I cannot believe I waited this long to visit the Point Reyes National Seashore! I have lived in California almost my entire life, except for the four years I was in the Netherlands. Yet, I never even thought about taking a mini road trip to Point Reyes area before. It’s only two hours away and there’s so much to see! I’m so happy that my partnership with Cape Cod Chips gave my family a reason to check it out!
Point Reyes National Seashore Road Trip
Before we started to explore, we stopped in at Point Reyes Station. This “cute little town” (as Munchkin referred to it as) sits right at the entrance to Point Reyes. Bovine Bakery is a local favorite for good reason. The food and treats were delicious. Frans even had a nice selection of gluten-free baked goods. Then, we popped around the corner to Cowgirl Creamery for in-house made cheese.
From there, we drove to the Point Reyes National Seashore. The windy route took another hour but was worth the drive. We had a blast along the route to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Even at the higher altitudes, we saw a ton of sand dunes and free-grazing cows by the seaside cliffs. It was pretty funny how they would watch us drive by. Such happy California cows!
Visiting Point Reyes Lighthouse
The lighthouse looked so picturesque against the rocky cliffs and jewel-colored ocean waters below. The Point Reyes Lighthouse and Visitor Center is only open Friday to Monday. Also, the walkway to the lighthouse will close if it gets too windy. It is a trek to the lighthouse so give yourselves at least a couple of hours to get there and back.
From the parking lot, you have to walk up the hill for a half-mile to get to the visitor center. We caught some gorgeous views of the seashore as we made our way over. You can see the lighthouse from the upper observation deck. But, you’ll get better pictures if you actually descend the long staircase.
There are 308 steps to the lighthouse (yes, they are numbered), which is a height difference of about 30 stories. It’s not too bad on the way down but, on the way up, it’s a killer. The stairs are somewhat narrow so you can’t take normal strides. Your calves and thighs will be burning like there’s no tomorrow. Even the kiddies will ask to rest here and there.
We were thankful for the suspended sitting areas as we climbed up. As people began their walk down, some would make mocking comments like, “Are you okay there?” as if we were wimpy exercise chumps. Ah, how sweet it was to know that they would regret those remarks later. When they were out of breath and sweating like crazy on the ascent, those words would come back to haunt them. 😀
The Point Reyes Lighthouse itself is a testament to an era long gone. The ranger on duty was giving informative 20-minute sessions of the lighthouse history. The lighthouse opened in 1870 and features a revolutionary Fresnel lens. What’s remarkable is that the original mechanical gear system and counterweights are still functional. The area is small so prepare for some tourist congestion.
After snacking on some Cape Cod chips (which were perfect after our hike), we set out to explore more.
Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore
We stopped by Drake Beach and then took another half-mile hike down to McClures Beach. Both were breathtaking and with little to no other people. We would have loved to spend a few hours relaxing at either of these beaches but it was getting late.
We also made our way to the Tule Elk Reserve. It was amazing to see wild dozens of Tule Elk roaming the hillside.
Before we knew it, the sun was setting. There was still so much more we wanted to do but didn’t have time. At the Bear Valley Visitor Center, you can tour the Earthquake Trail to learn about the fault lines in the area. Or, there’s the path that brings you to a re-created Miwok village. Then there are the many hiking trails, beaches, and lakes that abound in the area. We definitely need to visit again soon!
We had such a fantastic road trip to Point Reyes National Seashore with Cape Cod Chips. They’re full of flavor and gluten-free. It was so nice to have these to snack on while we were out and about. You should go on a road trip with Cape Cod Chips too. Just snap some photos and share them using the hashtag #RoadTripChip. You might just get a surprise. Also, in honor of my #RoadTripChip visit and to encourage you to take one of your own, Cape Cod Chips is offering a special prize pack. One of you can win a variety pack of these chips to bring on your next summer road trip. You’ll love having some to munch on too. Enter below!
What road trips will you take this summer?
I was compensated to take my own #RoadTripChip with Cape Cod Chips. All opinions are my own.