These Are the Most Beautiful Places to Shuck and Eat Oysters in the West
Travel to these stunning seaside locales to enjoy your fill of the world’s most beloved bivalve.
Crisp salty air. Cool tides. Briny oysters. There’s perhaps no better pairing on the planet, and the closer you can get to the source, the better. Thankfully, the West is one of the best sources of bivalves out there, with a handful of spots you can enjoy oysters right at the source. Here are some of our favorites for your late-summer adventures.
Carlsbad Aquafarm in Carlsbad, California
Carlsbad Aquafarm traces its roots back to the building of the Cabrillo Power Station in the early 1950s, when an aquaculture research facility was established to help improve and sustain the ecological health of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, supporting its diversity of marine life, shorebirds, and wildlife. Now, the farm grows both oysters and seaweed, and offers tours and tastings for guests. Bonus: Kids under 10 tour for free, opening up the fun to the whole family.
Jolly Oyster in Ventura, California
The Jolly Oyster’s Ventura shuck shack is located on the sand, where you can pull up to one of their picnic tables to eat fresh oysters, or buy a dozen (or two) to grill on their house barbecues. There are also beers and wine available for purchase.
Hog Island Oyster Company in Marshall, California (on Tomales Bay)
Get a master class in shucking at this iconic San Francisco Bay Area oyster farm. Book in for their most comprehensive experience ($150 per person), and throughout the day, you’ll learn how oysters are grown and farmed, delve deep into the intricacies of the marine environment, and gain a greater understanding of sustainable aquaculture techniques. Then, once the learning is done, head to The Boat Oyster Bar where you’ll do a chef’s tasting for a firsthand experience of what that all equates to as an eater.
Taylor Shellfish in Bow, Washington
At Taylor’s Samish Oyster Bar and Shellfish Market, you can feast waterfront on oysters, mussels, clams, and more all with a postcard-worthy view of the lighthouse. The family-owned farm has been growing oysters in the Puget Sound since 1890, and it’s a true taste of Western heritage.
Tomales Bay Oyster Company in Marshall, California
Farmed in the pristine waters of Tomales Bay’s coastal estuary, Tomales Bay oysters are known for being some of the best on offer. Established in 1909, this is California’s oldest continuously-run shellfish farm, but oyster farming in the region stretches back to the Indigenous land stewards known as the Coastal Miwok, who are earliest inhabitants of what is now the Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay. Preston Point and Tomasini Point Pacific oysters are delicious raw, barbecued, or roasted, and taste even better when eaten on-site.
Goose Point Oysters in Bay Center, Washington
It all began for Goose Point in 1975 with “a pickup, a ten acres of tideland, and a big dream.” Now, the second generation oyster farm is a spot. You can visit the oystery year round, but hours vary depending on the season, so be sure to check on their website for details.
Chelsea Farms in Olympia, Washington
Though they don’t currently offer public farm tours, this is a must-stop for shellfish fans. Chelsea Gem, Bonita, and Olympia Oysters are on offer alongside fresh clams and geoduck at their restaurant. Be sure to swing by for their shucker’s choice happy hour, where you can find single oysters for as cheap as $2.50 a piece.
Hama Hama Oyster Company in Lilliwaup, Washington
Hama Hama Oyster Company is a sixth generation family-run shellfish farm on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula on one of the shortest, coldest, and least developed rivers in Washington State. All that clean water results in a clean, crisp flavor of oyster that reflects the local teroir. At their farm house, they also sell house-smoked oysters and salmon, live and cooked seasonal crab, fresh salmon, and locally produced ice cream, cheeses, grass-fed beef, chocolate, and other treats.