like Spring is right around the corner. We’re already seeing signs of new life all around the garden. From daffodils and iris blooming early to little seedlings popping up everywhere, nature is telling us it’s time to set the wheels of the new season in motion.
In truth, the wheels are always turning in the garden. We continue to harvest Summer and Fall planted chard and kale, and we’ve been growing mustard greens, salad mix, and arugula through these colder months. Many of our garden beds are planted out with garlic and onion, and favas are growing as a beneficial cover crop in other beds. We’re getting an early start on the Spring season in our growing tunnels. The first successions of peas are popping up, and tiny carrot seedlings are getting a head start so we can get them on the menu as early as possible. And we’re already harvesting the first of our rainbow radishes and Tokyo salad turnips!
The greenhouse is full of life too, with our lettuce and fennel seedlings coming along nicely and almost ready to plant out. We’ve got a ton of flower starts going! We’re excited to bring back our favorite cut flowers from last year, and we’ve got some new offerings in the lineup. We’re also trialing a handful of varieties grown from saved seed, so stay tuned to see how some of our more unique plants turn out!
We’re looking forward to another bountiful year in the garden. You can follow along with us as we grow through the seasons on Instagram, we’re @nickscovecroft.
Located 30 miles south of Nick’s Cove, Alamere Falls is a dramatic 40-ft tide fall which pours its waters into the waves of the Pacific Ocean. The trail to Alamere Falls is a 7.5 out and back and takes about 3 hours to complete. The hike to get here offers countless spring wildflowers, wide ocean views, gray whale watching opportunities, and access to both Bass and Pelican Lakes.
The best time to go is spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom and there’s a chance for a gray whale siting. The trail to the beach can be unstable, so we suggest to wear good hiking shoes.
We love all of the fur-babies that come to visit us out here at Nick’s Cove. We love to see them have the time of their lives out here on our property; laying in the sun on our waterfront lounge; running down the long pier to our boat shack; and chasing the ball into the water on our beach. There are also plenty of local pup-friendly spots nearby to enjoy with them, and here are a few of our favorites:
Dillon Beach Resort sits on 55-coastal acres on the Marin-Sonoma County Line, between the mouth of Tomales and the entrance to Bodega Bay. This beach is the perfect hidden gem to explore the sand dunes, admire the tide pools and soak up the sun. A dog-approved beach day is always an afternoon well–spent.
Point Reyes Station
Point Reyes is located about 20 minutes south of Nick’s Cove on Highway One and is one of the most charming towns you’ll ever see. The sidewalks buzz with activity on sunny weekends, and there are some not-to-be missed cheese shops, bakeries, cafes and more where you can fuel up before you hit one of the many beautiful hikes in the area.
For tips on more pet friendly local activities, head to our partner website, DogTrekker.com!
The Tomales Point Tule Elk Reserve is not only a great place to watch wildlife, it’s one of the quietest trails on Point Reyes. The single trail drifts north away from the trailhead, eventually reaching Tomales Point, nearly 5 miles from the nearest road. Squeezed on three sides by water, the only sounds are wind, surf, and bird cries.
This open trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. It is also a prime wildlife viewing trail, as it is remote and the Tule elk are enclosed in this reserve. The first 3 miles to Lower Pierce Point Ranch are well marked and maintained, but the last stretch can be overgrown with bush lupine and other shrubs, so long pants and long sleeves are a good idea.
The journey all the way to the Point is worth it, for the view is unparalleled. Fog and wind can limit visibility and make this hike a little more challenging.
As a farewell tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, Antenna Theater’s artistic director, Chris Hardman, plans to have a skywriter sketch a big heart in the sky between the arches of the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday, October 1st.
The event is dotingly named The LOVE PLANE Experience and is set to occur at 4pm sharp on Sunday, so if you are in the area be sure to find a great spot to view it! The aerial display is only expected to be visible in the sky for three to seven minutes before being swept away; a nice reminder that although the 50th Summer of Love may have passed, the beauty of the message remains.
To learn more about the event and get a “behind the scenes” look at the tribute, visit this article posted in the Marin IJ here.
On the relatively small plot dedicated to vegetable production at Nick’s Cove, we try to pack as many plants into the space as possible, and work to turn the garden beds over quickly, in order to maximize our output. This approach is very demanding of the soil. Without giving the beds time to rest or regenerate with cover crops and less intensive growing cycles, the soil’s nutrient levels can become quickly depleted.
Enter, compost. By adding nutrient rich organic matter that is teeming with microorganisms, we give the soil a necessary boost to support healthy plant growth. At Nick’s Cove, we use a ‘low and slow’ method to make our compost. Rather than frequently stirring the compost and getting it hot in order to quickly break down its contents, we layer the ingredients in cages and let nature go to work. Earthworms, scores of insects, fungi, and bacteria all work in concert to decompose the contents of the pile. The pile is left to break down for three to six months undisturbed, and then turned once and left to rest for another month. The first photo shows the layers in our compost pile when it is first built, the second photo shows the compost pile with the cage removed after four months.
One of the benefits of working directly with a restaurant is that we have access to a lot of organic matter for our compost in the form of food scraps. Trimmed produce and leftover food that could otherwise be sent to a landfill are a valuable resource. With a little work and patience, we can turn this ‘waste’ into an incredibly rich compost that far surpasses anything that is commercially available.
As we add this compost to our garden, we’re not just adding nutrients. We permanently enhance the soil conditions by improving its structure, provide a healthy environment for microbial life, and help the plants manage nutrient uptake. Properly amended soil also retains moisture better, and encourages healthy root systems.
It has been truly exciting and rewarding to see the soil in the garden beds transform over the last year. By continuing to add compost, the soil will improve in the coming years, bringing a more bountiful crop and a healthier garden.
Looking for a great way to cool off this summer and early fall? Why not head to the beach and take some surfing lessons? We all know the real Bay Area summer starts now, so whether you are new to surfing or just want to improve your skills, Stinson Beach Surfing Camp is the place to be. Stinson Beach is just over 20 miles south from Nick’s Cove on Highway One and boasts some of California’s best surfing.
From newbies to advanced riders and everything in between, SBSC offers you and your family an opportunity to enjoy this incredible sport on the majestic Marin coast. All gear is provided for you, including surfboards, leashes, and wet suits, so all you need to bring is yourself, a towel, sunscreen and some water. The camp welcomes all skill levels and many repeat surfers return every year.
The experienced staff of local Marin surfers and lifeguards have years of open water experience and take students step-by-step into surfing in a safe environment. All the details can be found on their website.
The trail-head is located to the left of the main beach just behind the restrooms. Be wary, this trail is steep and is an intermediate level of activity. This is a quarter mile trail that begins with a steep climb and winds through dense forest that leads to Indian Beach and connects to a road, totaling a 1 ½ mile excursion. It takes about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to leisurely hike the trail. This is an excellent place to hike if you’re looking for a quick but fulfilling amount of physical activity surrounded by quiet nature, with sporadic yet beautiful views of the bay. Informational placards on plants and native wildlife sprinkle the trail. This trail meets Heart’s Desire road which loops back to the beach.
Summer is finally here! The days are getting longer and the weather is much, much warmer. Now is the perfect time to get some Vitamin D in the great outdoors. I make sure to get outside in the summer as much as I can and get my blood flowing, because overall I feel better about myself physically and mentally.
In case you didn’t know, West Marin has a wide array of outdoor activities to be taken advantage of. From hiking and kayaking to canopy and safari tours, there is something for all ages and demographics out here. We have an entire list of local activities to entertain you while you are visiting the area, and our wonderful lodging staffers are all experts on the area. Make sure to inquire at the front desk next time you are visiting Nick’s Cove, or check out our website for complete details.
Hope to see you soon!