Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, February 29, 2016 by MCVB Staff
New Year, New You in Marin County
By Megan Eileen McDonough
Amping up for a fit and fabulous 2016? While sticking to a new workout routine can be tough, a trip to Marin County will make fitness fun again (or maybe for the first time ever). Not only are there countless hiking trails, but you can pair your love for the ocean with a challenging water sport like standup paddleboarding or surfing. Best of all, the majority of Marin County’s restaurants source organic ingredients from local farmers for a menu filled with entrees packed with protein and flavor.
1. Find your balance with a Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Yoga class.
If starting a fitness or meditation regimen is among your New Year's resolutions, SUP Yoga is the answer to both. Katie at 101 Surf Sports teaches a very special SUP Yoga class for all levels. It's a little easier than it looks but you'll still have to work on your balance to achieve each pose. Yoga has many health benefits, including improved flexibility and a full-body workout, so you'll leave class feeling refreshed and accomplished. Plus, the waters off San Rafael Creek are mild. Classes are held every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Pro tip: Not quite ready for SUP Yoga? Try a regular SUP class instead.
2. Get your hands dirty (for fresh oysters!).
If you’re already a savvy cook, you’ll know that preparing your own food can be pretty therapeutic. Take your pick of West Marin Food and Farm Tours’ offerings, including the weekly Oyster Lover's Tour held each Friday. Participants start the day off with a tour of and shucking lesson from the Tomales Bay Oyster Company, and then visit the Marshall Store, where one can sample BBQ and smoked oysters. Then it's off to Hog Island Oyster Company for a special pairing of bivalves with a local cheese platter.
Pro tip: Allergic to seafood? Try West Marin Food and Farm Tours’ Flavors of West Marin Tour instead.
3. Practice gratitude in a serene space.
Marin has no shortage of serene spaces, and the Marin Art & Garden Center (MAGC) tops the list. The center, which spans 11 acres in Ross Valley, is free to the public and open from dawn to dusk. With a mission to inspire and educate the local community, it's easy to feel right at home at the MAGC, even if it's your first visit. The center’s Memory Garden is described as "a place of quiet beauty and remembering," while the Herb and Native Medicinal Garden will teach you a thing or two about natural health remedies.
Pro tip: Spring by the Plant Nursery to see the garden’s latest additions.
4. Learn the art of farm-to-feast fare.
Eating healthy is a common New Year’s resolution, but many people end up returning to bad habits. Not this year! A meal at Farmshop, a restaurant that honors local farmers and artisans through food, will help you understand the basics of eating right. It specializes in farm-to-feast fare, which means the menu is constantly changing to feature in-season ingredients. If you’re eager to improve your cooking skills, Farmshop's inventive recipes and artful presentations will inspire you to get more creative in your own kitchen.
Pro tip: Can't splurge on a decadent dinner? Stop by for a wine and cheese pairing.
5. Climb to new heights.
When in Marin County, you must take a hike! There are plenty of trails to choose from, including a guided hike on Mount Tamalpais with Tam Hiking Tours. Mount Tam is located 15 minutes north of San Francisco, making it an easy city break. On any given tour, you will learn about the area's Native American history and Bay Area geology. The trail weaves through redwood forests and along the coast, so there are plenty of photo ops along the way. When you reach the top, take in the panoramic view.
Pro tip: Eat right with an organic box lunch, available upon request.