Most of the Northern Coast of California is a remote paradise of red wood trees, a wild coastline with a
cool climate even during the summer. A sizeable portion of the north is National park, which provides a
spectacular playground for hiking, fishing, horseback riding and camping. There are many places to visit
and many interesting things to do. There are ranches, orchards, and farmlands in the coastal areas of
Northern California. Point Reyes National Seashore is a national park that provides hundred of miles of
trails. Point Reyes is a diversity from the windswept bluffs at Mount Tomales Point and its herd of tule
elk, to the steep ridgelines of dense forest, miles and miles of vacant beaches.
Tomales Bay State Park
In 1952, Tomales Bay State Park was formally dedicated and opened to the public. The 2,000-acre day-use
park features four gently sloping, surf-free beaches, protected from winds by Inverness Ridge. The park
also has hiking trails and is a popular place for picnicking, swimming, clamming and boating.
This cultural exhibit is a replica of an early Coast Miwok village.
It provides a glimpse of life in
California before European contact. It is an easy 1/2 mile walk from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Exhibits along the trail provide insight into the early Coast Miwok culture. The exhibit is open every
day from sunrise to sunset.
Bear Valley Visitors Center
This barn-sized building provides an orientation to the park's roads, trails and general history.
Exhibits provide an introduction to the plants, animals and people of this area. Reservations and
permits for backcountry camping can be obtained here. Orientation video, slide presentation, and
lighthouse video are available upon request.
Point Reyes Lighthouse
No trip to the Point Reyes National Seashore is complete without a trip to the Lighthouse. Located on
the rocky promontory of the Point Reyes Headlands, the historic light contains the original first-order
Fresnel lens and still operational clockworks. The 300 steps that lead down to the Lighthouse are a
short 0.4 miles from the parking area. After descending the stairs, the lighthouse is an excellent
place to observe marine life.
Further down the hilly and winding Highway 1, is Stinson Beach. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and you are
in San Francisco. If you are coming from the north for the first time it is worth pulling into the viewing
area just before the bridge and getting your passengers to close their eyes while you park up and then
take in the spectacular vista that is San Francisco. There are few if any more beautiful cities in the
world and the view from here is breathtaking! An ideal way to start your visit to "Baghdad by the Bay".