Limantour Beach stretches for over four miles from the west end of Limantour Spit to Santa Maria Beach to the southeast. It is a popular beach among families. The waves of Drakes Bay are usually much smaller than those on the west-facing beaches of Point Reyes, so it's relatively safer for people to play along the water's edge.
Limantour Spit is a long, narrow strand of sand, bound by Drakes Bay to the south and Estero de Limantour to the north. The estuary is a bountiful wildlife area. Scores of shorebirds feed in the wetlands and along the beaches during the fall. Ducks abound in winter. Harbor seals are often seen bobbing offshore in the gentle waves or basking in the sun's warmth at the western end of the spit. Mother gray whales guide their calves along the shoreline during the spring.
The ocean water may be as low as 10°C (50°F), so those without wetsuits rarely stay in the water for long. Hypothermia, sneaker waves, and rip currents are just a few of the hazards of which visitors should be aware. Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information.
Beaches may be closed at various times of the year to better protect western snowy plovers during their nesting season, harbor seals during their pupping season, or for visitor safety. Please visit our Current Conditions page to learn about any current beach closures.
- Glass: Glass containers are prohibited on all Point Reyes Beaches.
- Take only pictures; leave only footprints: Almost everything one finds at Point Reyes' beaches is protected by law, including shells, rocks, fossils, flowers, and artifacts.
- Wildlife: Do not chase or feed the gulls (or any other birds) and keep your distance from seals and sea lions.
- Drones: Launching, landing, or operating a drone from or on lands and waters within the boundaries of Point Reyes National Seashore is prohibited.
- Metal-detectors: Metal-detectors are prohibited throughout the National Seashore.
- Pets: Pets are permitted along 2 miles (~3 kilometers) of Limantour Beach, from the main parking lot toward the southeast (e.g., to the left as you face Drakes Bay) until the beach starts to get rocky. Pets must be on a 6-foot-long (1.8-meter) or shorter leash at all times. Pets are prohibited to the west of the main parking lot, e.g., on Limantour Spit. Visit our Pets page for more information.
- Camping: Camping on Limantour Beach is prohibited. Parking your vehicle overnight at the parking lots is prohibited unless you have a valid backcountry camping permit. Visit our Backcountry Camping page for more information on camping at Point Reyes.
- Wood fires: A permit is required to have a wood fire at any beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. Visit our Beach Fires page for more information.
- Fishing: Fishing is permitted along much of the Drakes Bay side of Limantour Beach. Fishing is prohibited in Estero de Limantour and along the western end of Limantour Spit. Please visit our Fishing page for more information and specific regulations.
Visit the park's Beaches of Point Reyes page for more details.
Help Keep Your Beaches Clean
Follow Leave No Trace Principles to reduce your impact on the places we love. Use the vault toilets at the parking lots before heading to the beach. Please help protect marine life and keep your park's beaches clean by disposing of refuse in the garbage cans/dumpsters located at the parking lots. If you build any driftwood structures during your visit, please disassemble them before you leave.