• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Indoor Activities

Although most visitors consider Point Reyes National Seashore to be primarily a park at which to enjoy the outdoors, there are three Visitor Centers in which one can find shelter and learn more about Point Reyes during inclement weather. In the Visitor Centers, one will find informative exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the Point Reyes area. Please see our Visitor Centers page to learn more about the Bear Valley, Kenneth C. Patrick and Lighthouse Visitor Centers. Or visitors with an appointment are welcome to check out the artwork that is on display in the Red Barn Classroom.

During inclement weather, visitors may also wish to visit the Jack Mason Museum in Inverness or the Bolinas Museum in Bolinas. There are also numerous art galleries in the vicinity.

Visitors may also request and view a number of audio-visual programs at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.


Bear Valley Visitor Center Auditorium

Now Showing:

  • "Point Reyes: The Point of Kings" - Point Reyes Orientation (16 minute video)
  • "Enchanted Shore" - Inspiring Images of the Seashore (20 minute slide presentation)
  • "Something Special" - Point Reyes Orientation and Introduction (22 minute video)
  • "On a Barren Rock" - Point Reyes Lighthouse History (11 minute video)
  • "A Spark of Life" - 1995 Vision Fire (12 minute video)
  • "Welcome to Kule Loklo" - Coast Miwok Indians (20 minute video)
  • "Cordell Bank: Blue Water Oasis" (15 minute video)
  • "Life at the Ocean's Edge" - Natural history of the threatened snowy plover and least tern (21 minute video)
  • "A Sheltered Sea - The Journey of the California Marine Life Protection Act" (23 minute video)
  • "This is America" - Preview of Ken Burns' 12-hour mini-series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" which was broadcast on PBS in September 2009 (45 minute video)

Audio-visual programs are shown on request. Inquire at the desk about additional offerings.

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Ranger giving a presentation to visitors using the Science on a Sphere.

Science On a Sphere

Attend a presentation of the park's Science On a Sphere® (SOS) at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. SOS presentations were offered by rangers at 1:30 pm on weekends through Saturday, May 31, 2014. In 2013, SOS presentations were also offered at 1:30 pm on weekdays from June 3 through August 30. However, regularly scheduled SOS presentations will not be offered during the summer of 2014, but may be offered as a "Ranger's Choice" program at 10:30 am. Check the program schedule on our Schedule of Events: Summer 2014 Daily Ranger Program page, or stop by or call the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5 to learn when the next SOS program will be offered. Daily SOS presentations may also be offered during winter and spring breaks. We also have a variety of SOS films which can be viewed at other times of the day.

Science On a Sphere® is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed SOS® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.

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Red Barn Art Exhibitions

In 2003, Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) established the art gallery in the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore. Rotating painting, photography, and educational exhibits several times a year, themes of the selected shows reflect the natural or cultural aspects of the Seashore and surrounding area. PRNSA sponsors the Art Exhibitions and handles all art show sales, a portion of which supports the Point Reyes National Seashore Museum and Archives Research Services. For art sales, contact PRNSA Gallery Manager: Annalisa Price at 415-663-1200 x309 or by email, or PRNSA Business Manager 415-663-1200 x302 or by email. If you are interested in exhibiting your art work in the Red Barn, download and submit the Red Barn Art Gallery Guidelines for Artists and Application for Exhibit (116 KB PDF).

The Red Barn art gallery is open by appointment only, daily, 9 am to 4 pm; closed holidays and as otherwise noted. Please contact Carola DeRooy at 415-464-5218 or by email or Annalisa Price at 415-663-1200 x309 or by email to schedule an appointment or for more information. For most exhibitions, there is also an accompanying artist reception, which is open to everyone.

To get to the Red Barn Classroom, follow the directions to Point Reyes National Seashore. As you proceed up the driveway toward the Bear Valley Visitor Center, turn left at the sign for the Red Barn Classroom.

"Along the Coast." 12"x16" Oil on board painting by BayWood Artist Jon Francis.

"BayWood Artists Paint Point Reyes"
August 30 through September 30, 2014;
Artists reception was on August 30, 2014.

An exhibition by the BayWood Artists began the holiday weekend of Saturday, August 30, 2014, and will continue through September (except September 14) from noon to 5 pm at the Red Barn Classroom. Admission is free, all welcome!

An opening reception was held on Saturday, August 30, from noon to 5 pm (free admission). Festivities culminate with a cocktail hour on Saturday, September 20, in conjunction with Point Reyes National Seashore Association's (PRNSA) Dinner at the Pacific Plate. To purchase tickets for this event, contact Donna Faure at 415-663-1200 x303 or by email. Tickets will also available at www.ptreyes.org.

Throughout 2014, the BayWood Artists are painting in the National Seashore's lands as part of the campaign, "Wilderness Forever" celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act passed by the United States Congress in 1964.

Several BayWood Artists will be teaching classes for PRNSA's Field Institute in the fall, celebrating outdoor painting, wilderness, and the Point Reyes National Seashore. A "paint out" is being planned, during which BayWood Artists will be painting in the park and the public will be invited to visit the artists at work. (Date/time/location to be determined.) Visitors may also view, enjoy, and purchase BayWood Artists' paintings that will be displayed at the Bear Valley Visitor Center from August 30 through the end of September. The Bear Valley Visitor Center is open 10 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 4:30 pm on weekends and holidays.

BayWood Artists is a group of professional Northern California artists dedicated to helping preserve and protect areas recognized as particularly beautiful and important to future generations.

In recognition of the effort of preserving our parks, the award-winning BayWood Artists come together in giving back to the community through their art. Some of the most famous American landscape artists feature some of their best paintings in this art exhibit. The artists have gone to great lengths to capture the light and beauty of landscape and seascape of areas that are not easily accessible in order to create paintings; a window to the world of nature that we all have come to love.

For the third year, the artists known for their plein aire style, will give a portion of the proceeds to PRNSA, the primary nonprofit park partner organization, which was created to raise awareness and funds for education, preservation, and resource protection of the singular west coast National Seashore.

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Painting of the Point Reyes peninsula from Inverness Ridge, by Ane Carla Rovetta.

West with the Light: Images of Point Reyes
October 7, 2014, through January 6, 2015;
Artists reception on Sunday, October 12, 2014

Visitors are invited to view artworks by Ane Carla Rovetta. Ane Carla has been interpreting the colors, moods, and beauty of the Peninsula in painting and storytelling for decades. The rich and subtle tones of her artworks draw you into new and familiar landscapes filled with light and shadow.

Visitors are also invited to a reception for the artist on Sunday, October 12, 2014, from 11 am to 4 pm.


Earlier Red Barn Art Exhibitions have included:

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Did You Know?

The pernicious Cig Egret makes its nest in beaches, estuaries, and marshes. Physical removal is the only means of eradication.

40 percent of all debris items picked up during California Coastal Cleanup Days are cigarette butts. In 2008, volunteers picked up over 340,000 of them in only three hours. 2008 was the 24th straight year in which cigarette butts were the most numerous debris item picked up. More...