Point Reyes Can Be the Most Amazing Place You've Ever Been To

If the time of day is right, the skies are clear, the wind picks up just enough to clear away the thick fog, and the temperature isn't ​​too​ bitter cold, take the hour long drive from San Francisco north up Highway 1 to Point Reyes National Seashore.

I love to do my fair share of long, rigorous hikes, 

but some of my best adventures have been driving with friends or family, stopping in various places, and walking at most a mile from the car. Point Reyes is one of those family friendly, relaxing places. Go at the right time and it can be the most amazing place you've ever been to.

Our trip started by heading along Highway 1 until the small town of Point Reyes Station. Stop by Cafe Reyes for some amazing thin crust pizza; and I'm from the northeast. I've had true New York style thin crust pizza. Cafe Reyes comes pretty damn close. 

After you've had your wood fired pizza, 

take a turn onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd., named after the English maritime captain that landed on Point Reyes in 1579 and claimed California for England. When you pass through the tiny collection of buildings in a town called Inverness, look out for a very photogenic ship wreck (not Sir Francis Drake's) on the right side of the road. It's a great place to stop and take some pictures. Then, continue on the road and take a left to follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd. into the national seashore. Start enjoying the breathtaking views to the right and left of the road once your five or so miles deep into the park. One of the things that I got a kick out of were all of the thin dirt trails packed down from the cows on the point. You'll see what I mean.

I visited the park midsummer in the afternoon. The wind and fog made it pretty cold even then, so bring layers. We stayed during the sunset and watched the sun turn the fog and sea mist yellow. I snapped some pictures but really, you have to see it for yourself. The wildlife is plentiful and is used to the presence of people. You can see above that I was able to snap a picture of 5-6 deer without a telephoto lens with the beaches of the national seashore below. 

Stay the night in Inverness, 

gas up in Point Reyes Station, and keep heading up the coast through Napa Valley and head inland past Sacramento to Lake Tahoe. That's what we did, and I need to head back to explore more. Northern California is one of those places that is impossible to take in after only one visit. It makes you want to come back for more. And Point Reyes is a must for any explorers. It's easy, and all you need is some gas money and the will to get out there. 

Published: March 13, 2017

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Sam Loomis


I like to do way too many different things. Here are some stories of mine.