The 2012 Edible Marin & WIne Country Gift Guide

By Jennifer Larson | December 01, 2012
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Yep, our annual holiday gift guide is back and it’s bigger and better than ever. Maybe the holidays bring out our best or maybe the best just happens to be found in our very own neighborhood. You really could just close your eyes and point your finger anywhere on this list to find a treasure perfect for all of the local-food-loving folks lucky enough to make your gift list this year.

Here in Edible Marin & Wine Country, it’s never been easier to be a very gifted giver.


EDIBLES...


It’s no coincidence that this category is our heartiest. Seems everyone’s a foodie during this magical season. dig in!

Panetonne, Emporio Rulli

We know the holiday season has officially begun when we start dreaming of Emporio Rulli’s signature panetonne. And judging by the demand (they bake over 9,000 pounds of the Genovese and Milanese styles of panetonne each december), we aren’t the only fans of these scrumptious Italian holiday breads. Crafted using recipes handed down to owner Gary Rulli during his apprenticeship in Italy, these giftworthy breads are made with the finest flour, pure creamery butter, golden raisins, pine nuts and candied orange peels. The golden gems come wrapped in gorgeous foil all ready for gifting—or for gracing your own holiday table. Chef Michael Chiarello of Napa’s Bottega uses panetonne to make croutons for holiday salads—divine inspiration! Available at Emporio Rulli, 464 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur.

Holiday Dairy Gift Package, Red Hill Farm

For a different kind of gift, look to a different kind of dairy. Redwood Hill Farm is an award winning goat dairy and creamery aptly located in Sonoma County, where many good things originate. This family-owned operation has the distinction of the being the first goat dairy to be Certified humane by the humane farm animal Care organization and turns out goat’s milk kefir, cheeses and yogurts like we’ve never tasted. Holiday gift packages are available at redwoodhill.com.

Handcrafted Salumi, Sub Rosa by Panevino

We know, we know. We’ve touted Panevino and Chef David Katz’s “food for wine” in every gift guide since we began because we can’t get enough of the “best we’ve ever had” grissini. But this season we’re enamored for a whole new reason: Katz’s recently launched line of extraordinary handcrafted salumi, sold under the name Sub Rosa, has us smitten. a collection of immaculately cured meats so full of flavor and perfectly textured you can confidently give it to the person on your list with the most sophisticated taste buds. food for wine? oh yes. But we still sort of have a crush on that grissini. You can buy both directly from the Panevino kitchen in St. Helena or at SalumeriaSubrosa.com.

Chocolates, La Foret Chocolate

“There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.”
—Linda Grayson, The Pickwick Papers.

Show up this season bearing delectable chocolates to melt their heart or fill their stocking. Napa’s La Foret is a fine chocolate, confections and custom cake purveyor dreamed up by Wendy Sherwood, former pastry chef for the french laundry. Sherwood is passionate about her products, handcrafting them in small batches using seasonal, local ingredients. delight the chocoholics on your list with beautifully packaged truffles, chocolate-filled bars, caramels, honeycombs or house-made marshmallows—or splurge and sign them up for Sherwood’s special seasonal allocation. Visit La Foret’s retail shop at 3261 Browns Valley Rd., Napa, or order at laforetChocolate.com.

Farmstead Cheese Packages and/or Farm-to-Table Culinary Classes at The Fork, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

For once, a cheesy gift is just what they want! There’s something about great cheese that gets the party started. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company helps spread the love this season by delivering their award-winning line of farmstead cheeses, beautifully packaged, to destinations all over the country. Each shipment includes your personal message, a greeting from the Giacomini family and the entire crew at the farm and farm-favorite recipes. or give a gift certificate with true class: Sign your loved one (and yourself!) up for farm-to-table culinary classes at The Fork. PointreyesCheese.com or PointreyesCheese.com/Thefork

Baked Good Packages, Rustic Bakery

If they bake it, we will come. This has never been more evident than as we’ve watched Rustic Bakery delight fans by opening new doors all over Marin County this year. The crowds are flocking in— and with good reason. We return time and time again for anything and everything owner Carol Levalley and her team whip up. This season, you’ll find us pressing our noses against the bakery windows and hoping we’ve been “nice” enough to find one of Rustic’s gorgeously packaged treasures filled with flatbreads, cheese coins, tea cakes, pan forte, crostini and cookies under the tree this year. Baked. Wrapped. done! Visit them at 1139 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur; 1407 Grant ave., Novato; and in the Marin Country Mart, Larkspur. RusticBakery.com.

Beer Club Subscription, Mill Valley Market

Mill Valley Market boasts a selection of over 400 nearly impossible to find beers, and we know some of you have nearly that many folks on your list who enjoy hard-to-find suds. Make their holiday, and their year, with a subscription to the Mill Valley Market Beer Club. Imagine them running out to the mailbox, expecting the usual bills and mass mailers, and instead finding a lovely sampling of world-class craft brews ranging from refreshing pilsners, deep pale ales, hop-ified IPas and burnt chocolate porters to cigar-pairing stouts. We’re guessing they’d forget about the mail. They also offer a Wine Club for the wine lovers on your list. Tap into the perfect holiday gift! 12 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley.

Caviar and Smoked Fish, Tsar Nicoulai

Tsar Nicoulai’s sustainably, farm-raised sturgeon produce some of the finest caviar and smoked fish we’ve ever tasted. These fish swim in clean, artesian well water and eat all-natural feed, so you can feel great about eating this decadently delicious treat. Sourced from farms in California and Idaho, it’s also the freshest caviar and smoked fish available. Gorgeously packaged gift selections are available for shipping directly to your lucky recipient or hook up with some live at Bay Area Whole Foods Markets.

CSA Subscription

Yes, we still really love the idea of giving a subscription to a community-supported agriculture (CSA) harvest subscription program this year. Your recipient will thank you every time they open their box filled with locally grown or produced bounty—and, hopefully, invite you over to share! Check out the list of CSAs to find one close to you and the folks on your list!

Artisan Cheese Club Membership, Cowgirl Creamery

If you love the award-winning cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods as much as we do (and we know you do!), you
likely always feel a little empty when the last bit has been sliced and savored. Sigh. We just always want more. Solve this pressing problem for everyone on your list this year with a Cowgirl Creamery Artisan Cheese Club membership. Members receive regular shipments of unique, hard-to-find artisan and farmstead cheeses delivered directly to their home or office. Phew, crisis averted.

Baked Goods Gift Basket, Beth’s Community Bakery

Beth’s Community Bakery offers wonderful baked goods and savory dishes all year long, but Beth is known to kick it up a notch at the holidays. Her famed pecan pies are just the beginning. One of Beth’s gift baskets brimming with ginger snaps, mini chocolate chip cookies and other delights makes a perfect hostess gift and we bet Santa would be inspired to leave something extra special under the tree if you set one out for him and his eight tiny reindeer on Christmas Eve. 34 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.

Gift Basket, The Epicurean Connection

Sheana Davis, chef, cheese maker, caterer and culinary educator extraordinare is also the owner of The Epicurean Connection, a neighborhood specialty cheese shop just off the Sonoma Plaza. The Epicurean Connection is a treasure trove of locally produced artisan foods, including Sheana’s own Delice de la Vallee cheese, as well as prepared foods to enjoy at the shop’s communal table or as a picnic on the Plaza. This holiday season Sheana is offering gift baskets loaded with edible goodies in the sweet, savory and cheesy categories. Or give a special someone on your list a gift certificate for one of the many classes and culinary events offered all year long at the Epicurean Connection. 122 W. Napa St., Sonoma.


UNDENIABLES...


They say the best gifts are the ones you hate to part with yourself. Choose what you’d love for your kitchen, garden, body and soul... and then give it away. Or do what the smart set does and buy two! These are the gifts everyone loves, undeniably!

Skin & Hair Care, EO Products

If someone on your list delights in deliciously aromatic and therapeutic skin and hair care (and isn’t that truly everyone?), look no further than the extensive line of offerings consciously made in Marin County by family owned and operated EO Products. The essential oils used by EO are steam-distilled directly from flowers, leaves, bark and wood without any adulteration or synthetic additives, as nature intended. EO’s divine hand and body washes, shampoos, conditioners and bath salts are available at many retailers throughout the Bay Area and, since November, at their very first company-owned retail location, EO Exchange, in downtown Mill Valley. Prepare to be transported to a higher place by the aromas that greet you when you walk in the door to pick out something sure to enhance the beauty and well being of everyone on your list! 84 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley.

Culinary Products, Spanish Table

If paellas, cataplanas and tapassing to anybody on your list, why not send them to Spain... if only in their dreams. You can practically hear the flamenco guitar and feel the rustic cobblestones under your feet as you stroll through the Spanish Table in Mill Valley’s Strawberry Village. In this culinary superstore for all things Spanish, it’s easy to find an assortment of hard-to-find Spanish cookware, cookbooks, spices, cheeses, cured meats, olives, peppers, wines, sherries and ports that all say feliz navidad to your foodie amigos. 800 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley. SpanishTable.com or SpanishTableWines.com.

Holiday Wreaths, Green Door Design

Proceed with caution when you enter Green Door Design. We went in to buy a single orchid and left with armfuls of stunning orchid arrangements, each artfully displayed in an amazing container that simply had to be ours. We needed help to carry it all to our car. During the holidays Green Door Design is your go-to destination for gorgeous succulent wreaths to deck your own home and the homes of some very special people on your list. Owner Susie Turner also offers gorgeous garlands, winter bulbs and flowering plants. You’ve been warned... Visit the store at 231 A Flamingo Rd., Mill Valley. (Be sure to stop next door at Shoreline Café for a celebratory cup of coffee and a churro. Oh, and why not have a sammy made with divine bread baked by Green Gulch Zen Center while you’re there?)

Tableware, Heath Ceramics

Don’t just set a table this holiday season, set THE table that makes all other tables jealous, with absolutely anything from Sausalito’s Heath Ceramics. If these gems look familiar to you, it’s surely because their amazingly simple designs have timelessly graced tables big and small for over 50 years, including at celebrated restaurants Chez Panisse, Osteria Stellina, Gather and the Slanted Door... to drop a few names. These are treasures your recipients will cherish for generations. Make someone’s holiday table (and your own) especially festive this year. Shop at the Heath factory store in Sausalito, their retail location in the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Building, or at HeathCeramics.com.

Bee-related Products, Beekind

This season, why not give a honey of a gift? Beekind is where all things bee-related take the shape of beautiful, interesting and, above all, kind finds. Owners Katia and Doug Vincent really care about bees and it shows. Beeswax, candles, lotions, soaps, ointments and, of course, all kinds of honey, grace the shelves of this truly unique shop. Choose a gift from the store or give the gift of beekeeping classes to your friends and loved ones. You’ve heard the proverb “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime,” right? Well, this is the sweet equivalent! Shop Beekind at 921 Gravenstein Hwy So., Sebastopol, or the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Building or Beekind.com.

Gardening Gifts, Cottage Gardens of Petaluma

Cottage Gardens of Petaluma isn’t just any nursery—it’s an edible plant wonderland. The plant and gardening specialists at Cottage Gardens of Petaluma truly love what they do and take pride in shepherding customers through their rows and rows of living, breathing gifts that keep on giving. Your loved ones will thank you when they receive a gift from these guys, and again every time they savor an apple or local favorite Meyer lemon they’ve grown themselves! 3995 Emerald Dr., Petaluma.

Kitchenware & Artisanal Goods, Tyler Florence Shop

In Marin, the go-to place for all of your kitchen needs (and wants) is the Tyler Florence Shop in downtown Mill Valley. Owned by celebrity chef Tyler Florence and his wife, Tolan, Mill Valley residents, this shop feels like you’ve entered your dream kitchen the moment you step through the door. Not only will you find the latest must-haves alongside timeless classics for kitchen, tabletop and home, the shop carries an extensive line of specialty and hard-to-find olive oils, vinegars and other cooking ingredients—including Florence’s own spice rubs and sauces—perfect for creating your own gift packages. Sink into one of the comfy leather chairs in their cozy library and spend the afternoon browsing for the perfect cookbook to please every cook on your list, then choose an ingredient or two to complete the package. Their collection of holiday ornaments and other decorations is extraordinary—including the gorgeous blown-glass ornament pictured on the cover of this issue! 59 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley.

Lunch Kits & Packing Products, Kids Konserve

When local moms Lynn Julian and Chance Claxton calculated the amount of lunch trash produced at their kids’ schools everyday, it shocked them into action. The duo launched Kids Konserve waste-free and toxin-free lunch packaging to keep all those lovingly made school lunches fresh and tasty without filling a landfill. These colorful, gift-worthy lunch kits and reusable packing products are super fun for kids and they make our planet smile, too. Their great thermoses are just what you need to keep hot lunches hot this season! Thank you, Lynn and Chance, for the perfect gift for anyone who wants to have a great lunch and a great planet to eat it on!

Arts & Crafts, Once Around

We believe they should change the name of Mill Valley’s Once Around to “around and around,” because once you discover this magical place you’ll be sure to return again and again. We feel like kids in a candy store amongst the incredible selection of wrapping papers, holiday decorations and arts and crafts supplies in this gem of a store. They’ve “combed the globe to bring in the highest quality, yummiest and most unique materials for your work... the quirkiest fabric and the most unexpected do-dads.” Scrapbooking, stamping, wrapping, knitting, soap-pouring, wreath-making and literally thousands of other types of “candy” are calling! A gift certificate for one of their wide array of classes would be a unique and wonderful gift for the do-ityourselfers on your list. We bet you won’t be able to stop at once! 352 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.

Culinary Collectibles & Curiosities, Heritage Culinary Artifacts

We knew Lisa Minucci was an accomplished sommelier, but when we saw the treasure box full of culinary antiques, collectibles and curiosities she offers at her store in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, we temporarily set down our wine glasses. At Minucci’s Heritage Culinary Artifacts, you can cross even those hard-to-please recipients off your list because there is something special here for everyone. Her world travels yield a collection as eclectic as your gift list, all under one roof. From bread boards fresh from Italy, mid-century American pottery, copper pots from the south of France and vintage cookbooks and culinary art to all kinds of wonderful accoutrements for the world of wine (including one-of-a kind corkscrews, crystal decanters and sterling silver flasks), you can find it here. In Oxbow Public Market, 610 First St., Stall 14, Napa.

Edible Adventure, West Marin Farm and Food Tours

Here’s a gift that’s sure to move anyone: Send your loved one on an edible adventure with newly launched West Marin Farm and Food Tours. Elizabeth Hill combines her love affair with West Marin with her passions for food, gardening, education and travel and encourages all who come along to stop and smell the roses—or, in this case, extraordinary local wines, meads, cheeses, breads, pastries, grass-fed meats and oysters. You might want to tag along, and get thanked in person!


TEACHABLES...


Is someone on your list just dying to tie on an apron and get busy in the kitchen making the perfect loaf of bread, an impressive locally sourced feast or even a micro brew? We’ve got you covered! Give a gift of cooking classes or one of these exciting new cookbooks and be sure to include in your gift note that you’re also gifting your services as taste tester. Talk about a gift that gives back!

Culinary Classes, Ramekins Culinary School

Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma offers culinary classes for all levels, teaching lucky students to explore the wide and local world of cooking and wine tasting with esteemed visiting chefs and learned culinary instructors. This is a great gift for the kitchen novice and seasoned chef alike because, as anyone with a wooden spoon and a recipe file knows, there’s always something new and unexpected to discover in the kitchen. We smell
a dinner party! 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma.

Cookbook, Flavors of Health Cookbook

In the Flavors of Health Cookbook, authors Ed Bauman, PhD, and Lizette Marx, NC, take healthy cooking to a whole new level. Bauman, the founder of Bauman College: Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, is a dean of this field, so read up! The book teaches healthy cooking basics including techniques and how to smartly stock a pantry to make healthy cooking and eating easy. And, when you have the basics down, you’ll learn how to treat cooking as a creative art using all your senses and elements of taste. The authors believe that “knowing how to use healthy ingredients, and having healthy recipes, will bring you greater selfawareness, self-esteem, self-love, and self-healing.” BaumanCollege. org

Cookbook, The Whole Fish

The Whole Fish: How Adventurous Eating Can Improve Your Sex Life and Help Save the Ocean by Sausalito resident Maria Finn is a carefully curated collection of 25 recipes from different chefs offering unexpectedly delicious ways to utilize every part of various fish and touting benefits to your overall health and sexual stamina. Each recipe includes suggested wine pairings from Salmon Safe and Fish Friendly certified vineyards. OK, you had us at “stamina...” TED.com/pages/tedbook (for the Kindle, iBook or Nook).

Cookbook, The Passionate Vegetable

We can still hear our mom exclaiming every night at dinner “You’re not leaving the table until you eat your vegetables,” but we never ate them because they simply weren’t edible. The Passionate Vegetable by Suzanne Landry is more a recipe for falling in love with vegetables than a cookbook. Learn to incorporate veggies as early as breakfast and even include them in desserts. These are definitely not your mother’s vegetables. Maybe give this one to mom? Anonymously? Available wherever books are sold.

Cookbook, Bitters

Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons won the James Beard Award this year for best cookbook in the beverage category and we raise our glasses in agreement. Seems a cocktail renaissance has swept the country, inspiring bartenders and thirsty patrons with fascinating new and newagain ingredients and techniques. This smart and entertaining read will educate you on the rich history of bitters, teach you how to make your own using seasonal, local ingredients (be still, our heart...), then use them to mix up a killer cocktail. A MUST for cocktail enthusiasts.

Cookbook, Supper Club

In Cindy Pawlcyn’s latest cookbook, Supper Club, the chef presents 125 global recipes in dinner menu format based on Cindy’s very own informal gatherings. Here she turns her passions for cooking and travel into a popular supper club. Each supper club is a destination event, presenting a world tasting tour on every plate. Available wherever books are sold.

Cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen

In The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte, sink your teeth into 100 of Sara’s most mouthwatering recipes. She’s not just a food-loving wellness focused veggie enthusiast, she’s also married to a photographer who snaps shots that are good enough to eat, making this book a pleasure for all the senses. Buy this if only for the Seared Scallops on Black Quinoa with Pomegranate Gastrique. Yes, the perfect gift has sprouted.

Cookbook, Artisan Cheesemaking at Home

Artisan Cheesemaking at Home by Mary Karlin is the most ambitious and comprehensive guide to home cheesemaking that we’ve seen. This book is stuffed to the rind with easy-to-follow instructions for making mouth- watering cheese and other dairy items and over 80 recipes from quick mascarpone and queso blanco to crème fraiche and yogurt. See Mary’s recipes in the Winter 2011 issue of Edible Marin & Wine Country for a taste!

Cooking Classes, Fresh Starts Culinary Academy

A gift certificate for one of the monthly cooking classes offered to the public at Fresh Starts Culinary Academy in Novato is sure to delight. Learn cooking techniques from celebrity chefs like Joanne Weir, Duskie Estes and John Stewart, Gerald Hiroygen and Sondra Bernstein, then sit down with them to share a meal that has been prepared by the students of Fresh Starts Culinary Academy, a program of Homeward Bound. Better yet, as these events almost always sell out, surprise your gift recipient with tickets for a class you know they will love!

Subscription, Edible Marin & Wine Country

And, last but not least in this category, we think a gift subscription to Edible Marin & Wine Country always makes a wonderful gift! It’s easy to order online and we’ll wrap it up and send your recipient a note with their first issue!


GIVEABLES THAT GIVE BACK...

“I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage, not because he is duty-bound, but because he loves the world and loves his children...”
--Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River Gorge (1971)

There are many wonderful organizations here in Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties that work hard all year long to support our local farmers, vintners, ranchers and the land that we cherish so dearly.... Give a gift to one of these important organizations and let’s keep a good thing going. Make a donation in the name of someone (or everyone) on your list and see how good it feels to pay it forward. Your recipient will receive a note informing them of your gift made in their honor.

Educational Opportunities for School Children, Marin Organic

A gift in support of the work of Marin Organic and, specifically this year, its Farm Field Studies and gleaning programs that offer school children the educational opportunity to experience a real farm or ranch, would touch anyone’s heart and do a world of good. Believe it or not, many Bay Area children believe that food comes from the grocery store shelf. A farm visit can open their hearts and minds to their interconnection with the earth and inspire them to eat a more healthy diet including local fruits and vegetables. Gleaning produce to provide food for others is a tremendous opportunity to build a healthy human community and eco system. $50 provides scholarships for five students to visit a local farm or ranch; $100 provides scholarships for 10 students; $250 underwrites one gleaning day at a farm and provides hundreds of pounds of gleaned organic produce to local schools and food banks; and $1000 underwrites a farm field trip for two entire classrooms.

Educational Opportunities for School Children, Connolly Ranch

Educating children about the importance of land stewardship and local agriculture is also the mission of Napa’s Connolly Ranch. This wonderful camp for kids would make another very worthy recipient this year.

Support a Land Trust

And, naturally, a gift to any of the three land trusts (Marin Agricultural Land Trust; Napa Land Trust; and Sonoma Land Trust) in our area that help to preserve open space, family farms and vineyards now and for the all-important future generations would be a wonderful, loving tribute to anyone on your list.


DELIVERABLES...


These gifts deliver results—after the proverbial “fat lady” of the holidays has sungeth... Give your friends and loved ones one of these tools to help them keep their New Year’s resolutions and they will thank you now, and later.

Yoga Classes, Yoga Works

Classes at longtime local favorite Yoga Works yoga studios in Mill Valley and Larkspur would also thrill the yogi or yogini in your life—from new students to dedicated practitioners. Or shop the studios’ retail areas for plush and environmentally friendly yoga mats, mat bags, books, jewelry and other mindful gifts for your favorite bendy gal or guy. They’ll bend over backwards to thank you!

Yoga Classes, Yoga Tree

Yoga Tree’s just-opened Corte Madera location is the latest in the group of seven Bay Area yoga studios owned by Yoga Tree owners Tara and Tim Dale, a duo known for recruiting extraordinary teachers and creating yoga spaces with infectious positive energy. Yoga Tree Corte Madera offers classes appropriate for all levels and ages including Hatha, Vinyasa, preand post-natal, restorative, power yoga and meditation. Give the gift of Ommm...

Clothing, Zobha

And make sure your favorite yogi is dressed the part with clothes from Zobha’s first brick-and-mortar storefront in Mill Valley. Zobha, Sanskrit for “grace, beauty and brilliance,” is definitely the word that describes everything from their workout clothes to lounge wear. 30 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.


GETAWAYS...


Winter is the perfect time to explore all the magical destinations in our very own backyard, without the crowds. Give your loved one a very special gift of long-lasting memories this year.

Epicurean Winter Healdsburg, Healdsburg

The town of Healdsburg, always a charming wine country destination, turns up the charm during the months of January, February and March with its Epicurean Winter Healdsburg special offerings. Edible events include the 21st annual Winter Wineland in January, a Wild Mushroom Weekend and Four Aces Feast (progressive dining with poker!) in February and special barrel tastings throughout March. Sonoma County restaurant week is March 18-24, a seven-day celebration of Sonoma County’s farm fresh food and outstanding wines. But don’t wait until March, head to Healdsburg early and often this winter to enjoy world-class cuisine, wines and shopping including the monthly guest chef and sommelier series dinners at Spoonbar in the H2H Hotel and jazz and wine dinners at Dry Creek Kitchen. For a complete line up of events and tickets, visit Healdsburg.com. Pack up your favorite foodie and go.

Stinson Beach

Winter is also prime time to visit the dramatic California coast. Share the sand with just your footprints and do whatever the waves tell you. If you want some company, cast your eyes to the sea and say hello to majestic gray whales passing through on their migration southward. Hop in a steamy whirlpool tub at day’s end or cozy up in front of the fire with the latest issue of Edible Marin & Wine Country. Check in with Seadrift Realty for help unearthing the perfect gem of a spot for a long weekend, a week or even a month, relaxing amongst the seagulls and unsurpassed beauty of Stinson Beach. Give your loved one the gift of waves lulling them to sleep and waking up to early morning beach combing. Not too shabby. SeaDriftRealty.com

Point Reyes, Tomales Bay

Cozy Point Reyes Seashore Lodge, an historic lodge at the entrance to the Point Reyes National Seashore, and its sister resort on Tomales Bay, both offer “Winter and Wine” and “Stocking Stuffer” specials making gift certificates or surprise getaways affordable and thoughtful gifts. The bar at the Farm House restaurant at the Point Reyes Seashore Lodge is a charming place to savor the neighborhood’s fine oysters before sitting down to a world-class meal in their restaurant. Sigh... 10021 Hwy 1, Olema.

Nick's Cove

A little further up the coast, when you happen upon Nick’s Cove, you might want to consider stopping...and staying. “Nick’s is a very special place that honors and respects the area, giving visitors a glimmer of an agrarian life that’s near but really so far from the city consciousness. It seems impossible to believe it’s still in the 415 area code.” Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle. Put a bow on a dinner, or, better yet, a night or two, at Nick’s Cove and you’re sure to be kissed under the mistletoe. 23240 California 1, Marshall.

River's End Cottages, Jenner

Continue up scenic Highway 1 enjoying the dramatic views people travel from far and wide to take in, then settle in at the River’s End cottages in Jenner. River’s End doesn’t just boast postcard-worthy views and cozy cottages, it cooks up locally-sourced gourmet meals in truly one of the most romantic settings on the planet. This place calls for a toast.

Happy gifting (and getting)! 

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