Point Reyes National Seashore Travel Guide

Explore the natural beauty and cultural attractions of Point Reyes National Seashore with this comprehensive tour guide. Discover the best places to visit, top hiking and biking routes, where to stay, what to eat, and more!

Introduction to Point Reyes National Seashore

Nestled in Marin County, North Bay, Bay Area, California, United States of America, the Point Reyes National Seashore is a natural paradise that attracts visitors from all over the world. Spread across a sprawling 71,000-acre area, it offers an array of experiences that cater to different interests.

From hiking and biking to camping and kayaking, Point Reyes has something for everyone. The park is also home to numerous native flora and fauna species that are rare to find elsewhere.

In this comprehensive tour guide, we’ll take you through all the must-see attractions within the park and give you a glimpse of what makes Point Reyes National Seashore such a unique destination.

List of Places to Visit in Point Reyes National Seashore

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

1. Point Reyes Lighthouse

Located at the westernmost point of the park, Point Reyes Lighthouse is a historic landmark that dates back to 1870. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top for a panoramic view of the surrounding coastline. The lighthouse is typically open to visitors during the day from late December through late October.

2. Bear Valley Visitor Center

The Bear Valley Visitor Center is the ultimate starting point for any trip to Point Reyes National Seashore. Here visitors can learn about the park’s natural and cultural history, get trail maps and information, and engage with knowledgeable rangers.

Natural Attractions of Point Reyes National Seashore: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

1. Alamere Falls

The Alamere Falls is an iconic two-tiered waterfall that cascades into the ocean below. A 1.5 mile hike from the Palomarin Trailhead is required to reach the falls, so be prepared.

2. Tomales Point

Tomales Point is an 8.3-mile round trip hike along the northern point of the park. Known for its stunning wildflowers and Tule Elk, the hike is a must-do for nature lovers.

3. Chimney Rock

At Chimney Rock, visitors can take in stunning scenes of the Pacific Ocean and spot elephant seals and whales in the distance.

4. Limantour Beach

Limantour Beach is known for its gentle waves, making it the perfect spot for swimming and surfing. Visitors can also take a leisurely stroll along the beach or enjoy a picnic with family and friends.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore has over 150 miles of trails for hikers and bikers to explore. These routes range from easy to challenging and offer scenic views throughout the park.

1. Tomales Point Trail

One of the most popular hiking trails in the park, the Tomales Point Trail is an 8.3-mile round trip hike that offers stunning views of Tomales Bay and the coastline. The trail is known for its abundance of Tule elk sightings.

2. Bear Valley Trail

The Bear Valley Trail is a 9.5-mile round trip hike that begins and ends at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Along the way, hikers can see streams, waterfalls, and wildflowers.

3. Estero Trail

The Estero Trail is a 6.8-mile round trip hike that is perfect for bird watching. This trail offers views of the estuary, which is home to migratory birds, wading birds, and shorebirds.

Best Things to Do in Point Reyes National Seashore: Activities and Tours

1. Kayaking

Kayaking is a popular way to explore the park’s several waterways. Visitors can rent kayaks from local vendors and admire the various marine creatures living in the park’s ecosystem.

2. Camping

Point Reyes National Seashore offers several campsites that cater to different kinds of campers. Visitors can choose between hike-in, car camping, or boat-in camping sites for a unique wilderness experience.

3. Safari West Tour

The Safari West Tour is a wildlife safari park that is located a short drive from Point Reyes National Seashore. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park and spot animals like giraffes, rhinoceroses, and cheetahs.

Week-Long Itinerary for Point Reyes National Seashore

Day 1: Explore the Bear Valley Trail and Stop by the Bear Valley Visitor Center

Day 2: Hike the Tomales Point Trail and search for Tule Elk

Day 3: Kayak around Tomales Bay

Day 4: Visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse and Walk the Chimney Rock Trail

Day 5: Relax at Limantour Beach

Day 6: Go bird watching on the Estero Trail

Day 7: Rent bikes and explore the park’s several roadways and trails

Food and Drink Scene of Point Reyes National Seashore

Must-Try Dishes

Point Reyes National Seashore is home to several dairy farms, which means visitors can enjoy fresh cheese, butter, and milk. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company offers a variety of award-winning cheeses that visitors should not miss.

Local Beverages

The park’s proximity to California’s wine country means there are several vineyards and wineries in the vicinity. Visitors can take a leisurely drive to one of these wineries and taste some of the finest wines the state has to offer.

Where to Stay in Point Reyes National Seashore: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Point Reyes National Seashore has several accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Visitors can choose from lodges, cabins, B&Bs, and campgrounds depending on their interests.

What to Buy in Point Reyes National Seashore: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

1. Cheese

As mentioned earlier, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company is a must-visit for cheese lovers. Stock up on their award-winning cheese to bring home and share with family and friends.

2. Artisan Crafts

Several local artisans sell their products along Point Reyes’s main roadways. Visitors could take home unique souvenirs like pottery, fabrics, and paintings.

Local Culture and Customs of Point Reyes National Seashore

The indigenous Coast Miwok, who occupied the region before European colonization, left their mark in the area before their displacement. Visitors can learn about the tribe’s history and cultural contributions at the Marin Museum of the American Indian, located just outside the park.

Best Time to Visit Point Reyes National Seashore

The best time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore is between April and November, when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities. Be prepared for cool temperatures and fog in the mornings and evenings, however.

Do’s and Don’ts of Point Reyes National Seashore


  • Carry enough water
  • Stay on designated trails
  • Take all trash with you


  • Approach wildlife
  • Leave food unattended
  • Disturb the natural environment

Safety and Health

Safety in Point Reyes National Seashore

Visitors should be aware of the dangers of the park’s rugged terrain and carry ample supplies for their activities. It’s also essential to check weather and tide schedules before engaging in outdoor activities.

Health in Point Reyes National Seashore

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a rare but potentially fatal illness that is associated with mouse droppings. Visitors are encouraged to take proper precautions and avoid areas with extensive mouse infestations.

Getting to Point Reyes National Seashore: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Point Reyes National Seashore

San Francisco International Airport is the closest major airport to Point Reyes National Seashore. From here, visitors can rent a car or take a shuttle to the park.

Bus Stations Near Point Reyes National Seashore

Golden Gate Transit operates bus services to some of the major trailheads within the park. Visitors should check the bus schedules in advance to plan accordingly.

Other Options

Visitors can also hire private shuttles or taxis to explore the park. There are also several biking companies that offer tour packages to different parts of the park.

How to Get Around Point Reyes National Seashore

The best way to explore the park is on foot or bike. Visitors can also rent a car or bring their vehicle from home to explore the park’s scenic roadways and trailheads.

Where to Go Next from Point Reyes National Seashore: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Visitors can explore several destinations near Point Reyes National Seashore, such as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area or the quaint town of Point Reyes Station.


Point Reyes National Seashore is a nature lover’s paradise. From its majestic lighthouse to its stunning wildlife, this park is truly an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit today and discover why Point Reyes is a must-see destination.