I really wanted to visit China Camp State Park just for the small historic shrimping-fishing Chinese village still open to the public. In the 1880s, the village hit its peak population (~500 Chinese Americans — which, for such a small area, is astounding) but due to increased immigration restrictions and anti-Chinese sentiment, the population dwindled dramatically by 1920s until it eventually closed. One resident, Frank Quan, was born and raised in the village in the 1920s, and still lives there today. (In fact, he runs the diner that sits in the village now, and does the cooking himself!) The village sits on the coast of the San Pablo Bay, among popular hiking and biking trails that run throughout the park.
We’d never much explored Marin County and the north bay, so we decided to make a weekend of it. It’s beautiful, but so surprisingly different from the south bay/peninsula/San Francisco. So much less populated and congested. I was amazed to see that by 8pm, the bustling downtown areas of the major cities were effectively shut down. Even restaurants! (On the plus side, that meant that parking was always very easy to find.)
Some places visited:
Tiburon ~ Mill Valley ~ Larkspur ~ Fairfax ~ Sausalito ~ San Rafael
the Hummingbird Cafe // Fairfax, CA (very highly recommended!)
Fat Angel Bakery // Fairfax, CA
Fish. // Sausalito, CA
the Depot Cafe & Bookstore // Mill Valley
China Camp State Park // San Rafael, CA
It’s not often I say that there’s a must-see place or restaurant in a city, but I will say it here — if you’re in Sausalito, you must stop by Fish. restaurant. The prices are a bit $$$$ (don’t be fooled by Yelp’s rating of “$$”) but seriously, it’s worth it. The food was AMAZING. The seafood was so fresh and the fries, despite being unsalted and unseasoned, were somehow extremely tasty. It has its own free parking lot (huge boon, because parking can be hard to find in Sausalito). And the view! The view cannot be beat. After you finish eating, you can walk along the wharf and shoreline to admire the boats and yachts.
PS: For these pics, I had rented the Canon 6D. I was hoping for a mini, cheaper 5D mkiii (what can I say? I have lofty dreams) and while it’s not, it’s still actually pretty great. The focusing is not as good as the mkiii but definitely better than my 5D; its low-light ability is clearly superior to my 5D and on par (if not slightly better?) than the mkiii. And I’m happy with the results it produces – so I’m thinking this might be my next camera. We’ll see!