Welcome to Point Reyes Station
The town of Point Reyes Station draws its name from the Point Reyes Peninsula on which it sits. Once a major stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad, the trains eventually left but the name stuck around. Now, Point Reyes Station functions as the primary stopping point for visitors interested in exploring the plethora of small coastal communities that line the section of coast near the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Lay of the Land
Point Reyes Station sits in the western section of Marin County at the head of the Tomales Bay. While the vast majority of the surrounding area is comprised of national parks and protected open spaces, the area surrounding both sides of the Tomales Bay is dotted with tiny communities and small towns. Like Point Reyes Station, most of these locations were once historically significant towns which have slowly transformed into sleepy communities. Point Reyes Station remains an unincorporated census designated location which makes compiling data about the area difficult at best. A total of 848 people live in the town and surrounding countryside. Average home values hover around $825,822.
California State Route 1 is the primary roadway serving the western section of Marin County. A historically significant stretch of highway, Route 1 moves north and south along the Pacific Ocean along most of California’s coast. For Point Reyes Station, it serves to connect the small communities along the edge of the coast with the eastern section of the county and the Bay Area in the far south. Public Transportation in all of Marin County is severely limited and even more so to the area surrounding the Point Reyes National Seashore. The West Marin Stagecoach connects the communities in the western section of the county via a series of small shuttles.
Point Reyes Station remains a significant portion of the county thanks in large part to the tourist trade surrounding the Point Reyes National Seashore. Point Reyes National Seashore is the West Coast’s only national seashore. Once referred to by John F. Kennedy as a national treasure, it represents 80 miles of untouched beaches and rolling hills. Additionally, the inland portion of the protected seashore represents a total of 71,000 acres of pristine wilderness.
Visitors generally use Point Reyes Station and the surrounding communities as a base-camp for activities along the Point Reyes National Seashore and the other protected open spaces in the area. There are numerous trails that support hiking, biking, and a horseback riding. Fires are allowed in certain portions of the coast and many visitors enjoy hike-in camping in various portions of the park. In addition to the local wildlife and fauna, visitors also enjoy watching many of the aquatic species that make their home along the seashore, including migrating pods of California gray whales.
Relative to the majority of smaller communities in the area, Point Reyes Station features an extensive commercial infrastructure. This includes the usual collection of small town restaurants and lodging options. However, it also includes numerous shopping locations and small service centers.
Point Reyes lodging options are as diverse as they are numerous. Visitors can choose to stay at locations ranging from the Point Reyes Hostel which offers small, cheap, community based rooms, to one of the local Inns or bed and breakfast locations which offer quieter lodgings with a cozy ambiance. There are also numerous cottages dotted throughout the community available for short term and long term rental. The cottages come in a variety of sizes and amenity options.
The dining options within the community are as equally diverse. Each of the local Inns and bed and breakfast usually include public access dining locations in addition to the guest only dining services. They feature a more formal atmosphere as a well as a complex menu. By comparison, several local cafes specialize in quick meals designed to meet the needs of visitors passing through on their way to the seashore. Regardless, each of the local eateries features ingredients gathered from local farms and seafood operations.