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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gaman-Bean

NorCal Ventures, Part4: Point Reyes National Seashore

"To cross this valley to the peninsula (Point Reyes) is to leave modern California and enter an island of wilderness, forgotten by progress, a quiet land misplaced in a noisy world." ~ Stephen Trimble

I've been to Point Reyes many times beginning from a very young age because it's where my Aunt and Uncle live (actually Inverness, but it's very close). And it's one of those places that just never gets old, no matter how many times I've been. This past year we were lucky enough to be able to make 2 visits! We went once in during last winter and once this fall. The weather was drastically different during the 2 different visits, but we had a fantastic time during both visits:

Visit #1 December 2022:

This visit was pretty spontaneous so we hadn't planned much except to see the ocean.

Admittedly, we picked a pretty awful weekend to visit because it was so stromy and increadibly windy. But it was a risk we were willing to take!

We first headed to take our usual picture with the signage.

Then we headed to Limantour Beach for a walk along the cold and rainy beach. Still beautiful!

We then headed to dinner in Point Reyes Station at Cafe Reyes for some yummy pizza.

Then on to our hotel the Hampton Inn in Petaluma. This is a great budget-friendly place that is just a little drive away. We loved the hallways.

The next morning we started with another signage pic.

And then the Cypress Tree Tunnel.

Up next was Point Reyes Lighthouse. Now this is where things got interesting because it was so stormy, windy and cloudy. We couldn't see a thing!

The ocean is down there somewhere, but the fog was so thick it felt as if we were at the end of the world.

Walking to the lighthouse was so creepy because it was so foggy.

At the lighthouse, it was sooooo windy and foggy. You couldn't see the lighthouse.

And we thought the kids were going to blow away! They were literally hanging onto the fencing!

We did get to see this interesting whale skull.

The kids made friends with an adorable groudhog.

On our way on to our next stop we saw some elk.

We headed down Sir Francis Drake Blvd to the SS Point Reyes Shipwrek.

Lastly, we stopped for lunch at Marin French Chees Co before hitting the road home.

Visit #2 October 2023:

This visit we spent some time preplanning and were planning to spend some time with my Aunt and Uncle who live in Inverness. We were even lucky enough to be able to stay in their guesthouse.

This time we also decided to bring along our puppy. So we were on the hunt for dog-friendly activities.

Fall is actually a great time to visit this area. It can be a little variable, but generally speaking the weather is pretty decent. But plan for wearing layers.

We arrived early on a Saturday morning and met at my Aunt and Uncle's house.

First, we headed to the fall festival at West Marin Elementary School. It was a fun event with good food and crafts.

Next, we headed to Kehoe Beach Trail and Kehoe Beach, a dog friendly beach. It was a perfect hike and the kids and the puppy absolutely loved running on the beach and playing in the water.

We were here for a while before heading to our next stop, to see the elk.

On our way back to the house we stopped to admire a Great Horned Owl.

We slept in the next day and Aidan helped make a great huckleberry pancake breakfast.

Then on to Limantour Beach, which is another dog-friendly beach. Again, the kids and puppy had a great time! Super big waves that day, too!

Then we headed to a pumpkin patch in Nicasio where we enjoyed a yummy lunch and pumpkin patch activities.

Afterwards it was time to head home.

Looking forward to our next Point Reyes adventure!



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