Located just 35 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1 along the west coast of California, Point Reyes is a perfect day trip to escape the city and explore the outdoors.Point Reyes is a nature reserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. After visiting this California beauty, I've put together a list of my favorite spots in the area!
Where to Stop in Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes Lighthouse
When visiting Point Reyes, be sure to stop by the iconic Point Reyes Lighthouse! The lighthouse was built in 1870 to warn mariners of the navigational hazard the Point Reyes Headlands served to ships traveling between San Francisco Bay and locations to the north. The lighthouse was retired in 1975 when the US Coast Guard installed an automated light under the tower. Ownership of the Point Reyes Lighthouse was then transferred over to the National Park Service, which has done a great job preserving this historic site!
The stairs leading down to the lighthouse are only open Fridays through Mondays from 10am - 4:30pm. There are 300 steps leading down to the lighthouse, and though it seems like an easy feat down, don't forget that you still have to climb 300 steps back up when you're done exploring! It's not as bad as it appears and there are multiple resting points on the way up.
Be sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds and don't miss out on the exhibits in the lower Lighthouse chamber. If you have the time, it also serves as a remarkable spot for sunset!
Point Reyes Shipwreck
Every time I find myself at the Point Reyes Shipwreck, I instantly find myself feeling like I've been transported into a painting! There is something so beautiful and calming about this picturesque wreck. I once read somewhere that when the land was taken over from the original owner, the ship was going to be removed. Fortunately, local photographers saved it, giving it life once again!
To find this lost wonder, drive through Inverness on Sir Francis Drake Blvd and you will find the boat behind the Inverness Store (across the street from Saltwater Oyster Depot). Make sure to wear shoes that you don't mind getting a little dirty, as the ground is always a little wet and muddy!
Cypress Tree Tunnel
You may have seen photos of the Cypress Tree Tunnel on social media and wondered where it's hidden. This charming stop in Inverness, CA reminds me a bit of the Dark Hedges and is tucked away in Point Reyes.
A row of Monterey cypress trees have grown into the shape of a tunnel over a road. It's unbelievable to me that this magical spot is located right here in California.
Stop by early in the morning or late in the afternoon (around 3-4pm) to get the road all to yourself. It's a lovely place to stroll around and take photos!
Saltwater Oyster Depot
Saltwater Oyster Depot is a rustic restaurant located directly across from the Point Reyes Shipwreck, making it a great place for lunch or dinner after touring the Point Reyes National Seashore. I have dined at Saltwater Oyster Depot a couple different times and loved everything I ate here!
What to Order? We always opt for the oysters and get a mix of both fresh & broiled. My absolute favorite is the Katz Chile broiled oysters -- be sure to dip your bread in the leftover sauce ... yummm! Pair your meal with one of their crisp wines and you're all set!
If you haven't yet visited Point Reyes National Seashore, you must make a day trip here to see all the beautiful landmarks this part of California holds.