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About Drakes Beach in Inverness, California

Drakes Beach is a remote beach in Point Reyes National Seashore that requires a long scenic drive to reach, but is worth whatever it takes to get there. Hiking and beach walking are prime on Drakes Bay and Drakes Beach gets protection from the peninsula so wind and wave action are typically mellow compared to the ocean-facing beaches.

There used to be a cafe at the beach (Drake’s Beach Cafe) that made it easier to deal with the long drive, but it has been closed indefinitely. In its place there is a small store with expensive drinks and snacks if you don’t want to pack a lunch before heading out.

Starting at the parking lot is a path that climbs up to the Peter Behr Overlook with views down on Drakes Beach and the bay. Unofficial boot-beaten paths continue beyond the overlook and signs wisely warn to stay back from the cliffs which could crumble at any time.

Drakes Beach is protected by the point at Chimney Rock so the surf is typically calm enough for stand-up paddleboarding and playing at the water’s edge. The beach is wide and sandy near the parking lot and extends in both directions for beach walking. Dramatic high cliffs and rocks in the surf make this a popular place for photographs.

The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, next to the beach parking lot, has informative exhibits about Point Reyes. It’s open around the weekends most of the year, but is closed entirely in the fall.

Chimney Rock has trails and a spectacular seal viewpoint just a short drive away. If you have time, the Point Reyes Lighthouse is nearby, and since you drove all the way out here, it’s worth seeing too. Wherever you go on the peninsula, you’ll want to explore beaches and the surrounding area, but bring warm clothes to protect from wind and fog that is commonplace (always check the weather forecast).

Consult the National Park Service website for hours of operation for the lighthouse and the Ken Patrick Visitor Center as they change throughout the year. In the winter months a shuttle bus operates from Drakes Beach for access to Chimney Rock and the lighthouse.

In August each year the National Park Service hosts a sand sculpture contest at Drakes Beach. See more info on sandcastle contests in California.

Drakes Beach Rd
Inverness, CA 94937
Park Name
Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes State Marine Reserve
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on beach
Free parking
Beachcombing, Beach Walking, Birdwatching, Walking, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Bookstore, Visitor Center, Bay Overlook, Trails, Lagoon, Driftwood
Map of Drakes Beach
Inverness, US
10:11 am, May 30, 2024
temperature icon 68°F
L: 50° H: 68°
Feels like 67.59 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 7 m/s
UV Index: 4.29
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 3 km
Sunrise: 5:51 am
Sunset: 8:27 pm
Humidity 75 %
Pressure1016 mb
Wind 7 m/s

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