Kule Loklo is a re-creation of a Coast Miwok Indian village that often schedules displays of dancing, basket-making, cooking, and indigenous art. Until recently, Morgan Horse Ranch was the only working horse-breeding farm in the National Park System. Although breeding is defunct, the ranch remains a good place to see park patrol horses. Also, exhibits here offer an interpretive glimpse into the area's horse ranching past. Both are near the Bear Valley Visitor Center on Bear Valley Road and are open year-round.

If you want a behind-the-scenes look at shellfish aquaculture, head to Drakes Bay Oyster Company, 17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., about 6 miles west of Inverness (tel. 415/669-1149; www.drakesbayoyster.com). Located in the park, on the edge of Drakes Estero (a large saltwater estuary on the Point Reyes Peninsula that produces about 10% of California's commercial oyster yield), the farm may not be much to look at, with its cluster of trailer homes, shacks, and oyster tanks surrounded by piles of oyster shells, but these tasty bivalves are raised in an organic and sustainable manner, and they don't come any fresher (you can even barbecue them at Drakes Beach). The Park Service has threatened to shut the farm down come 2012, so this may be a limited-time opportunity; call or check the website for up-to-date information.


The Great Beach is one of California's longest. It is also one of the windiest, and home to large and dangerous waves. You can't swim here, but the beachcombing is some of the best in the world. Tide-poolers should go to McClures Beach at the end of Pierce Point Road during low tide or hike out to Chimney Rock, east of the lighthouse. Swimmers and dog owners will want to stick to Limantour Beach, in the protected lee of Point Reyes. Kehoe Beach, in the northwest part of the park, is known for its spring wildflower blooms. Hearts Desire Beach, at Tomales Bay State Park (tel. 415/669-1140; www.parks.ca.gov), has the warmest, safest swimming, as well as an $8-per-vehicle fee.

Sir Francis Drake reputedly landed the Pelican (later rechristened the Golden Hind) on the sandy shore of Drakes Bay in June 1579, to replenish supplies and make repairs before sailing home to England. Drakes Beach is now home to the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and Drakes Beach Cafe (tel. 415/669-1297; www.drakescafe.com; Thurs-Fri and Mon 11am-3pm; Sat-Sun 11am-5pm), the only food concession in the park and famous for its Sunday oyster cookouts. Prix-fixe dinners are also seasonally available on Friday and Saturday nights; reservations are required. This beach is good for swimming, and beach fires are permitted.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.