Point Reyes National Seashore. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
One of the assets of Point Reyes National Seashore is that all those wild, surf-lapped landscapes are just a blink away from civilized comforts. There’s no need to pack in a trunk-load of groceries with so many good restaurants nearby. Then again, there’s something to be said for having a kitchen where you can make breakfast and save a few bucks by rustling up your own lunch or dinner.
We know just the place: Cottages at Point Reyes Seashore (formerly Inverness Valley Inn), a 15-acre spread with its own resident menagerie and even a fenced dog run where Precious can stretch her legs. Seven of the inn’s 20 rooms, most in duplex cottages, welcome “perfectly behaved” canine guests. From the property, you and yours can wander off for a splash at Chicken Ranch Beach on Tomales Bay, the narrow finger of water separating the triangle-shaped Point Reyes Peninsula from the mainland.
Also on Tomales Bay are two luxury retreats: Manka’s Inverness Lodge and Nick’s Cove. Manka’s is a hilltop retreat renowned for its gourmet restaurant, its secluded setting and luxuriously appointed redwood cabins. While Nick’s features historic waterfront cabins and a very popular seafood restaurant that recently added a large, dog-friendly deck. Not far away, Dancing Coyote Beach Cottages is a complex of four contemporary, two-story cottages set on a private strip of shoreline with great views. Breakfast is delivered to the deck—and, as at Nick’s, if you bring your own kayak you can launch just out the door.
Five miles south of Inverness is another find: the Old Point Reyes Schoolhouse Compound, a historic property just a five-minute walk from downtown Point Reyes Station. Guests with canine visitors are welcomed in three secluded, family-friendly rentals, each with kitchen, wood stove, patio and collection of naturalist writings. Pop into town to stock up on organic dinner fixin’s or pick up picnic supplies at Cowgirl Creamery for your trip to the beach.