Travel is all around us and contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to book an expensive plane ticket to a far off place to experience a new destination! Sometimes, the best low key day trips and mini adventures can be in close proximity to you! As long as some research is done, it can be fairly easy to discover an interesting location to that you’ve yet to explore! I never resist a good adventure and it just so happens to be a key component to making a weekend even that much more eventful. There’s something about venturing to a new location with your best friend that stirs up the excitement and it just so happens to be the reason I wake up early on the weekends, so I hope the idea of a new adventure can do the same for you!
One of the most stunning day trips in the Bay Area is easily Point Reyes. A place where the air is more pure, the grass more green and the great abundance of wildflowers grow along the redwood tree lined path which take you into another place which make you forget all about urban living in the North Bay region of California. Marin County in particular is home to many treasured places, sweet memories and locations still yet to be discovered. Here, I’m sharing my top places to explore, eat and play along Point Reyes National Seashore.
Point Reyes Station
This is by far my favorite place to stop beforE going deep into Point Reyes. If you’re a fan of Cowgirl Creamy (who isn’t?!) you must eat lunch here! You can’t go wrong with the selection of made to order sandwiches + salads, cheese galore and prosecco offered inside the Tomales Bay Foods barn. Grab a sunny seat on the lawn or under the hanging trees at the tables on the side of the building and enjoy!
Point Reyes Shipwreck | Inverness
As you head into Point Reyes, avoid turning left towards the lighthouse and drive through the little town of Inverness to take a look at the famous Point Reyes Shipwreck. Although the ship underwent damage recently (read more about that here) it’s still very much standing tall and proud.
Along the 150 miles that is Point Reyes National Seashore, every scene is something out of a fairy tale. Rolling green hills mimic those you see in the Happy Cows commercials selling the sun filled, blissful California lifestyle. The particularity blue skies reflect on the miles and miles of seashore, while the seemingly untouched beaches remain empty and pristine. There’s something about the way the different aspects of the wilderness come together here. On any given day, this area may be overcast and foggy, which is not to be mistaken for “bad weather.” Though the sunshine makes the turquoise sea sparkle, misty days spent here are magical. Driving through the endless hills up to Tomales Point where the fog fills the hillside crevices provides just as memorable of an experience as the sunny days.
Cypress Tree Tunnel | Point Reyes
You may have seen this location on Instagram and it really is a must stop to see how the trees form this famous tunnel and snap some great photos! When we visited, people were everywhere so you may need to wait for the crowds to disperse to get a really cool image. If you’re heading towards the lighthouse, the tree tunnel is on the way which makes it an easy stop. There is very little/no cell service out there, so be sure to look up directions prior here if you want. If not, look out for the all the cypress trees that come out of nowhere on the right and you’ll easily spot it!
Point Reyes Lighthouse | Point Reyes
It wasn’t until this time around that we visited the Point Reyes Lighthouse and I must say, the drive going there is amazing! You’ll pass many farms and old bars which is half the charm of the landscape here.
Once you reach the Lighthouse, expect a full parking lot but don’t expect to be upset about it! The miles of coastline will make you instantly happy and chances are someone will be heading out just in time for you to park. From the lot, the walk to the base of the lighthouse steps is about a half a mile, so try your best to be in comfortable shoes! Once you are there, the 300 steps down will take you into the lighthouse. Don’t let the steep trek down intimidate you- it’s worth it!
Limantour Beach – This spot has easy access to the stunning beaches of Point Reyes. The natural elements along the bluffs adds an amazing landscape (and probably one of the nicest places to picnic, too!) The coastline and untouched sand appears to go on forever.
Woodpecker Trail- A short but awesome walk through green ferns and deep into the tress at the base of Bear Valley Trail. When we explored the area, we were the only ones on the trail and it’s close proximity to the visitor center makes it super convenient if you’re heading that direction anyways.
Kayaking- Though I haven’t gotten to do this yet in Point. Reyes, it appears wonderful! You can spend the day on the water by renting a kayak from Blue Water Kayaking.
Hiking- There are so many trials to choose from. Some hikes take only an hour, and some could take the whole day! To learn more about the trails, I’ve included a guide from the National Park Service here.
Golf- If golf is your think, then you may want to visit the peaceful and pristine San Geronimo Golf Course just 20 minutes away.
Old Western Saloon- No trip to Pt. Reyes is complete without stopping in for a drink of choice at the historic watering hole. The Saloon is located in Point Reyes Station, making it an excellent last stop on the way out of town.
You could easily spend an entire weekend roaming trails, tidepooling, and enjoying different kinds of landscapes that Point Reyes offers! There are so many places you should see while you’re exploring the area, but mostly about it’s the journey, not the destination!
As you may have noticed, there are two different ways to do Point Reyes. One way is explore shorter hikes/beach walks, stopping in at restaurants and shops and exploring the scenic points that don’t require too much athletic wear. The other way is to completely hike the area on the countless trails which range in mileage and degree of difficulty. Depending on what activities you plan, just know that you can get away with both casual wear or full on athletic wear! On this trip, I wore sandals and brought my running shoes, which made it easy to switch shoes in the car on the way to the lighthouse! It’s always a good idea to bring layers since the climate can change from location to location here. I’m listing some great picks below on everything you’ll need for a perfect day or weekend trip in Point Reyes!
WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR TRIP TO POINT REYES
Do you have any questions about traveling to Point Reyes? Are you going anywhere exciting you’ve never been this summer? What are you favorite places to stop at in the area? Let’s be sure to connect on Snapchat and Instagram to share moments of adventures and trips together!