Point Reyes Beaches

The Point Reyes National Seashore, which is part of the Point Reyes Peninsula, boasts some of the most scenic beaches not only in northern California, but in the entire United States. Protected and administered by the U.S. National Park Service, this seashore, which is found just 30 miles northwest of San Francisco, is understandably a popular destination for nature-lovers. Not only can you find a range of accommodations close by, but you can also entertain the idea of doing some camping here. There is an array of dazzling Point Reyes beaches to enjoy on the Point Reyes Peninsula, and in addition to the campsites, visitors can take advantage of breathtaking hiking trails, seasonal whale watching, surfing, and more. Some 2.5 million people visit the Point Reyes National Seashore every year, and if you are lucky enough to be one of them, you are sure to fall in love with the area.

The main beach in Point Reyes is the Great Beach, which is also commonly referred to as Point Reyes Beach. It stretches for ten miles and is undeveloped, which helps to make it an attractive place to hang out. As is true of all the Point Reyes beaches, be sure to keep on the lookout for “sneaker waves” when relaxing near the water at Great Beach. Turn your back on the oft-rough Pacific Ocean here, and one of these large and sudden waves could drag you out to sea in a heartbeat. There are two drive-up parking lots at Great Beach, and there are areas where dogs are allowed provided that they are on leashes. Just to the north of Great Beach is Kehoe Beach, which is another one of the undeveloped Point Reyes Beaches where you can easily exhaust your camera. Visitors to Kehoe Beach can play in the small stream that runs to the ocean, or opt to explore the dunes, both of which are fun for all ages. On the northern side of Kehoe Beach are sandstone and granite cliffs that only help to make this sandy stretch a truly alluring destination.

As mentioned, hiking is one of the possible things to do when visiting the Point Reyes California, and the most popular trail with hikers is the Bear Valley Trail. You can start the trail on the southern side of the peninsula at the Point Reyes National Seashore visitor’s center, and after hiking through a canyon and alongside a stream, you can take it down towards the coast. Once you hit Arch Rock, the ocean views will surely cause you to pause in amazement. In addition to hiking on the Point Reyes National Seashore trails, visitors can enjoy beach walks. Should you only have the energy or the time for one beach walk in Point Reyes California, then Limantour Beach is worth moving to the top of your list. From it, you can view Drakes Beach across the eponymous Drakes Bay, and while enjoying your walk, you are likely to also spot harbor seals, which are known to be quite prevalent just off the coast here.

For those who want to do some camping when visiting the Point Reyes National Seashore, there are five different campgrounds to choose from in the vicinity. Group and single-person campsites are available at the Point Reyes California campgrounds, and each campground offers both a water faucet where you can usually get potable water, and a simple vault toilet facility. Camping and hiking are without question among the more popular outdoor activities at the Point Reyes National Seashore, as are kayaking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. In January and March, the migrating gray whales attract wildlife viewers, and the best vantage point for seeing the whales is arguably the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Together with the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station, this lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the unique flora and fauna in Point Reyes California, and in addition to exploring the Point Reyes National Seashore, visitors who enjoy the outdoors can also see what the nearby parts of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area have to offer. To get to the Point Reyes Peninsula from San Francisco, you can simply cross the Golden Gate Bridge by car and hop on Highway 1 once in Marin County. On the way, you might stop to check out Stinson Beach, which is found just south of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Stinson Beach, just like the Point Reyes beaches, is a popular recreational destination for Bay Area residents and tourists, and it is an ideal place to find accommodations.

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