Point Reyes has both a breathtaking landscape and a culturally rich community. The two meet to create one of the most rewarding destinations in California's Bay Area. The cape itself is home to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, a historically significant beacon balanced on the hills, from which visitors may see whales around mid-January and mid-March. The greater Point Reyes peninsula reaches out into the Pacific, offering many miles of pristine beaches perfect for hiking, kayaking, and having bonfires.
While these shores may seem relatively untouched, they have actually been inhabited since the time of the Coast Miwok tribe, who fished, hunted, and prospered in the area. Today, a recreated village stands near the visitor center in the Point Reyes National Seashore. The Seashore is a park preserve run by the National Park Service and offers spectacular backcountry campgrounds, swimming, tidefalls, wildlife, and trails for hiking and biking. Aside from natural beauty, the area is home to the small West Marin towns of Point Reyes Station, Olema, Bolinas, and Inverness, each with a distinct culture but all strong communities with their share of art, music, and organic agriculture.
With plentiful land, the Point Reyes peninsula is known for its many ranch and farm operations, offering up spectacular, locally sourced cuisine. The hills are alive with dairy cows, elk, and deer and Chimney Rock can give visitors a glimpse and an earful of elephant seals. Farther inland, trails wind over hills, through forests, and along the coastline to service four backcountry campgrounds and many natural attractions like Alamere Falls and Bass Lake. Point Reyes hostel accommodation options are limited; there is also an inn. Nearby is the weekly farmers market in Point Reyes Station. Hiking is a great way to get around, but save it for the backcountry. Otherwise, the best way to travel is by car or bike. Point Reyes should not be missed by those visiting the Bay Area.
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