Point Reyes Elopement Guide
Point Reyes, a favorite Northern California getaway of mine, is such a lovely area for intimate weddings and elopements. My first visit was many years ago on a road trip. As we wrapped our way over the mountains and hit the charming little town of Point Reyes Station, I was taken in by the quaintness of this area. As a photographer, the open landscape, marshlands, Redwood forests, and winding roads appeal to my visual senses. A Point Reyes wedding or elopement along the coast to Mendocino is hard to beat, with stunning scenery similar to the beauty of Big Sur, but without the crowds. There are pros and cons to the remoteness of Point Reyes, so as you explore which location is best for you, consider travel time within your timeline. Driving out for a better view is well worth the extra planning.
Best Elopement Locations in Point Reyes
Mt. Tamalpais State Park, also known as Mt. Tam, is located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the heart of Marin County. The loop trail to the peak is 13.3 miles, and the views from the top are stunning. The peak gives you a panoramic view of the bay. This is quite a hike, so on the day of your elopement, you may decide to drive. The road will take you nearly to the top. Although the park doesn’t charge an entrance fee, some lots charge for parking. Special event permits are required, and you can request one from the park’s contact!
Mankas is scheduled to reopen in early 2024. The Boathouse at Mankas with the pier over Tomales Bay is a gem! As they release updated information about the lodge, I will update it here for you.
Best Intimate Wedding Locations in Point Reyes
Straus Home Ranch is in Marshall, CA, and their website shows their availability for your convenience. With an ocean backdrop, and gorgeous views, makes this an incredible venue for photos.
Stemple Creek Ranch is a wedding venue in Tomales. Their website describes the venue best— rustic elegance and natural beauty. The farm to table wedding experience is unique, and the venue is gorgeous, usually a venue for larger weddings, but an intimate wedding could take place here as well.
The Haven at Tomales is a gorgeous venue located in Tomales, California. They have several outdoor ceremony settings to choose from. They range from having views of the rolling hills and being surrounded by the Redwoods. This venue has amazing options for every couple to choose from! The reception takes place in the historic barn.
Best Beaches in Point Reyes for Elopements
The beaches page on the National Park Service’s website is very helpful when deciding on which Point Reyes beach to elope at. They are broken up into lists of beaches that are adjacent to or near parking lots and beaches that are reached by hikes. If you’re feeling adventurous, the beaches reached by hikes are stunning.
First, I recommend Limantour, not a far walk from the parking lot, with a remote and expansive feel. Because of the vastness, with a variation of landscape as well, sand dunes, marshland and mountain views, it’s an ideal location for photos.
Keyhole, another beautiful yet more remote beach, is another beautiful location to elope. Surrounded by marshland, with a drive through the countryside. Another option is the Chimney Rock Trail, which is a beautiful cliff side trail with ocean views and stunning scenery. It’s a great way to take in the views and cliffs.
Overall, the most important things to keep in mind when researching how to elope in Point Reyes is to plan ahead. You will need to get permits for elopements and intimate weddings for most outdoor locations in Point Reyes. Information on permits for weddings along the Point Reyes National Seashore can be found here.
Best Places To Stay in Point Reyes
Mankas, which I mentioned above, is my top choice for a venue location, and place to stay, located right on Tomales Bay. Mankas is reopening in early 2024, and I’m looking forward to seeing its updates.
Olema is also a fun and central location to stay. It was formerly known as The Lodge at Point Reyes. It’s a boutique hotel with an intimate and tranquil setting. The amenities include a market on site, restaurant, updated rooms, and a rotating calendar of events, which are called “Featured Experiences” on their website. This is a great place to stay if you’re wanting to spend time exploring Point Reyes.
Best Places To Eat in Point Reyes
My two favorite restaurants in Point Reyes are Saltwater and Café Reyes. These are the places I recommend most frequently because they have the best local food and atmospheres. Saltwater is known for their oysters, which are local and caught fresh daily. They also work with local farmers to use the best ingredients. This is a fabulous place for small events as well. Café Reyes is great for pizza. It’s a more laid back restaurant. The patio is dog friendly, and they have an assortment of wine and beer to choose from. They also have fresh oysters!
Best Things To Do in Point Reyes
Take a beautiful hike along the coast
Visit some of the beautiful beaches Point Reyes and Northern California have to offer
Take a kayak ride on the bay
Take a drive out to the Point Reyes Lighthouse
Have a picnic up on Mt.Tam
Walk around the town of Point Reyes
Things To Do Near Point Reyes
Marin and Mill Valley are nearby towns. Both places are great for more activities, restaurants and shopping. Another option is to take a drive north up to Bodega Bay, Jenner, and onto Mendocino. All of the small towns along the coast are worth visiting. The sprawling Marin Headlands have a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and you can also take time to go into the Muir Woods National Monument in North Marin. Mill Valley has a small downtown area sprinkled with coffee shops, art galleries, and photo ops. Again, you can’t go wrong if you decide to get married in Northern California. If you decide to venture out of Point Reyes, you won’t regret it.
Must See Things in Point Reyes
There is a lot of wildlife in the area. Most importantly, you’ll want to stop to see elk. The beautiful cypress tree tunnels can be found surrounding the roads along the coast. Samuel P. Taylor State Park is a great place to see both elk and cypress trees.
Best Time of Year to Elope in Point Reyes
Spring is my favorite time to visit Point Reyes. The Spring blooms and tall green grass make this a stunning location for your elopement. Although, I think Point Reyes is beautiful year round. Something to keep in mind any time of year is that the weather on the coast of Point Reyes can be overcast.
I would love to help you plan your Point Reyes elopement or Northern California elopement. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need more insight. Your intimate wedding day should feel easy and fun, and I would love to be a part of it.