This hidden sandy cove on the eastern side of Point Reyes National Seashore faces calm and protected Tomales Bay and the rolling hills of Marin County. Kids love the trek down through the forest, the freshwater, seasonal stream running into the bay, and the long sandy shore. Parents love the lack of waves and gentle slope into the water.
Heart’s Desire is great for wading and swimming, with bay water that, while not warm, is certainly warmer than the adjacent Pacific. Hiking trails lead to several neighbouring beaches. Note that this is a popular spot with limited parking that tends to fill up quickly on holidays and weekends—if you can carpool with other family members, do it.
Tip: Make plans to coordinate with others before you get to the park; cellphone service is spotty at best.