The very northern tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula, Tomales Point faces the Pacific Ocean where it meets Tomales Bay, a narrow inlet of water known for oyster farming. The remote location is popular with hikers and nature lovers who make the trip through Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay State Park.
The drive to Tomales Point from San Francisco is roughly 1.5 hours at a minimum, depending on traffic, so most visitors plan a full day in Marin County to make the most of being outside the city. Food tours that include the area’s cheese and oysters are popular, or perhaps combine your trip with a visit to Muir Woods National Monument.
For hiking, start at the Tomales Point trailhead for the 9.5-mile (15-km) round-trip hike to the blufftop point and back. Watch for birds, tule elk, and wildflowers, depending on the time of year. When you reach the point, you’ll be rewarded with views of Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, and the rocky coastline.
Things to know before you go
*Make sure your car isn’t too low on gas once you enter the peninsula; the nearest gas station is 16 miles away in Point Reyes Station. *Bring layers to protect from the wind, fog, and cooler temperatures of the coast. *Wear appropriate shoes for hiking. *Bring your own water—there is no place to refill water bottles at the point. *Cell phone service is limited if available at all.
How to get there
From San Francisco, head north across the Golden Gate Bridge and along Highway 101 or State Route 1 until you reach the town of Point Reyes Station. Then turn onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and go north across the Point Reyes Peninsula until you reach the end of the road, where you can then take the hiking trail to reach the point itself.
When to get there
Leave the city in the morning to beat any crowds and make sure you have plenty of time to visit the point and enjoy other activities before it gets dark. Avoid morning and evening commute times if you don’t want to get stuck in traffic between the city and Marin County.
In and around the small town of Marshall, just north of Point Reyes Station, there are a few oyster companies popular with both locals and visitors, including Hog Island Oyster Company, Tomales Bay Oyster Company, and the Marshall Store. Enjoy the oysters with a bottle of California sparkling wine for a true Northern California experience.
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