We just spend a day in Point Reyes with our toddler and a baby, and had a great time!
Point Reyes is about an hour drive from San Francisco, right over the Golden Gate Bridge and in the Marin County. Tony and I used to come here a lot for eating fresh oysters and the cool Old Western Saloon downtown. We haven’t been to Point Reyes with a toddler (Henry) and a baby (Andrew) yet, and not sure why because Point Reyes is full of fun things to do for toddlers! Especially if your toddler loves the nature and animals – like horses!
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Hiking in Point Reyes with a Toddler and a Baby
Kule Loklo 0.8 Mile Trail by the Bear Valley Visitor Center
This easy 0.8 mile round trip hike was a perfect place to hike in Point Reyes with a toddler. Henry (almost 3) walked the entire time collecting twigs, branches, and rocks. We saw deer, and depending on when you go, you may see horses roaming around from the nearby Morgan Horse Ranch.
Henry pretended like he was a tiger, I was a hippo, Tony is an elephant, and Andrew was a cheetah. You know, the normal toddler stuff (I think…?). Andrew was in our favorite hiking backpack (Osprey Poco Plus) loaded with snacks, diapers, and wipes. At the end of the loop (0.4-mile mark), there is a cute and educational Miwok Village. Along the way were signs explaining the Coast Miwok people and culture.
There are a few other hiking trails in this area of Point Reyes National Seashore (we love this guide by Bay Area Hiker), but we chose this one because of the ease (no elevation change) and the short distance of this hike. We wanted to check out other spots in Point Reyes with a toddler and a baby all in one day, so decided on this short one. It is a perfect distance, flat hike with animals and a village. What more can you ask for from a hike with a toddler!?
The hike starts at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Inside, there is a cool interactive “museum” type of exhibits with a giant seal and other displays explaining the area. It’s a cool stop! There are restrooms also available here.
Horses in Point Reyes with a Toddler and a Baby
Right by the Bear Valley Visitor Center and the Kule Loklo Hiking Trail, is the Morgan Horse Ranch. Henry is absolutely obsessed with horses, so he loved it! No horseback riding here, but the person that worked there was so knowledgeable about horses, it was amazing. She even knew how to explain about horses in toddler language (how long they live, the hierarchy in which the horses interact with each other, names and relationship). Thank you so much! Henry loved it!
The Morgan Horse Ranch sparked Henry’s need to ride a horse, so we called Five Brooks Stable, and they told us they have drop-in “pony” rides in Point Reyes for toddlers! When they say “pony” ride, they mean a pretty normal sized, well-mannered horse, and they lead you through a trail! Henry was hooked. He had only been on ponies that went around in a circle before. They take all the right precautions, and we were able to walk right next to him the entire time. We could have held onto him for support, but Henry was adamant on riding on his own, and kept saying “no daddy, Henry do it [by myself]”. Henry won, and he rode on his own. They really made his entire year. 🙂
The Shipwreck in Inverness
If you have 15 minutes to spare while you are in Point Reyes with a toddler (or kids, or without!), the Shipwreck in Inverness is totally worth walking to and snapping a few pics while you take in the fresh air! Totally doable taking turns with your spouse/travel partner if one or more of the kids are taking a nap in the car. The walk is 2-5 minutes from the parking lot and it’s just a cool sight.
Point Reyes with Toddlers and Baby – Downtown and Food
Point Reyes Downtown has a good mix of restaurants, ranging from casual to kind of fancy. With two young boys that cannot sit still and quietly for more than 30 seconds, we opt for sandwiches or something easy that we can buy and eat. We love the Cowgirl Creamery but they were closed on Martin Luther King Day (the day we went), so check before you go! We opted for our favorite deli from before kids – A Whale of a Deli and Market. They have delicious Mexican food, sandwiches and pizza. They also have a casual place to sit down and eat, which is perfect if you are with little kids!
We didn’t go on this day, but we have been to, and absolutely love the Point Reyes Winery! We’ve never taken our kids there, but from what we remember, it is a casual and kid-friendly environment. Check it out if you have time!