Not many hard and fast guidelines about our Northern California coastal climate. For starters, it is rarely hot, and we rarely get a frost, so no extremes! It never rains in the summer. All year round we have sun, fog, clouds, breezes and wind, and hopefully plenty of rain in winter. It is always best to come prepared for cool-ish weather. That way you’ll be comfy, especially walking on the ocean beaches. Think layers. Think cap, scarf, even light gloves. Think rain gear for winter visits. Think casual and good walking shoes. There is rarely any reason to dress up around here. Even the best of our restaurants are accustomed to locals and visitors in casual dress, although of course it’s also fine to step it up a notch for dinner out.
Enjoying the Great Outdoors
This area is so abundant with trails, beaches, vistas, places to hike, picnic, run, bike ride, boat, bird watch, photograph, swim, tidepool, horseback ride and just relax – it would be impossible to list them all! We suggest you follow some online links if you enjoy planning your time here in advance. Or, when you arrive, visit Park Headquarters or Point Reyes Books to pick up maps and guidebooks and get your bearings. Talk to the friendly locals (ultimately the best source of information!). Here are some resources for you. All of the suggestions listed here are within a short (and beautiful) drive of your lodging at Dancing Coyote Beach.
11315 State Route One, Point Reyes Station 5+ miles from Dancing Coyote Beach This award-winning independent bookstore is a good source for books about the area, a wonderful rainy day hang, and a producer of many excellent evening events. Check out their website.
Beaches on the Ocean
The Point Reyes National Seashore is renowned for it’s 80 miles of shoreline. There are drive-to beaches, hike-in beaches, dog–friendly beaches, beaches for tidepooling and beaches where wood fires may be enjoyed with a permit. You’ll find all of those descriptions and details right here: http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/beaches.htm
Parking areas for all the ocean beaches are between 6-12 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach.
Our favorite ocean beaches include Abbotts Lagoon, Drake’s Beach, Limantour Beach, The Great Beach, Kehoe Beach and McClure’s Beach.
Please note: When visiting some of these ocean beaches, always absolutely respect advisory signs for high surf and sneaker waves.
Beaches on the Bay
Tomales Bay beaches are lovely for swimming on warm summer days, and for picnicking and boating any time of the year. There are also trails through the forest to and from the state park beaches, so you can combine hiking with a bay beach visit.
Treasured local beaches include Chicken Ranch Beach, Shell Beach and Heart’s Desire Beach.Shell Beach requires a short downhill hike to access. Chicken Ranch Beach and Heart’s Desire Beach are drive-to beaches. Shell Beach and Heart’s Desire Beach are part of Tomales Bay State Park, while Chicken Ranch Beach is a county beach.
Heart’s Desire Beach 1208 Pierce Point Road, Inverness CA 94937 4.2 miles to Heart’s Desire Beach from Dancing Coyote Beach Please note: $8 per vehicle entrance fee, payable by cash or cc. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=470 Shell Beach End of Camino del Mar Inverness CA 94937 1.6 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach
Chicken Ranch Beach Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Inverness 1.1 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach
Point Reyes National Seashore includes almost 150 miles of hiking trails, from short and gentle, to steep and challenging. This link is an excellent guide, describing the hikes and providing directions to the trailheads. All within 12 miles of Dancing Coyote Beach. http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/hiking_guide.htm
Wonderful kayaking in the ocean, estuaries and on Tomales Bay. A full array of services offered from instruction and guides (private or group), or just renting kayaks to do your own thing.
Point Reyes Outdoors 11401 Highway One Point Reyes Station 415-663-8192 http://pointreyesoutdoors.com Open 7 days 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Office is in Point Reyes Station; lessons and guided tours available from many different launch points.
Blue Waters Kayaking 60 4th St. Point Reyes Station 415-669-2600 http://www.bwkayak.com Open 7 days 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Office is in Point Reyes Station; boat rentals, lessons and outings from both Inverness and Marshall locations.
Five Brooks Stable is a full service riding stable with a concession to operate within Point Reyes National Seashore, specializing in guided trail rides for Park visitors. http://www.fivebrooks.com
Point Reyes National Seashore Association – Field Institute http://www.ptreyes.org/fieldinstitute/index.shtml An excellent array of classes and outings, to deepen your understanding of the natural world and of this area. Includes hikes, and arts and crafts as well.
Point Reyes Tours www.pointreyestours.com/ Get a tour of the Point Reyes wildlife by a Certified California Naturalist or Certified Interpretive Guide (with a maximum of 8 people). Tours last approximately 4.5 hours. Spotted: gray whales, elephant seals, lots of birds.
Food, Food & More Food
West Marin is heaven for “foodies.” Small organic farms, naturally-raised beef, heavenly oysters, artisan cheese, wood oven-baked bread…. it’s all here - in the restaurants, cafés, markets, and in many cases, right from the source.
West Marin Food and Farm Tours Excellent small group outings with Elizabeth Hill, a gracious and knowledgeable guide. Highly recommended for those who like to be taken care of, to kick back and let someone else do the driving! All tours depart from Point Reyes Station, except the Oyster Lover’s Tour, which departs from Inverness. http://www.foodandfarmtours.com
Restaurant seating is sometimes in high demand, so we suggest making reservations for the places that accept them, when you are able to plan ahead. Also, double check on days and hours of operation, which fluctuate with the seasons.
Saltwater Oyster Depot (and Restaurant and Wine Shop) In“Downtown” Inverness, steps away from Dancing Coyote 12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd Inverness, CA 94937 415-669-1244 http://www.saltwateroysterdepot.com
Top quality, chill vibe, nice people.. This place is all kinds of wonderful. Intimate room, fine food and wine. Reservations only for parties of 6 or more. Enjoy a glass of wine on the patio if you need to wait for a table or bar seating. Monday prix fixe dinners, Tuesday closed, Wednesday – Friday bar open 4:00-5:00 p.m., dinner 5:00-9:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday lunch 11-3, bar open 4-5, dinner 5-9 p.m.
Gather Connected to Perry's Inverness Park Grocery 12301 Sir Francis Drake Blvd Inverness, CA 94937 (415) 663-1491 http://www.gatheratthemarket.com/ Thursday- Sunday 5:30-9pm Serving dinner with a lovely wine selection with small batch, mostly organic wines, beers and such. The whole menu changes daily. Delicious, elegant food with a casual vibe.
Station House Café 11180 Highway One Point Reyes Station 415-663-1515 4+ miles from Dancing Coyote Beach http://stationhousecafe.com Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this café is a crowd-pleaser, with a broad menu offering something for everyone. Great music in the bar Sundays at 5 p.m. Open 6 days, closed on Wednesdays. Breakfast 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Lunch 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Bar Menu 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Dinner 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).
“Point Reyes Italian with an unwavering commitment to local organic products.” Delicious seasonal dishes. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. for dinner.
Sir and Star The Olema 10000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Olema 6 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1034 http://sirandstar.com
The place to go for a lingering, delicious locally-sourced meal. It’s an experience. Do make a reservation if you can. Dinner Wednesday through Sunday 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday reservations are only for special prix fixe dinners, while walk-ins are welcome for ordering from the a la carte menu.
Carnivore heaven. This is a combination butcher shop and café, featuring cooked-to-order steaks that you choose from the case, a variety of burgers (beef, lamb, goat), fries, vegetables, salads and a wine shop. Lunch Thursday through Monday noon to 5:00 p.m. Early dinner Friday through Sunday 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Drake’s Beach Café 1 Drake’s Beach Road Inverness 11.7 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-669-1297 http://www.drakescafe.com
A small, rustic café at Drake’s Beach with great lunches – the only eating concession inside the Point Reyes National Seashore. Worth the drive on every level! Hours vary seasonally, quite limited in the winter. Call ahead!
Great food coming directly from the Inverness Park Market next door, supporting local farms, fishmongers, dairies and food artisans. Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 11:30am to 9pm, closed Tuesday. Open Friday and Saturday from 11:30am to 10pm, and Sunday from 11:30am to 9pm. The happy hours on weekdays if from 4pm to 6pm.
Seafood is the star here (oysters, mussels, clam chowder...all awesome!), and great views on the Bay! Weekend Brunch is served Saturday, Sunday: 10am until 4:30pm and Dinner is served Thursday through Monday: 5pm until 9pm
Picnic Fare, Groceries and Dining In Your Cottage
Perry’s Inverness Park Grocery 12301 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Inverness Park 2.5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1491 http://perrysinvernessparkgrocery.com Monday-Thursday: 6:30am-8:00pm Friday: 6:30am-9:00pm Saturday: 7:00am-9:00pm Sunday 7:00am-7:00pm A great place to grab a quick bite - to sit outside on a couple of curbside tables or take with you to beach or trail. Also daily special take out dinner, if you want to dine in, and plenty of grocery selections if you want to cook.
Cowgirl Creamery 80 4th St. Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-9335 http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/pt-reyes-shop-creamery Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A must visit. Premiere cheese selection (tastings welcome!), and a great take-out cantina. You can picnic right there on their lawn, or take it to go.
Palace Market 11300 Highway One Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1016 http://palacemarket.com Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. West Marin’s one and only supermarket. Well-stocked for every need. Deli in the back for sandwiches.
Seafood Shacks and Oyster Farms
Marshall Store http://themarshallstore.com 19225 Highway One Marshall 13 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1339 Great oysters (and other options), a seafood shack with charm and soul for days, right on the bay. For the full experience, dress warm to sit outside (although there is seating inside as well).
Hog Island Oyster Company 20215 Highway One Marshall 13.9 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-9218 http://hogislandoysters.com Open 9-5 daily for buying oysters to go, picnic reservations available daily from 10:30-5, and The Boat, the farm’s oyster bar, is open Friday-Monday 11:30-4 p.m.
Tomales Bay Oyster Company 15479 Highway One Marshall 9.7 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1242 http://tomalesbayoysters.com Open every day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Onsite picnicking welcome.
Drake’s Bay Oyster Company 17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Inverness 6 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-669-1149 http://drakesbayoyster.com/visitors/ call before going to check on availability
Java and Bakeries
The Depot 12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Inverness, CA Right across the road from Dancing Coyote Beach (415) 669-7195 http://www.saltwateroysterdepot.com/thedepot/ Sweet little café, with great espresso. A good place to sit with a cup and some amazing toast from our local bread – or bring it back to your cottage. Saturday & Sunday; 8am - 4pm
Bovine Bakery 11315 Highway One Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-9420 http://www.thebovinebakery.com Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. An institution! Bicyclists ride over the mountain with a cup of strong Bovine coffee and a pastry on their minds. Often a line out the door, but it moves quickly
Toby’s Coffee Bar 11250 Star Route One Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach http://www.thebovinebakery.com\ Every day 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. A treasured local hang. Great espresso and fresh pastries (be sure to try a Brickmaiden scone or biscotti). The coffee bar is inside of Toby’s Feed Barn, and everything about this place is worth exploring!
Vladimir’s 12785 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Inverness Across the road from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-669-1021 Open Tuesday 5-10 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday noon to 10 p.m.
Old Western Saloon 11201 Highway One Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1661 Open 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The real deal rural dive bar - juke box, occasional live music, a small dance floor and pool tables in the back. On the right night, this place becomes an old-school hootenanny.
Station House Bar in the Station House Café 11180 Highway One, Point Reyes Station 415-663-1515 4+ miles from Dancing Coyote Beach http://stationhousecafe.com Closes around 9 p.m. Nice room. You can order food from the café in the bar as well. Really good live music Sundays at 5 p.m.
Annual and Seasonal Events
Our local celebrations are truly small town and delightful. If you are here on these dates, please consider joining us.
Point Reyes Farmers Market Late June until early November, every Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. An award-winning, all organic, all local market, with great food, music and chefs demonstrations. Not to be missed! At Toby’s Feed Barn 11250 Highway One, Point Reyes Station http://www.pointreyesfarmersmarket.org
Western Weekend Parade First Sunday in June at noon, a great little parade down the main street of Point Reyes Station, followed by the annual chicken barbeque. A classic event!
Path of Lights and Annual Craft Fair First Friday of December at dusk in downtown Point Reyes Station. Many shops stay open late. Lots going on at Toby’s Feed Barn, right in the center of town. The Holiday Fair opens at the Dance Palace Community Center, is open throughout the weekend.
Point Reyes Open Studios Memorial Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend http://www.pointreyesart.com A chance to experience some of the bountiful artistic talent that thrives in West Marin. It’s fun to visit studios, which can take you up into the hills and to surprising locations tucked here and there.
Far West Fest Annual summer music festival, voted Best in Marin. Check our local, non-commercial, listener-sponsored radio station KWMR for dates and details. http://www.kwmr.org KWMR is another great glimpse into our community. Tune in to 90.5 fm, or stream it online.
Inverness Fair Dates in August TBA. Annual summer event right down First Valley, directly across from Dancing Coyote Beach. You can’t miss it!
If you bring your raingear, and are feeling hearty, you can still enjoy walking the beaches and trails in a light rain. Or driving out to Point Reyes North Beach, one can watch fabulous surf from the comfort of your vehicle. Here are some of our favorite alternatives to enjoy your time here on wet days. In addition to these, there are many lovely shops and several galleries to visit in Inverness Park and Point Reyes Station, as well as well as our local libraries in Inverness and Point Reyes Station. Here are a few suggestions:
Bear Valley Visitor Center At Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters 1 Bear Valley Road, Point Reyes Station 5+ miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-464-5100 http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm Open Weekdays from 10 am to 5:00 pm and Weekends and holidays from 9 am to 5:00 pm, and until 4:30 p.m. in the winter months.
Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History 15 Park Ave (inside the Inverness Library), Inverness One block from Dancing Coyote Beach http://jackmasonmuseum.org 415-669-1099 Open Monday 3-6 and 7-9 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Friday 3-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gallery Route One 11101 Highway One, Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach 415-663-1347 http://galleryrouteone.org Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays An excellent non-profit, community-based, artist-run gallery, with several exhibition spaces.
Coyuchi 11101 Highway One, Ste 201, Point Reyes Station 5 miles from Dancing Coyote Beach (415) 663-8077 www.coyuchi.com Open Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Coyuchi is one of our favorite shops in town because it's where we get we get many of our organic linens for Dancing Coyote Beach. The shop has both a retail section and an outlet with deeply discounted items and get 20% off your purchase of $200 or more.
Folks don’t come here for the nightlife, but if you find yourself looking for a little something to do in the evening, check out the excellent cultural offerings of our community center and bookstore, both in Point Reyes Station. Some events are during the day as well.