If you are a lover of Mother Nature and wish to see all of her works in one visit, head out to Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco. Located near the San Francisco Bay Area, Point Reyes National Seashore is one region you will keep on falling in love with no matter how many times you it.
For there are few other places on earth where you can witness the landscape change drastically from rugged mountains to smaller hills filled with lush vegetation, forests and sharp ridges; which then give way to green farmlands, which at the end stop at sandy white beaches that cover the entire coastline.
All this within one sweeping look is what you get in Point Reyes National Seashore. Visitors to the place have been left baffled by its serene and yet natural beauty. The area has been inhabited by different races of people over the years which has led to the amalgamation of a number of cultures and traditions.
The forests and grasslands in the area are also home to some really rare species of plant and animal life which makes exploring the place a wonderful experience. Over 1000 different varieties of animals and plants have been found so far and the count is ever increasing.
Another highlight of Point Reyes National Seashore is its supreme location that enables bird lovers to catch glimpses of almost 490 species of birds that flock to the region the year around. In fact, Point Reyes National Seashore is touted to be one of the best bird watching regions in the entire United States.
Getting There: The area stretches over 70000 acres of changing landscape and is conveniently located close to the San Francisco Bay Area (about 30 miles). You can turn into Highway 1from either north or south. An alternative route is to drive through the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard or through the Point Reyes National Seashore/Petaluma Road.
Transportation within the area: If you feel moving to and fro between different attractions or sites in the area might be a cumbersome process, you don’t need to worry. The management arranges regular shuttle buses that transport visitors to various sites within the region.
Tickets for the buses are available at Drakes Beach from 9 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon. There is no fare for children who are below the age of 16. The buses start operating from 9.30 in the morning and there is a bus every 30 minutes. The most popular of these ferries would be the shuttle buses that run from Drakes Beach to the Chimney Rocks and the Lighthouse areas and come back to the beach.
Climate: Winds are strong almost the entire year around and fogs and mists are a common sight in the area. The lighthouse which serves as the only form of light to ships out at sea during foggy days is located at the tip of a rocky cliff and can be reached be descending 300 steps. Shuttle buses are cancelled if the weather decides to create havoc.
Recreational Activities: Apart bird watching and of course the usual sightseeing, there are plenty of other activities in Point Reyes National Seashore to keep you entertained. Trekking and hiking are fairly common in the grasslands while the surrounding seas offer kayaking that enable visitors to explore the Tomales Bay.
Camping, bicycling, boating, horse riding and fishing are also quite popular although certain regulations need to be met beforehand. A small amount needs to be paid as fees for camping along with a permit. Permits are also required for fishing, filming, collecting specimens and starting fires.
Certain objects and activities are prohibited at Point Reyes National Seashore owing to security issues and protection of wildlife. Any kind of motorized or remote controlled aircrafts are prohibited in the region. Weapons are also prohibited along with any kind of metal detectors.
Activities like skate boarding, skating and any other kind of similar sports are completely forbidden within the park grounds. Cycling is restricted to paved roads or trails with a maximum speed violation.
Boating is again restricted to certain areas of the bay and certain lakes in the area. Likewise, horses and other animals including pets are allowed only in certain areas of the park. It is best recommended to have a talk with the park officials before indulging in any activity that might be considered as a violation.
Come to Point Reyes National Seashore and enjoy nature at its best.
Of all the sights you can possibly see, the sight of clouds covering most of the bay as you stand at the top of the cliff will give you the exhilarating feeling of being on top of the world with nothing but clouds beneath your feet. So go ahead and grab your share of nature at its best in Point Reyes National Seashore.