Point Reyes Seashore Lodge

Olema, California

Jun 1, 2002
Outside Magazine
Access and Resources

Rooms range from $135 to $325.

Olema, California

Ordinarily a downpour on vacation dampens my spirits, but when we awakened to rain at Northern California's Point Reyes Seashore Lodge, it only made me want to heap more blankets on the already cozy double beds, laze in front of the crackling fire, and let the rain have its way with the bucolic pasture outside the bay window.
Our sons, Will, 6, and Griffin, 4, however, had food on the brain. So we threw sweatshirts on over our pajamas and trooped through the airy lobby with its 30-foot-long Douglas-fir chandelier and down the stairs to sit next to another fireplace, where we gorged on the continental buffet included in the room rate. Being first in line ensured dibs on the bear claws in the pastry basket. By the time we finished eating, the sky had cleared, changing the morning's equation.

We know our options well—this 21-room inn is a favored family escape for both active and relaxing weekends. For instance, a two-minute walk out the door puts you on the Rift Zone Trail, which wanders through patches of redwoods along the base of the Coast Range, eventually joining more than 140 miles of trails in the area. My husband, Gordon, wanted to go kayaking in Tomales Bay or horseback riding, but I lobbied for something simpler—a visit to Olema Creek in the backyard. Surrounding the inn's Douglas-fir-planked lodge are two acres of grass and gardens for play. And three and a half miles west is the surf, which crashes onto beaches with 100-foot-high cliffs along Point Reyes National Seashore.
We poked around Olema Creek and then headed for the Bear Valley Visitor Center, the hub of the National Seashore, via a half-mile trail. My children absorbed wildlife and habitat displays but reached saturation at the replica of a Miwok Indian village. So we turned back to the inn just as a gentle rain began falling.
We could have driven to the nearby lighthouse, or gone to see the local herds of tule elk, or tooled down Highway 1 past a couple of miles of cow pasture to the artsy town of Point Reyes Station. Instead, we returned to the inn's indoor pleasures. We had everything we needed inside.