Point Reyes Day Trip

Point Reyes Day Trip

IMG_3977adjI love day trips. And a day trip led by friends that know where they’re going is a luxury! Ours friends, Don and Dee, recently took us out to explore Point Reyes National Seashore.  I can’t believe I’ve lived in Sonoma County, right next door to this amazing place (in Marin County) and haven’t really explored it before!

We drove out D Street in Petaluma and ended up in a seashore wonderland filled with old barns, a charming town for shopping and even a herd of Elk!

Point Reyes Station is a tiny town well worth a visit! You could spend a happy morning or afternoon shopping and eating along their main street…Lots of nice touches like this mural:IMG_3719adj

And right across the street a wonderful general store reminiscent of days gone by.Toby’s Feed Store is a great spot for unusual and beautiful gifts. I picked up some great cookie cutters and a lovely glass Christmas ornament that looks like my favorite chicken, Lily! (I’m going back soon to get the little bird nest S&P shakers I left behind!IMG_3740IMG_3723 IMG_3726IMG_3728adjIMG_3730IMG_3731)

We walked further along the street and found a bakery, clothing store, bookstore (oh yes!), home & garden store, hardware store and The Palace Market we they make awesome turkey sandwiches.We picked some up for a picnic at the beach…Check out the rustic decor in the Deli and see how cute the town is!IMG_3739

IMG_3747IMG_3746IMG_3748IMG_3742IMG_3741There’s more so the girls are going back for a day of shopping…we didn’t want to torture the guys too much! Next we drove on down the road to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. I certainly didn’t expect a museum rivaling Yosemite way out here in the country- but it’s great! We walked around learning about sea lions, shore birds and the local area flora and fauna. The barn at the entrance is just gorgeous!IMG_3755IMG_3752IMG_3753IMG_3754

After a nice visit there, we headed out to find my friend Dee’s favorite spot in all the world: Heart’s Desire Beach in Tomales Bay State Park.  It’s a hidden gem… sandy shore, shady fern filled pathways, shallow water perfect for child’s play and a nice clean restroom (OK I just had to add that…it was a plus!) IMG_3773IMG_3769IMG_3788IMG_3790IMG_3798IMG_3818adjIMG_3807IMG_3806IMG_3776

The most exciting part for me was discovering mushrooms growing all over the place.  I’ve been hunting a red mushroom to photograph for years! Here we found red and yellow mushrooms nestled in the forest floor…such a fun find!IMG_3823adjIMG_3834IMG_3830IMG_3847IMG_3844


IMG_3820After the excitement of stalking the perfect mushroom we drove a little further and visited the  Historic Pierce Point Ranch. Built in 1858 this premium dairy had it’s own school, black smith shop and general store.  It stands today deserted, but clean and white,and feeling as though the people just left. A nice glance back into history.IMG_3887IMG_3883IMG_3863IMG_3902IMG_3891IMG_3914


IMG_3910While driving to the ranch, and while there, we spotted Elk grazing on the hillside a little out of camera range.  No problem for our friend Don! He drove us up above the herd and then showed me how to creep quietly down the hillside to come out just above them. It was so exciting! And, we got some photos of this guy and his harem..IMG_3937adj8x10


Next we headed to Inverness and I spotted an old boat I’d seen in several photos and couldn’t wait to photograph myself. I don’t know how long the “Point Reyes” has been stuck there but I bet it has a story to tell…IMG_3763adj

And, I’m sure this interesting place has a story as well:IMG_3991

Our last stop before heading to dinner was Point Reyes Beach North…what a beautiful sweeping beach scene:IMG_3982IMG_3981adjIMG_3977adjIMG_3974adj

I really had to drag myself away. It was just so beautiful there. But, we’d been exploring since early morning with only a quick  picnic for lunch so  we all agreed dinner was a good idea. Fish and chips seemed the perfect way to end a day exploring the seashore!IMG_3996IMG_4000

Point Reyes National Seashore is within driving distance of San Francisco or, where we began our journey, Santa Rosa in the North Bay Area, for a delightful day trip! Before you go check out information here on the Park and surrounding area as well as here for the West Marin Chamber of Commerce. Fall is a great time of year to visit seashore…enjoy!

One last shot….of a happy couple coming down the pier at Nick’s Cove…charming right?!


All photos copyright www.donnajonesphotography.com