Home to a variety of wildlife, hiking trails, a lighthouse and more, Northern California’s Point Reyes National Seashore, is a popular coastal getaway. Located off of Highway 1, just 30 miles north of San Francisco, the change in scenery – from city to seashore – is dramatic. You won’t find any chain brand hotels in these parts, but Olema House offers cozy quarters for folks looking to trade city life for nature-filled views.
Olema House (formerly The Lodge at Point Reyes) offers 24 rooms spread across four acres. Originally built in 1988 as a bed and breakfast, the property is a mix of accommodations, offering traditional style hotel rooms, cottages, and an apartment that’s ideal for traveling families.
All accommodations look out toward Point Reyes National Seashore, with a view of the property’s expansive backyard lawn and Olema Creek. Inside, all rooms have private bathrooms, radiant heat-warmed floors, and down comforters, but that said, every room is a little different from the next. My fireplace room offered a nook and a sitting area with two chairs to take in the view, whereas the same space in the room next door was used as an outdoor balcony. Not all rooms have fireplaces, and only some have televisions.
My bathroom was split into two separate spaces. Just as you entered the room, the toilet was off to the right, the sink and shower to the left. A few steps led the way down into the main sleeping area, where along with a king bed, there was a dresser-like piece of furniture that concealed a good size mini-refrigerator and provided a few drawers for storage space. There is no closet in the room.
Adirondack chairs are spread throughout the backyard at the Olema House. At night, guests can relax by the fire pit and even do some stargazing if they’re in the mood.
Olema House is less than a mile from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Spring through fall, guests can walk along a path to the visitor center and easily connect to a number of other hiking trails. Cell service is not reliable in the Point Reyes National Seashore, so at the very least, it’s a good idea to get to the visitor center to pick up a map.
Complimentary breakfast is served buffet-style every morning from 7:30am to 10am. Along with hard boiled eggs, granola, fruit, and yogurt, there’s a selection of meats and cheese. Coffee and a variety of teas are available throughout the day, and cookies are known to make an appearance in the afternoon. Onsite Due West restaurant (formerly Farm House at the Lodge) features menus loaded with local ingredients like oysters from Tomales Bay.
The front desk is staffed from 7am to 11pm daily. Employees are friendly and helpful, and there’s a good chance you’ll meet the hands-on general manager at some point during your stay.
Review and photos (except where noted) by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was hosted by Olema House, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.