Inverness is one of several villages surrounding Tomales Bay, found along the San Andreas Fault line in Northern California. It’s considered part of the West Marin and Point Reyes National Seashore communities, and is the last settlement before entering the wildlands of the national seashore area. A summer destination from the start, Inverness is an old-timey town with surviving traditions of eras bygone.
The lasting charm and nostalgia of Inverness may have something to do with the fact that a high percentage of homes remain with their original families. It was a magnet for the Bay area’s comfortable set from the start, later attracting a fair share of artists and academicians. Inverness is a community of charming cottages and lovely gardens set against an incredible natural backdrop. Explore the town from top to bottom, starting with the quaint downtown area of a general store, post office, gift shop and more. Relish the traditions that have endured the test of time, such as swimming at Shell Beach, picnicking under the canopy of trees and having sailing races in the summer.
Visitors will find a concentration of recreational boating around the public marina, private piers and Inverness Yacht Club. Participate in a foot race on the fourth of July, or join the garden club’s Primrose Tea in early spring. Check out the Jack Mason Museum in the Inverness Library to peruse the archives and learn more about the town. Take a hike through the surrounding woods, or camp out on the beach. The setting may seem familiar for those who’ve watched John Carpenter films The Fog or Village of the Damned; parts of both films were shot in and around the town. Visit the Point Reyes National Seashore, a 72,000-acre land mass of wild beaches, estuaries and ranchland. The protected peninsula is rich in wildlife and attractions including the Point Reyes Lighthouse and the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station.
The Point Reyes National Seashore is almost on Inverness’ doorstep, all the more reason to consider it as a day trip destination. The preserve has a lot to explore, including several Native American sites, a recreated village, marine protected areas and even National Historic Landmarks. Discover the towns around the Tomales Bay, and see how each location maintains its unique heritage Start with the tiny town of Olema, and make your way to Point Reyes Station, which serves as the gateway to the national seashore and its visitor center. See parts of the San Andreas Fault, which forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, at the Point Reyes National Seashore or the Tomales Bay State Park. The Tomales Bay State Park is less than four miles from town. The state park is divided into an east and west by the bay, but both are family friendly and incredibly scenic.
The San Francisco Bay area is rife with day trip opportunities. Without leaving Marin County, visitors can check out San Rafael, “the city with a mission.” This city, founded as part of California’s mission chain, has blossomed into a star in musical and literary references. Travel a bit further south to get to San Francisco. Only about 47 miles from Inverness, a wealth of sights and attractions are at your fingertips. Also nearby are the cities of Novato, 24 miles; Santa Rosa, 41 miles; and Mill Valley, 37 miles away. The Inverness area is also located around an hour from Napa/Sonoma wine country.
Comfort and hospitality await at your Inverness accommodations. Settle in for a pampered weekend stay at a local bed and breakfast, or bunker down for a cabin stay. Rent a cabin for you and your loved one, or a private room for a solo stay. Hotels or motels can be a good fit too, for those looking for standardized options or amenities.
A trip to the bay or the area parks is just minutes away for visitors to Inverness. Most visitors tour the area by private automobile. Some choose to drive their own vehicles into town, while others take shuttle or charter buses to nearby points of attractions. Public transportation via the West Marin Stagecoach connects Inverness to Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo and San Rafael on Route 68. The Stagecoach also provides access to many area trails. Within greater Marin County, Golden Gate Transit offers public transportation. The operation provides regional fixed-route bus service in Marin and Sonoma counties, as well as San Francisco. The Golden Gate Ferry is another way to get from central Marin County to San Francisco.
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