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Bay & Resort History

The ancient home of the Coast Miwok people, the dramatic landscape of the Point Reyes peninsula, with its wave-battered cliffs, remained undiscovered by European explorers until the late 1500's. Sir Francis Drake probably first sighted and mapped the fog-shrouded headlands in 1579, at which time he is thought to have camped along the beach which today bears his name. His ship, the Golden Hinde, was full of gold and luxuries such as porcelain, taken from Spanish galleons traveling from the Philippines to Acapulco.

A Stop in Point Reyes Headlands

During the summer of 1579, Drake came ashore somewhere on the Point Reyes headlands in California to careen his ship and repair the hull. Drake claimed the land for Queen Elizabeth before setting sail southwest to complete his circumnavigation of the globe and returning to England in 1580.

Imagine what this windswept, fog-enshrouded landscape may have looked like over four hundred years ago, before the first cattle made their way here. Imagine Coast Miwok coexisting with tule elk, grizzly bear, mountain lion, whales, dolphins, countless birds and their innumerable prey species.

Founding of the Resort

In the 1950's Louis Longley purchased the land where the resort now stands. He built a pier for boats and six rooms for rent. He named the place Tombahia in honor of its beautiful setting on Tomales Bay. "Tom" for Tomales and "bahia" which is an archaic spelling of the Portuguese word meaning "bay." Longley added onto the resort, as did subsequent owners, until it became the classic Point Reyes vacation destination it is today.