Family Fun in Point Reyes
It's no secret that Point Reyes National Seashore and the surrounding area are a fantastic destination for active family fun. We love heading out to West Marin to visit the beach, tackle a hiking trail, or watch for wildlife.
It's a big place with lots to do, so here's our guide for family outings highlighting a few of our favorite Point Reyes destinations and activities. For even more ideas for family fun in West Marin, make sure you check out our Point Reyes page.
Note that the National Park Services at this time requires all visitors to wear masks inside park buildings, regardless of COVID vaccination status.
The visitor center at the park headquarters in Bear Valley is often the first stop on our visits to Point Reyes. Families can learn about the history and nature of this unique area and kids can even become junior rangers! There's a great gift shop at the center as well.
The iconic Point Reyes Lighthouse, which has warned mariners away from the treacherous coast since 1870, is the place to go for whale watching every winter and spring. Watch for migrating gray whales from the observation deck or brave the 300-plus steps down to the lighthouse itself (the equivalent of a 25-story building). It's a fun place to visit at any time of year, especially when the weather is clear.
A short hike from the Bear Valley Visitor Center takes you back hundreds of years to experience the world of Marin's original inhabitants, the Coast Miwok. It's a fun and fascinating way to learn about Native American life in Point Reyes, and kids have a great time exploring the different structures in the village. "Kule Loklo" means "Bear Valley" in the Miwok language. Note: Kule Loklo is temporarily closed.
This beach outside Inverness off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is a Marin County Park and a popular destination for families. Since it's on Tomales Bay, it's safe for wading and swimming and the weather is usually nicer here than on the other side of Inverness Ridge, making it the perfect place to spread out the blankets, raise the beach umbrella, and spend a relaxing day on the sand. It's right down the street from Inverness Market — a great place to pick up snacks or a picnic lunch — and the famous Point Reyes "shipwreck" seen in so many photos.
The town of Point Reyes Station is the area's social, commercial, and cultural hub. On weekends, the main street of this quaint gateway to Point Reyes National Seashore bustles with activity. It offers great dining and shopping, a bustling farmer's market on Saturday mornings, and live performances and programs at the Dance Palace. We always visit Bovine Bakery for coffee and amazing jumbo cookies before a hike.
Limantour is a great destination for a day at the beach. Like neighboring Drakes Beach (currently closed while they work on the parking lot and wetlands restoration), the waves here can be gentler than those on the Pacific-facing beaches, making it often safe for wading. Miles of beach are ripe for exploration and you'll find several popular trails nearby.
The National Park Service's working Morgan Horse Ranch in Bear Valley is always a fun destination. Learn about this unique American breed of horse and how the Park Service uses them at locations throughout the country. You'll often find staff and volunteers on hand who are usually happy to let kids get up close and personal with the horses.
The Bear Valley Trail is an awesome place for a family hike. Follow it all the way out to the coast or stop at Divide Meadow for a picnic. It flat and shaded and perfect for an off-road stroller or bikes. There's even a creek to explore and little bridges to cross along the way. If you want a shorter hike with the kiddos, then the nearby Earthquake Trail is a perfect choice.
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