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Tomales Bay State Park, Inverness

Categories: State Parks, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web
Tomales Bay State Park is a California state park in Marin County, California. It consists of approximately 2,000 acres (8 km²) divided between two areas, one on the west side of Tomales Bay and the other on the east side. The main area, on the west, is part of the Point Reyes peninsula, and adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore, which is operated by the U.S. National Park Service. The park is approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of San Francisco.HistoryThe area was the habitat of the Coast Miwok people for several thousand years before the arrival of Europeans. British explorer Sir Francis Drake landed in the area in 1579. About 25 years later, Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno landed in the area and named it "La Punta de Los Tres Reyes" ("Point of the Three Kings"), a reference to the Feast of the Three Kings. The name was later anglicized to Point Reyes.Most of Point Reyes remained undeveloped because of its remote location; the main part of the peninsula hosts a number of agricultural uses, particularly dairy operations. Some of the beach areas on Tomales Bay began to be purchased by private parties, and in order to secure public access to the Bay, conservation groups and the state of California also purchased property, and the state park was opened on November 8, 1952. When most of the rest of Point Reyes was incorporated into Point Reyes National Seashore, Tomales Bay State Park remained in the state park system.
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  • The trees that formed the canopy entrance surely set the stage for a stimulating and peaceful visit. We kept having to stop along the way in to take one more picture of the vista or another picturesqu...  read more »
  • Tomales Bay Point doesn't exist as a place by that name. Tomales Bay is a picturesque bay the runs along the San Andres Fault. The see the beautiful bay drive along CA 1 on the east side or Sir Franci...  read more »
  • For 4 years running, we have rented kayaks and explored Tomales Bay + camped on a variety of the beaches. We've seen seals, pelicans and thresher sharks! It's a beautiful bay with bioluminescence in t...  read more »
  • It's like a magical hobbit forest. I trail poached many times illegal to bikes but winter rainy days no one is there.great place to kayak/canoe put in. I stay close to shore because you see great white sharks out in deeper water. A few miles north is a abandoned hippy artist commune with apple and plum trees. Like stepping back in time.
  • Heart's Desire Beach is wonderful! And 2 Easy hiking trails on either side of the main beach lead to other beaches. There are some wooden wikiups at one and you can see stone shards from native rock shaping. The other is smaller and more intimate with some amazing moss covered trees up the hill. An enchanting place. My favorite in the entire bay area. A perfect picnic spot and often there are interesting birds around. Dress in layers and wear or bring a swim suit. The water can be surprisingly warm in summer. Keep an eye out for jellyfish though. Many have a painful sting. I've seen several differents types here but they usually come in big 'herds' and are easy to see. I would reccomend this spot to any nature/beach lover. Great spot to take off for kayaking too.
  • Great for lazying on the beach and kayaking
  • Pretty pretty pretty!
  • Tomales Bay State Park comprises both forest trails and beaches. This review is particularly of what is probably the best-known portion of the park: Heart's Desire Beach. Heart's Desire Beach features a calm, cove beach, picnic tables, BBQ pits, 2 parking lots and a real restroom with outdoor shower. On fine weather weekends, it tends to be extremely busy and crowded with families having picnics and swimming along the relatively small, soft sand beach, but if you'd like to enjoy the true serenity of this park, visit on a weekday. To us the true value of this park, long the ancestral home of the honored Miwok People, is in the habitat. Birders can expect to see osprey, warblers, vireo, thrushes (including Swainson's Thrush which appears in tremendous abundance here), hawks, nesting woodpeckers, purple finch, loons, grebes, gulls, pelicans, etc. We've encountered fox, chipmunks, gophers, deer and raccoons on the beach and along the trails leading up from the beach. Bring your binoculars and check quietly along the edges of the lower parking are almost guaranteed to see fine birds. Wonderful coastal plants inhabit this sheltered climate, too. Dress's shady and chilly in much of the park most of the year. The current entry cost to get into the park is $8 per car, and it is money well spent if this will keep this park, which the governor threatened to close, open. Please do your part by cleaning up picnic trash to keep this beach good for all the people and animals who value it. It's a very, very special place.
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