California’s incredible coastline extends around 840 miles, and even section of it offers something unique and beautiful. One coastal area that’s definitely worth a visit is Point Reyes National Seashore, which is located in Marin County in Northern California. Here you’ll find everything from rocky shorelines to forests, grasslands, and many species of plants and animals.

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Point Reyes
Point Reyes

You can start your exploration of this natural area by stopping into one of the three visitor centers. The main facility is the Bear Valley Visitor Center, which is where you can join a ranger-led program on weekends, obtain a backcountry camping permit, and learn more about the park. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is located at Drakes Beach and has exhibits about marine exploration in the 16th century. It’s also fun to stop by the Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center, which is a popular whale watching spot as well.

Point Reyes Lighthouse at the Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Point Reyes Lighthouse at the Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Some highlights of this seashore area are the Historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station, Cypress Tree Tunnel, the Point Reyes Lighthouse, Chimney Rock, and the Tomales Point Elk Reserve. You can reach these areas from the roads that lead to trailheads and beaches nearby. For a more remote and rugged experience, you can check out the Phillip Burton Wilderness Area, which is made up of 33,373 acres of sand dunes, shorelines, grasslands, forests, and other diverse landscapes.

Stunning Cypress Tree Tunnel at Point Reyes National Seashore
Stunning Cypress Tree Tunnel at Point Reyes National Seashore

Birdwatching is one of the most popular activities in the park, especially in the spring and fall when birds are migrating through the area. The trails here are also great for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Just remember that the seashore is large, so it’s very possible that you won’t be able to see and do everything you want to in just one day.

Shipwreck near Point Reyes National Seashore
Shipwreck near Point Reyes National Seashore

Fortunately, you can camp at Point Reyes National Seashore and make a multi-day journey out of this amazing place. There are no developed campgrounds or RV hookup sites here, but there are hike-in and boat-in camping areas in the backcountry. For example, Coast Camp is near the beach and tidepools, Glen camp is in a wooded valley, Sky Camp is on the west side of Mt. Wittenberg, and Wildcat Camp is on a meadow that overlooks the ocean. Boat-in camping is also available at Tomales Bay. Alternatively, there are more developed and accessible camping options provided by Golden Gate National Recreation Area and California State Parks nearby, as well as lodging further out in Marin County.

Pelican at McClures Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore
Pelican at McClures Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore

Unlike many national recreation areas and parks, there is no entrance fee required to visit Point Reyes National Seashore. So, come see this beautiful shoreline and all it has to offer for yourself!

Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters Information:
Address: 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Phone Number: 415-464-5100
Official Website

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