Our Tomales Bay Resort is the best starting point for hours of adventure in Point Reyes Seashore, Tomales Bay, Marin County and all of the Northern Bay Area of San Francisco. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to share our favorite Point Reyes activities and Marin attractions, and offer advice for your specific interest areas.
Activities List from "A" to "Z"
Click on the links below for the Point Reyes and Tomales Bay activities that interest you. The stunning Point Reyes National Seashore Park deserves a page all its own, so click here for details about the park.
Art Galleries | Birding | Beaches | Cycling | Dining | Golfing | Hiking and Walking | Horseback Riding | Kayaking | Lighthouse | Pacific Ocean | Redwoods | Shopping | Tide Pooling | Whales | Wildflowers | Yoga | Zen
West Marin is home to many well-known artists. Located inside our lobby and rooms you will see beautiful paintings and photographic art by area artists including Shayne Skower, Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin, and Birgit O'Connor. A sampling of local art can also be viewed in local art galleries.
Be sure to investigate a couple of these favorite spots:
Abbott's Lagoon: This freshwater pond is host to land birds during the spring and fall migrations. Shore birds can be viewed at the saltwater lagoon and raptors on the walk to the shore.
Olema Marsh: is a bird sanctuary located very close to the resort where you'll spy two rail species, ducks, grebes, and raptors.
If you prefer to forego the walking, you can relax in an Adirondack chair overlooking Tomales Bay and indulge in sedentary birding with a cup of tea. Watch for all kinds of seabirds including sandpipers, California Black Rail, egrets, Osprey, and maybe even a Bald Eagle or two flying overhead searching for food.
If you are dying to get your feet in some white sand, besides our sandy beaches at the Resort, and salty water as soon as possible, try Limantour Beach, about 1/2 hour from the Resort. Over three miles of white sand backed by dunes and esteros offer a variety of beach pleasures. Another of our favorites is Heart's Desire Beach in Tomales State Park. A golden sandy crescent edged by lawn and picnic tables with baby waves for the kids.
Marin County, and in particular, Point Reyes and West Marin, is famous for the abundant selection of both road and mountain biking terrain. Miles and miles of options for either bikes are available from a starting point at the Resort.
A few of the well-known road cycling challenges are the Marshall Wall, Ridgecrest Boulevard and Fairfax/Bolinas Road and are reached from the Resort and can be included in simple or epic rides beginning at our front door.
It was Mount Tamalpais and the surrounding ridge, which inspired mountain biking pioneers such as Charlie Kelly, Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher and Tom Ritchie to build bikes, suited for rough mountain terrain. Bolinas Ridge, and Fir Top Pine Mountain can be experienced during a stay at the Resort. In addition, Samuel P. Taylor Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin Municipal Water District lands and the Point Reyes National Seashore are home to miles of trails. From simple trails suitable for an enjoyable family ride to trails for strenuous workouts. Every option can be found in this area.
If you are unable to bring your own bike (road or mountain), please let us know. Our onsite kayak company, Blue Waters Kayaking, offers bike rentals.
The best is found right at the Resort - Fog's Kitchen and Lounge serving local oysters, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Reservations: 415-669-9696 www.fogskitchen.com
San Geronimo Golf Course is about 25 minutes from the Resort and is Marin County's best golf course located in the scenic San Geronimo Valley. See for yourself why it was voted Places to Play by Golf Digest for 3 years in a row, and #1 golf course in Marin County 5 years in a row by both the Pacific Sun and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Hiking and Walking
With thousands of acres located in six nearby park systems and monuments, the possibilities and trails are endless. Ask for a recommendation and a map of trails at the Front Desk upon check in.
With over 120 miles of horse trails including beach trails and mountaintops, Five Brooks Stables in Olema, offers a full service riding stable for the entire family. Guided trail rides, private rides, hay wagon rides, pony rides, lessons or horse boarding, Five Brooks offers it all.
Blue Waters Kayaking located directly onsite at the Resort offers kayak rentals, naturalist-led public and private tours as well as kayaking classes.
In Point Reyes Station – Point Reyes Outdoors offers guided kayaking tours, kayaking classes and bike rentals.
The Historic Point Reyes Lighthouse is located on the tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula. Originally built in 1870 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this visitor’s location is the best place to view whale migration. Located on a jutting cliff side, the lighthouse offers a stunning visual tableau, as well as an unusual physical challenge. More than 300 steps lead down to the lighthouse. It is easy enough going down, but it is like climbing a 30-story building coming back up!
Crashing waves, soft rolling waves, sunsets, this part of Northern California offers a choice of several beaches to enjoy. From overhead views of the rugged coast, you can gaze at miles and miles of ocean and beach.
Muir Woods National Monument, open year round, and close to the Resort, is located in an isolated canyon and is home to ancient coast Redwoods. Some trees are 1,000 years old and towering 260 feet high. John Muir thought Muir Woods to be the best tree-lovers" monument found in the world. Samuel P. Taylor Park, about 15 minutes from the Resort, is also home to coast Redwoods and offers hiking trails and picnic sites.
Enjoy browsing in the local stores and you'll be sure to find the perfect keepsake of this area whether it may be art, jewelry, or a simple T-shirt. Any of our front desk innkeepers will have a favorite shop or two to recommend.
Explore the microcosms of ocean life left behind when the tide recedes from the beach, creating little marine worlds among the rocks. Best tidepooling zones are up at McClure's Beach and down at Sculptured Beach. Arrive an hour or so before low tide for best viewing of mussels, barnacles, seastars, limpets, sea anemones, crabs, snails and countless other creatures. Great for kids and the young at heart!
Whale watching season begins in November, with the southern migration of the California Gray whales leaving for warmer waters in Baja for calving. Prime viewing is typically between Christmas and end of January. Then their return to their Alaskan feeding grounds begins in February with prime viewing in late March and April. The best spot to view whales is from the Point Reyes Lighthouse, but be forewarned: weekends are high traffic for whale-watchers, so be prepared for the park service shuttle buses to take you from Drake's Visitor Center out to the lighthouse.
Usually the looping path at Chimney Rock is overrun by blooming wildflowers from the end of April through early summer. After the rains of Spring, flowers can't wait to enjoy the sunshine. Poppies, lupines, mission bells, sagebrush, buttercups, coast fiddlenecks...the list is endless, and with so many regions of various types (marshland, grassland, redwoods, etc.) to investigate, you surely won't get to see them all, but it'll be fun trying!
Yoga Toes is a cozy studio located in Point Reyes Station and classes are given by independent yoga teachers in the area, or just bring your mat to a secluded area of the Resort in the bright sun or during sunset while the shore birds bob in the bay.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center is located in San Geronimo Valley, just minutes away, and offers classes, lectures, and guided meditation for those interested in Buddhist thought and practice. Additionally, the Green Gulch Zen Center is about 30 minutes south of the Resort on Highway One, for those seeking more of a "retreat" experience.