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The Point Reyes National Seashore has all the makings for a great weekend escape. Click through the gallery for tips on things to do and where to stay, eat and drink.
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Visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse: This historic lighthouse, built in 1870, received a much-needed multi-million dollar facelift before the pandemic. Warning mariners of the Point Reyes Headland, it was retired from service in 1975 when the U.S. Coast Guard installed an automated light adjacent and below the historic tower. The tower houses a 6000-pound Fresnel lens, consisting of 24 glass prisms. nps.gov/pore.
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The Observation Deck at the top of the stairs leading to Point Reyes Lighthouse is open daily and provides stunning views on a clear day. The Lighthouse Visitor Center (LHVC) and the stairs leading down to the lighthouse (LH) have limited hours depending on staffing and weather. It's always a good idea to check in with rangers at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
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See The Cypress Tree Tunnel: Get a shot of the locale made famous on Instagram. Planted sometime around 1930, this Monterey cypress tunnel lead the way to the Art Deco KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station. Guided tours of the station are currently on hold. Keep an eye on the website for updates. nps.gov/pore.
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See Wildlife: The Point Reyes National Seashore is a haven for wildlife – more than 490 species of birds and 60 species of mammals call it home. Some 400 Tule elk reside here; the best chance for sightings is in the Tule Elk Reserve at the end of Pierce Point Road, but they can show up at any moment, so always be on the lookout. nps.gov/pore. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
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Chimney Rock is the go-to spot for viewing elephant seals. These marine mammals can turn up any day of the year but you are most likely to spot them December through March, when they gather along the beach to mate and give birth. There's also a colony of elephant seals that are partial to Drakes Beach (elephant seal activity can cause temporary closures in the area). Your best bet for viewing success is to check in with rangers at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. nps.gov/pore. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)
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Sightsee From a Saddle: Five Brooks Ranch offers a number of guided trail rides for all ages and fitness levels. Friendly wranglers will teach you everything you need to know; well-trained horses know the way to the best views. 8001 CA-1, Olema, 415-663-1570, fivebrooks.com. (Dana Rebmann)
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Stay at Olema House: Cozy but still hip, Olema House (formerly The Lodge at Point Reyes) features two dozen rooms, cottages and an apartment. Set on four acres at the foot of the Point Reyes National Seashore, it is located less than a mile from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. From $260. 10021 Coastal Highway 1, Olema, 415-663-9000, olemahouse.com. (Olema House)
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Though all accommodations at Olema House have a similar design and feel, each room is a bit different from the rest. Some have fireplaces and only select rooms have television sets, a plus when you're trying to unplug. (Olema House)
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Olema House is home to Due West restaurant. Open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, the restaurant serves bites to share, including avocado deviled eggs and garlic parmesan French fries, alongside large plates of cioppino and fish and chips. (Olema House)
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Stay at HI Point Reyes Hostel: Through June 1, the only non-camping accommodation for visitors within the Point Reyes National Seashore is only accepting reservations for private vacation rentals. Beginning in June, it will revert to operating as a traditional hostel. 1390 Limantour Spit Road, Point Reyes, 415-663-8811, hiusa.org (Courtesy of HI USA)
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Sip at Heidrun Meadery: Bees, not grapes, are responsible for the bubbles that grace glasses at Heidun Meadery. Sparkling mead, made from honey, is produced here by using traditional French champagne making practices, or Méthode Champenoise. 11925 Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, 415-663-9122, heidrunmeadery.com. (Courtesy of Heidrun Meadery)
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Heidrun Meadery is open daily for tastings. Honey and a small number of picnic items are available in the tasting room, but visitors are welcome to bring a picnic. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. (Heidrun Meadery)
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Eat at Bovine Bakery: Jumpstart your day with a sugar rush from this popular spot in the center of Point Reyes Station. From morning buns to chocolate croissants to sought-after coffee, Bovine Bakery is a community favorite. 11315 Shoreline Highway, Point Reyes Station, 415-663-9420, bovinebakeryptreyes.com. (Dana Rebmann)
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Grab Supplies at Palace Market: Palace Market has been "feeding the people of West Marin since 1898." Today, visitors can stock up on picnic supplies, including tasty sandwiches with catchy names. The Smurf features Nicasio Valley Loma Alta cheese, sautéed mushrooms, spinach, caramelized garlic and onions, and balsamic glaze on slice sourdough. The West Marin Feed comes with hot coppa, feta, peppadew peppers, tapenade, mixed greens, and oregano balsamic dressing on a ciabatta roll. 11300 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, 415-663-1016, palacemarket.com. (Dana Rebmann)
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Shop at Toby's Feed Barn: A feed barn and general store all rolled into one. Along with locally made gifts and provisions, you can pick up organic vegetables, a cup of coffee, pet food, or wander through an art gallery that showcases a different artist every month. 11250 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, 415-663-1223, tobysfeedbarn.com. (Dana Rebmann)