Point Reyes National Seashore
This is a wild and wonderful place on the outskirts of the fairly densely populated San Francisco Bay Area. The place to start is the Bear Valley Visitor Center, where the visitor can get a sense for the varied opportunities to spend a day, or two, or even longer. Tent camping is allowed, and there are untold lodging opportunities in the general area as this part of northern California draws back locals and visitors alike with some regularity. Those of us who live in the area tend to return time-after-time.
There is something for everyone here. Vehicle-dependent visitors can drive the back roads almost endlessly, finding secluded beaches, searching for elk, gazing at the beautiful and productive farmland and just enjoying the new view at each turn in the road. Neighboring towns actually live up to the term "charming", too often overused. Local produce is plentiful, be it local oysters or farmstead cheeses that do not bear the name Tillamook. Mountain bikers can explore the seemingly endless trails available to them. Hikers can wear themselves out traversing the many trails; and campers can enjoy some beautiful backcountry living right on civilization's doorstep. Kayakers can paddle away and commune with some seagoing critters from time to time.
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