Wildlife in Point Reyes, California

California Day Trip: The Perfect Day at Point Reyes National Seashore

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Somehow, I lived in California for four years, wrote more than a dozen guidebooks on the state and countless magazine features, and yet explored so little of the North Bay beyond Muir Beach, where we got married. But isn’t that so often the case—you neglect what’s in your own backyard?

Stinson Beach, California

So on our recent trip back, I aimed to change that, and we planned a glorious day trip to Point Reyes National Seashore with SVV’s family.

Rainbow in Bolinas Lagoon, California

Now, the weather did not cooperate, hardly. But then again, had we been blessed with sunny skies, there would have been no rainbows.

Rainbow in Bolinas Lagoon, California

Besides, the drive up past Bolinas Lagoon is stunning no matter the weather.

Rainbow in Bolinas Lagoon, California

We were staying on the coast in Marin County, and it was about an hour drive up to Olema, where we met up with the family. But first, I had one thing I just needed to see: the Cypress Tunnel, aka every Instagrammer’s dream.

The Cypress Tunnel in Point Reyes, California

After we arrived, found we were the only ones there (see: poor lighting and weather conditions), and snapped some photos, we looped back to Olema then up along Tomales Bay where we met the family at the Marshall Store, another place I had written about with some frequency yet never visited.

Oysters at the Marshall Store in California

It’s known for its oysters and crab, but seeing as I eat neither, I consumed all the Cowgirl Creamery cheese (on ACME bread, natch) instead. I don’t regret that decision.

Wildlife in Point Reyes, California

Once our bellies were full, SVV’s parents took us to their favorite beach, Limantour, a new spot to both SVV and me, despite him growing up in the Bay Area.

Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California

Again, it was too cold to be in anything shy of two layers (in other words, a typical Northern California day), so we bundled up and sought refuge against the dunes.

Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California

Put what you want
Put what you want

This day was a blessing for many reasons, but mainly because I got to spend it with my niece Kiva. She was only one when SVV and I started dating and somehow has now turned 14 in the blink of an eye. She’s sweet, compassionate, beautiful and has the biggest heart (basically, the opposite of me as a teen!). I look forward to her being a little bit older and (hopefully) flying her out to stay with us in Tennessee.

Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California

Put what you want
Put what you want

Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California

We were there during the breeding season for the elephant seals, but we somehow missed going out to Drakes Beach. If you’re visiting between December and March, I highly recommend making this a priority—though be forewarned: they stink! You also might have to take a shuttle out there from the visitor’s center, depending on the day you’re visiting.

Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California

After Lindamar, we went into the town of Point Reyes Station, another place I’d never actually explored, and went to the Cowgirl Creamery headquarters (started by two fellow UT alums, it bears noting!) then had dinner at Station House Cafe.

Point Reyes National Seashore in California

Our day was over far too quickly, and I was sad to say good-bye to SVV’s parents, Kiva and her dad Jim.

Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California

What’s your favorite San Francisco day trip to enjoy with family?


 

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Point Reyes: A Day Trip from San Francisco
Point Reyes: A Day Trip from San Francisco
Point Reyes: A Day Trip from San Francisco
COMMENTS
  • March 28, 2018
    Traci

    Hi Kristin!

    Lived in the Bay Area for about 13 years until moving to Nashville in 2011 and we really love it here!

    Love Point Reyes and your pictures! Brought back a lot of good memories! We rented this place: https://poetsloft.com/ for a long weekend for our anniversary years ago – I actually came across the pictures the other day. I don’t miss living in CA; however I do miss the ocean!! Other favorite spots are Monterey Bay, Carmel and Muir Woods for day-trips.

    • March 28, 2018
      gracemarieatx

      Wow the Poet’s Loft is beautiful! Also a former CA-er and like you, the ocean is something I really miss and thus relish it on trips back to the Bay 🙂

      • April 1, 2018

        That’s all that Scott says he misses about leaving there, Grace. I will say, though, we hardly ever went to the beach when I lived there—it was always too cold!

    • April 1, 2018

      That place looks dreamy, Traci! Thanks for passing it along!

  • March 28, 2018

    Wow, the trees there remind me of the dark hedges in Northern Ireland!

    • April 1, 2018

      I’ve never been there but I’ve seen photos. I can definitely see the resemblance!

    • April 10, 2018

      Exactly my thought, too, Dominique 🙂 Awesome photos as always, Kristin!

  • March 31, 2018

    I love Point Reyes! It’s one of my favorite places on the coast, mostly because it’s so dramatic and big enough that you can find your own little private spot. I haven’t been to Limantour but will check it out next time. I love how you captured the birds flying in your photos.
    I also don’t eat oysters and am glad to know I’m not the only one!

    • April 1, 2018

      Exactly, Jenna! It’s also just far enough from civilization (i.e. SF or another major tourist city) to ensure it’s never *too* crazy busy.

  • April 3, 2018

    Fun! And obviously I support any visiting to a National Park unit!

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