MAGIC ON THE BAY: We bipedal landlubbers do love the ocean so -- yes, it is a generalization and an assumption, but we'll go with it -- and we understand that part of loving the ocean is surprise. A whale-watching trip may yield the sight of a breaching humpback or it may yield just a nice day out on the water. Likewise, other ocean-based phenomena, like red tides and phosphorescent nights, cannot always be accurately predicted (though grunion coming ashore are pretty predictable). It's part of embracing the mysteries of nature, right? Right. But the knowledge that a certain month is the best time to witness something rather magical -- say, bioluminescence on Tomales Bay -- is intriguing indeed. Tomales-close Nick's Cove & Cottages offers a package that gives guests a peek at this wonder, a wonder that is often seen around September.
THE EVENING KAYAK ADVENTURE: It isn't often that one takes kayaks out after sundown, but bioluminesence best shines by night. The Evening Kayak Adventure package is a three-hour, naturalist-helmed trip a deux out onto Tomales Bay by, yep, kayak. Blue Waters Kayaking is the outfit behind it, and, fingers and/or oars crossed, you'll see some phosphorescent awesomeness. But, even if not, you'll still have an overnight stay at Nick's, plus BBQ oysters awaiting you when you return from kayaking. Plus a few other extras, like continental breakfast in your cottage. The easy part? Booking the package. The magical part? That's up to the "very rare bioluminescent dinoflagellates, that, depending on the time of year and phase of the moon, make the water glow..." C'mon, bio-luminescent dinoflagellates. Make your magic.