Day trip to Tomales Bay for a feast of fresh oysters. It was devine!
If you're considering a trip to Hog Island for fresh oysters, I highly recommend it. Although I have to warn you the road to get there is extremely curvy with dips and it can cause nausea. So, take Dramamine if you get motion sickness. However, the views on Highway 1 are gorgeous, so it's worth the drive out there.
I made reservations about a month in advance. I heard reservations were required months in advance, but we lucked out and was able to get a spot during Labor Day weekend. However, the traffic getting out of SF was horrible, and we arrived an hour late. When we arrived, they had given our table to another party. We tried calling them to let them know that we were late, but no one answered. Anyway, we ended up setting up at the bar, and then a group left so we settled at their table.
I planned our menu a few days prior to the picnic. I made skewers of beef & vegetables, as well as shrimp and I also brought some giant prawns to grill. I also made hogwash, which was a hit with everyone. You must bring the condiments (horseradish, hot sauce, cocktail sauce, salt, pepper) for the oysters. Note: although the site says they will give you lemon with the oysters, they didn't. I'm glad I brought some "in case" so we were covered with the lemons. Also, don't forget ice! They sell ice up there, but it's a good idea to pack ice in your cooler to keep your food cold during the trek out to the farm. And of course you should bring cheese, crackers/bread and wine.
It's also a good idea to pack a table cover, plates, napkins, water, and wine glasses, tongs, charcoal, and a lighter. We had everything we needed. (They were sold out of water when we were there, so I'm glad I brought water).
Also, make sure at least one person in the group can/is willing to shuck the oysters. I had no prior experience and neither did my bf. Luckily my brother and his girlfriend were both good shuckers. I can imagine the experience would be a sour one if no one in the group is able to shuck any of the oysters.
All in all, it was a great day trip and quite relaxing. There really is nothing better than eating fresh oysters from the source. The key is to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need.