Known as ‘the heart of artisan cheese-making country’, it’s been called the Normandy of Northern California. Artisan cheesemaking is experiencing a resurgence, and the Marin and Sonoma counties are home to the largest concentration of artisan cheesemakers in California.


22,000 acres of land are dedicated to making cheese and fermented milk products in the region. The free Sonoma Marin County Cheese Trail map guides you through the dozens of cheesemakers in the region.

Local cheesemakers say the salt air, cooling fog and abundant grasslands make their cheeses unlike any other.

In Point Reyes, we stopped in at foodie tourism destination Cowgirl Creamery (also known as Tomales Bay Foods) to pick up some local cheese and have lunch.


The grilled cheese seemed the best way to get the full cheese experience, and it was quite possibly the best grilled cheese I have ever eaten. With honey maple mustard and caramelised onions, on a soft, local sourdough: simple foods are so often the best.

We had a side of hot-smoked trout potato salad, and I picked up an amazing maple-smoked chevre to take home.