The long blue finger of Tomales Bay points seaward, straight along the San Andreas fault from the north end of the Olema Valley out to the Pacific. One of the best ways to visit this sheltered 12-mile-long estuary is by canoe, kayak, or sailboat. Put in at Heart’s Desire Beach and watch for the resident birds—blue herons, cormorants, osprey, egrets, sandpipers, and gulls—as well as wintering waterfowl such as scoters and Brant geese.

Tomales Bay State Park affords waterfront access on both sides of the bay. To the north lies Millerton Point and Alan P. Sieroty Beach, a day-use area eight miles northwest of Point Reyes Station on Highway 1. On the southwest side of the bay, Heart’s Desire Beach is a nice spot for picnicking, camping, and warm-water swimming.

The Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve is a marshy, tidal wildlife sanctuary, home of many shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl. You can gain access to this California Department of Fish and Game reserve from a big turnout on Highway 1 north of Point Reyes Station.


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