Design inspiration can and should come from many sources. One constant source for our design team is the beauty and complexity of the natural landscapes of Northern California. From the oyster filled waters in Marin County to the sunset ridges of Half Moon Bay, there are shapes, textures, and colors on display in so many wonderful locations right outside of San Francisco.  With summer in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to head out for a weekend of natural wonders.  Here are four of our favorite places to spend a weekend and all are within 2 hours of San Francisco.  

Point Bonita Lighthouse is located in the Marin Headlands.  The lighthouse was built in 1855 and stands as a beacon to help guide ships through the choppy waters of the Golden Gate straights.  Beautiful design elements are plentiful on the half-mile trail to the lighthouse including wildflowers, pillow basalt rock formations, and the ruins of an old Coast Guard station.  The dark earth surrounded by the white swirling seaspray of the waters below creates a striking contrast of colors and textures.  

Point Bonita

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Point Bonita

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Tomales Bay, a narrow inlet in Marin County, is only 30 minutes from San Francisco but feels worlds away from the urban hustle of the city.  The sweeping landscape of the seashore is picturesque, to say the least, with craggily hillsides jetting into the white capped bay.  The waters in Tomales Bay are packed with oysters and the chilly water of the bay feeds two well known oyster farms, Hog Island Oyster Farm and Tomales Bay Oyster Company.  The quiet, expansiveness of the landscape and the lively energy of shucking and enjoying the fresh bounty of the bay delivers a dose of beauty and perspective.

Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay

marshall oyster farm at hog island co

Hog Island Oyster Farm

Point Reyes is a breathtaking cape and part of a 71,000 acre park preserve located in Marin County.  The changing landscape is full of form and transitions, from long stretches of sandy beaches to grassy hillsides and pockets of thick forest.  This is the place to spend an extended weekend exploring the thousands of plants and wildlife thriving in this coastal playground.  Bring your notebook and your camera as you encounter intricate weaves of moss and dappled patterns of foliage.  

point reyes seashore

Point Reyes

cypress treen tunnel at point reyes

Point Reyes

Half Moon Bay is about 30 miles south of San Francisco and is well known for its coastal style and its awe inspiring landscape.  World famous waves bring a surfing vibe to this city which balances nicely with the luxury resorts sprinkled throughout the area.  One famed getaway in Half Moon Bay is the Ritz Carlton which is perched on a picturesque bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  With three restaurants, a 16,000-square-foot spa, and golf course, the temptation to experience this classic California landscape in luxurious style is too great to ignore.

ritz carlton half moon bay

Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay