It was 7 pm, Friday, I had just completed my office. I didn’t want to put myself in the dark rooms of a nightclub with a beer in my hand and call it the best night of my life. I wanted to do something full of adventure and relaxation.
I unlocked my phone and used Google to search for such a quiet place. Thanks to the Internet, I discovered a calming place that sits along the Pacific; it is covered by hills on one side with rolling grasses and a rough sea on the other, Point Reyes.
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I was amazed to find that there are a lot of things to do in Point Reyes and no time for boredom. The pictures were mesmerizing; the bright sun, beautiful black and white cows, the meadows, ahh!! It was a beauty which I can never forget. I decided to visit this place, Point Reyes National Seashore.
Point Reyes activities are so much fun and adventurous. There are many great things to do in Point Reyes. Point Reyes National Seashore has a vast history that you can witness with your own eyes. The old buildings, ruins, architecture, culture, and everything around me were so beautiful that I could feel I was in a dreamy land.
So, this post is about the top things to do in Point Reyes. You can witness Alamere Falls, two tide falls, a lighthouse, an array of wildlife like elk, elephant seals, and many other things. You can go hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and a lot of other things.
Fun Facts about Point Reyes
- Above 20% of California, plants grow in Point Reyes.
- More than 45% of North American birds live there.
- The Point Reyes Lighthouses are open to visitors.
- There are wildlife sightings everywhere.
- The park includes the Tule Elk Preserve. Visitors may see a coyote, raccoon, white deer, fox, or river otter.
Best Time to Visit Point Reyes
The fall season between September – October after the foggy summer when the temperature is less than the 60s is the best time to visit Point Reyes. There are plenty of things to do in Point Reyes in summer like hiking, bird watching, and many more. If you are making a trip to Point Reyes with your kid then I would recommend you to visit between November to May. You can spot whales offshore.
To spot local elephant seals, the winter season is the best time for Point Reyes. April-July is the breeding and molting time for sea animals. There are a lot of things to do in Point Reyes. If you are looking for fun things to do in Point Reyes then summer is the best.
How to Get to Point Reyes?
It is a magnificent place with raw beauty and pure natural bliss. It is two hours from Sacramento and an hour north of San Francisco with 80 miles of untouched shoreline with 150 miles of trails which is perfect for a day trip or a night stay. I would recommend you to stop at Muir Woods or Mount Tamalpais along the way to reach Point Reyes.
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Best Things to do in Point Reyes, CA
Along Highway 1 on the Pacific Coast, Point Reyes National Seashore is an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Point Reyes attractions are – hiking, camping, bird watching, walking to Chimney Rock to see the blooming wildflower, visiting the Lighthouse, Cypress Tree Tunnel, Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, and a lot.
There are a lot of unique things to do in Point Reyes and believe me the space, beach, rocks, the rugged beaches are a lot larger than you might imagine. Point Reyes is a fantastic place to go if you want to see some beautiful scenery. You’ll be amazed by how much there is to do here.
There are a lot of things to do in Point Reyes this weekend. Let’s get into it –
1. Go Hiking Along the Coast
There are more than 43 great hiking trails in Point Reyes Some of them include the Coastal Trail, the West Ridge Trail, and the North Bay Trail. All these trails range from 1.3 to 18.6 miles long and offer stunning views of the coast and the bay. But be careful while hiking because in wooded areas there are patches of poison oak which are harmful.
Here are some of my favorite hiking trails:
Chimney Rock Trail is a very easy trail (1.75 miles) located at the east of Point Reyes. There are some steep parts, but the overall hike isn’t too difficult. You’ll enjoy the beautiful views of Drakes Bay as you walk along this trail and view elephant seals, birds, and wildflowers.
A 6.9-mile hike starting at the Bear Valley Visitor Center takes hikers through forests, over hills, and along ridges to get to the top of Mt. Wittenberg for spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean to the north and the San Francisco Bay to the south. It’s an easy hike, but some steep inclines require hiking boots or sturdy shoes.
Tomales Point Trail (9.4 miles) is a very popular hike among locals because of the beautiful scenery. Hikers get great views of the ocean along this trail. You can see some amazing wildlife while hiking this trail.
Alamere Falls is one of the best hiking trails in Point Reyes. It’s about 13 miles long and has an elevation gain of over 1,600 feet. You start by following the Coast Trail along the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean until you reach Bass Lake. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with some amazing views of the waterfalls and the surrounding landscape.
Read Also: 10 Cool Hiking Shorts for Men and Women
2. Chilling at Drake’s Beach
Drakes Beach is popular for its protected location, great amenities, and convenient access. Drakes Beach can be used as a jumping-off point for exploring Point Reyes Peninsula.
Drakes Beach is a great place for families because there are lots of family-friendly activities including parking spots, and you can park right next to the beach. You won’t need any hiking or driving to get there.
There are also lots of activities available like boogie boarding, surfing, fishing, kayaking, etc. So if you’re looking for a quiet spot for the whole family, this is the perfect place for you.
3. Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse
Point Reyes Lighthouses were built on the west coast in the early 1800s to guide ships into port safely. There are 308 steps down to the lighthouse. Visitors can see the lighthouse from the parking lot or by walking up the stairs. This lighthouse is only accessible by walking down the steps.
Foggy days are common in the area, but visitors can still watch whales from the top of the lighthouse. There are many things to do near Point Reyes lighthouse; you can watch the ocean, click pictures and eat snacks with your family. It is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in California to visit.
- When the wind blows too hard, the stairs are closed off.
- Take frequent breaks while climbing up the stairs!
- The lighthouse is only open Friday through Monday.
- If you are getting your child then be careful.
4. Witness the Best Cypress Tree Tunnel
Have you ever wished to visit the set of Games of Thrones? The Cypress Tree Tunnel is an iconic place with beautiful cypress trees along the side forming the arch. This place led to a historic maritime radio station. This is one of the few remaining Morse communication stations left in the world. You can stroll around the place or spend time relaxing or head out for a run with your dog. This is among the amazing dog-friendly things to do in Point Reyes. I can bet you this is one of the most gorgeous places in Point Reye.
I would recommend you to stay overnight in the area, witness the best sunrise when the sunrays dance through the trees. The whole area gets beautifully illuminated and perfect to click Instagramable pictures. So, if you are wondering what things to do in Point Reyes with kids then visiting this place is just perfect.
- There is a lot of traffic around this museum, so it can take a while for you to go through it completely.
- Parking is available in the parking lot.
5. Check Out The Amazing Shipwreck
From Cypress Tree Tunnel you can visit the shipwreck; along the Tomales Bay the village of Inverness lies this beautiful trail. From here you can see the S.S Point Reyes Shipwreck. Witnessing Shipwreck along the way with your partner in the evening is one of the most romantic things to do in Point Reyes.
The Point Reyes Shipwreck is a famous site for photographers. It is located near the town of Inverness. It is known as the “Shipwreck Coast” because there were many ships lost here during storms.
The fishing boat, named Point-Reyes, was not shipwrecked. It was brought to the beach by a local, who wanted to restore it, but he never got started on the job. A storm caused the vessel to wash ashore, and it has remained there for close to twenty years.
Despite the fire that destroyed the stern of the boat in 2016, you can still take great pictures of the boat lying on its side on the bay. Park in the store parking lot and walk to the boat.
6. Point Reyes Activities: Go Kayaking
Looking for some adventure in Point Reyes? You can book a kayaking tour with Blue Waters Kayaking! They even offer night-time bioluminescence kayak tours, which seems like it would be amazing. Make sure you book in advance.
Kayak tours in Point Reyes offer an opportunity to see the beautiful scenery of California’s coast. You can enjoy nature and marine and birds life while kayaking in Point Reyes. There are many amazing kayaking tours offered in point Reyes.
You can spend a great afternoon with your family and friends in Point Reyes on a kayaking tour. You can watch birds and marine life while kayaking. It is one of the best things to do in Point Reyes with family.
- Kayaks should be used in calm waters during the morning hours.
- Some parts of the bay are protected by law to protect birds or wildlife. Make sure you don’t harm them in any way.
7. Point Reyes Activities: Horseback Riding
One of the most exciting things that you can do at point Reyes is horseback riding. Horseback riding is an excellent way to see a large portion of the park. More than 120 miles of hiking and biking trails are available.
Five Brooks Ranch offers guided horseback rides all around the park. All trips are tailored to accommodate the least experienced rider in each group. Safety is the number one priority.
No matter what your experience level, you’ll be treated fairly and safely while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Point Reyes.
8. Visit Point Reyes Station
Point Reyes Station is a small town near Tomales Bay. Visitors enjoy walking around the town and eating at some of the local restaurants. Exploring this small little town is the best thing to do in Point Reyes with family.
There are outfitters at Point Reyes Station, where you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and boats for the day. Before driving out along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, you can fill up your gas tank, buy snacks, and stock up on water and drinking water. Check out our ultimate guide to buy the best filtered water bottles for traveling.
The town has just a few streets, so you can take a stroll through the streets, admire the street art and old buildings, and view the gardens when they are in season.
Be sure to stop by Palace Market when visiting Point Reyes Station! Their ice cream is made with water buffalo milk, and it tastes delicious. They also sell soup, sandwiches, and other specialties.
9. Watch Cheese-Making Process
Marin County is famous for dairy products, and Cowgirl Creameries is one of the most famous local cheese producers. Their cheese is sold at many retail outlets throughout California, but they also have a barn shop and restaurant in Point Reyes Station. You should check them out if you love cheese!
Cowgirl Creamery is located in the Tomales Bay Foods building, the former location of the original creamery. You can buy a variety of their cheeses here; you can also see them making their famous Red Hawk cheese.
If you are a cheese lover, check out another article on the 10 best Swiss cheese that will blow your mind.
10. Witness The Beautiful Alamere Falls
Alamere Falls is an example of a tidefall. A tidefall occurs when a waterfall empties into the ocean during low tide. This causes the level of the ocean to rise, causing the waterfall to fill up again. We will list the romantic things to do in Point Reyes.
Alamere Falls is located near the Phillip Burton Wilderness. Hiking to Alamere Falls takes about 13 miles or more. Alamere Falls is an impressive waterfall that looks even more amazing at low tide or during storms.
When the waves kiss the bottom, the waterfalls fall right into the ocean. Hiking Alamere Falls is a great activity to enjoy while traveling around Point Reyes.
- You should be ready for a long journey because it takes more than 4 hours to reach the falls.
- You must bring a backpack so you can carry your stuff along with you.
Where to Eat in Point Reyes?
- Cowgirl Creamery makes high-quality cheese as well as other dairy products. Their products are sold throughout North America.
- Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Oyster bar is a restaurant that specializes in serving seafood. It was opened by chef Nick DiFalco.
- Hog Island Oyster Company is an oyster farm located on Hog Island. You can buy oysters there or reserve a table to eat them. They serve fried oysters as well as raw ones.
Where to Stay in Point Reyes?
Hi-Point Reyes Hostel offers the best accommodations for those who want to get away from technology and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Private rooms are available for couples or friends traveling together. It is a budget-friendly accommodation in Point Reyes that offers dorms for large groups. It is a two-star hostel.
This hotel is located in Marin County, California. It offers a beautiful, gorgeous view of the garden and parking lot. From Marin Museum Of Contemporary Art, it is 3 hours away. This villa features four bedrooms. A flat-screen TV is also included. There is a kitchen as well. Towels and bed linens are provided in this accommodation.
Tips for Visiting Point Reyes
- A new application was released by Point Reyes Rangers called “NPS”. The app includes a map of trails, hiking guides, alerts, and other information. Users can download content from entire parks when they don’t have internet access.
- Beaches in Point Reyes are known as dangerous places because of large waves and strong rip currents. People should never walk along the ocean’s edge without watching out for sneaker waves.
- Point Reyes has many beautiful views of nature. You should never get too close to wild animals, or you could be injured by them. When driving up to see the wildlife, always park your car far away from the road and leave the windows down to enjoy the sounds of nature.
- Social media has a significant impact on our lives. Please be responsible when using social media. Post accountable and appropriate content. Follow the Leave No Trace principles and take the Point Reyes pledge.
- Visitors should always check the current conditions and closures before going out to see Point Reyes National Seashore. Some areas may be closed due to weather or other factors.
Point Reyes National Seashore features beautiful scenery and a wide variety of activities. There are many unique things to do in Point Reyes. Visitors can hike along trails and beaches, go fishing or kayaking, play golf, swim, bike, camp, picnic, watch wildlife, take horseback rides, watch movies, and much more. There are also many cute little towns to visit, including Inverness, Marshall, Bodega Bay, and Jenner. Any Point Reyes sightseeing guide is unfulfilled without exploring.
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FAQ – Things to Do in Point Reyes
1. Is Point Reyes worth visiting?
A: Point Reyes is a beautiful place with many things to do and see. You should go there if you want to spend some time outdoors. There are many activities available inside the park as well. You can go hiking or kayaking at Point Reyes National Seascape and Tomales Bay State Park. And if you want to eat great food, check out Point Reyes Station, Boonville, and Pt Reyes.
2. What is the best time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore?
A: Most of the people visit during the spring and summer. During the winter, fewer people visit. You have more chances of hiking alone with your family.
3. Is Point Reyes safe?
A: Many of the cliffs and bluffs found within Point Reyes National seashore are fragile rocks. They are relatively unstable, so visitors should stay at least several meters away from the cliff base and the edge of cliffs.