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Summer at a Northern California Beach

Point Reyes National Seashore sign

Summer days at the California beach. This is typical Northern California beach weather for July/August….foggy mornings with the fog lifting later in the afternoon for an hour or two.

My daughter and I had planned a day trip to go hiking at Yosemite but the weather was way too  hot to enjoy a day on the trail up in the Sierras so we went the opposite direction and headed for the coast instead. The cool weather was a welcome relief!

Point Reyes National Seashore 2

We got out our California map and scanned for a new place to explore.

Point Reyes National Seashore! We packed a lunch and zipped down the highway. Two and a half hours later we were at the Pacific Ocean with our toes in the sand.

Point Reyes is much larger than we imagined but after a quick stop at the Visitor’s Center at Bear Valley, we had a map and a plan. It wasn’t far to North Beach where we ate our lunch surrounded by the sound of roaring waves. The fog was lifting but you still couldn’t see very far up or down the beach.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

Next stop was the Point Reyes Lighthouse…..we walked the 4/10 of a mile from the parking lot to the Visitor’s Center and then descended the 308 stairs down to the lighthouse on the point. It was windy! It was cold and misty!

But, that was the price to pay for a fabulous viewpoint of this part of the California coast.

Reyes Lighthouse 300 steps

See? I made it the 308 steps. Going down was the easy part though and huffing back up the stairs reminded me that I need to do more hills in my weekly workouts.

Amanda was like a gazelle with her super long legs and she made it up with little effort. Ahhh…to be young again.

Point Reyes lichen 1

The rocks alongside the stairs have a bright orange lichen on them. What a pop of color on a rather gray day!

Reyes lichen and wildflowers

Tucked in the nooks and crannies were wildflowers where they were fairly protected from the strong wind that was blowing.

We had one more stop for the day.

Drakes Beach Pt Reyes
At last the sun came shining through and the fog lifted, allowing a wider view of the coast. The wide sand beach at Drake’s Beach was perfect for a long walk before we started the car ride back home again.

What a great day with Amanda! We both enjoyed the adventure of a new place, exploring the facets of a Northern California beach in the summer.

3 thoughts on “Summer at a Northern California Beach

  1. That looks wonderful, Barb! So beautiful.

  2. Beautiful! We’ve planned several times to visit Northern California and are yet to make it. 🙁 Your post makes me want to visit all the more.

    I’ll definitely need to workout a bit before heading that way. The 308 steps may leave me a bit winded.

  3. Gazelle?! Ha ha ha. I am so glad we went. I had a lot of fun little mama.


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