Sightseeing at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
Welcome back, self, to the world of productivity! (Excuse me as I reintroduce myself to reality).
What a WONDERFUL trip I had last week, traveling all around the San Francisco area, taking in all of its marvelous sights.
ONE such sight was Point Reyes National Seashore located about 1 to 2 hours away from San Francisco, depending on your destination.
This 71,028-acre peninsula is geologically separated from almost the entire continental United States by a rift zone of the San Andreas Fault. Because of this separation and the natural divider of Tomales Bay between Point Reyes and the adjacent Marin County, the peninsula lies on a DIFFERENT tectonic plate!
Due to this separation, there is a difference in soils and therefore a noticeable difference in vegetation.
How COOL is that?!
But enough about the nitty gritty…what are the top spots to hit up when you’re on “Kings Point”?
Since my friends Amy, Jenn and I had only half a day to explore, we planned accordingly.
First on the list was Point Reyes Lighthouse . This historic monument built in 1870 is a novel sight to see on “the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent” [NPS].
F’real, hold on to your hats when venturing out to this landmark! The swaying cypress trees appear to be permanently blown over in the relentless wind. These trees were certainly a highlight for me, creating a sense of whimsy as you make your way to the lighthouse overlook.
After making your way through the cypress tree tunnel, you’ll reach the Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center and ogle a colossal whale skull (Gray whales migrate past Point Reyes during the winter months).
Just a little bit further around the bend and you are greeted with whipping winds and an outstanding view of the lighthouse. Drink. It. In.
Moving on from this landmark, we drove to Chimney Rock to soak up another lookout rom the peninsula’s edge as well as squeeze in some wildlife viewing.
Dude, this place has ELEPHANT SEALS! Please, let us gaze down upon them in all their glory!
My friend, Amy, was convinced they were…dead. Can ya blame her? Look at these guys!
REST ASSURED they are merely resting after a hard days work raising seal pups and hunting for food amongst the many shorebirds prowling the seas.
They were also making some rather…interesting…guttural noises as we looked on. Proof enough these slumbering, lumbering brutes were alive and well. Behemoth, bestial, beauties.
Our last stop before returning home was Drake’s Beach, one of the many accessible shores along Point Reyes.
The dramatic white sandstone cliffs make for an epic landscape as you make your way along the waters edge. “The sands of the Drakes Bay cliffs were deposited in a shallow sea 10–13 million years ago, compacted, then uplifted. Erosion has revealed the striations of this story in the cliff faces” [NPS].
Lucky for us, visiting in March meant very few visitors to contend with. This allowed us oodles of calm serenity amongst the crashing waves and embracing breeze. Ahhh…
MAN that’s good.
So there ya have it, a marvelous daytrip outside of San Francisco jam-packed with jaw-dropping landscapes and tantalizing wildlife. Well worth a visit if you are in the area and looking for a natural respite!
Special thanks to Jenn, Amy, and Lupita for indulging me and exploring this glorious place: