Drakes Bay

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For the bay in Costa Rica, see Drakes Bay, Costa Rica.
Drakes Bay Historic Archaeological District
NRHP Reference # 12001006[1]
Added to NRHP October 10, 2012
Drakes Bay

Drakes Bay is a small bay in the Point Reyes National Seashore on the coast of northern California in the United States, approximately 30 miles (48 km) northwest of San Francisco at approximately 38 degrees north latitude.[2] The bay is approximately 8 miles (13 km) wide. It is formed on the lee side of the coastal current by Point Reyes. The portions of the bay related to Francis Drake's 1579 visit, Sebastião Rodrigues Soromenho's 1595 visit and their interactions with the Coast Miwok were designated as the Drakes Bay Historic and Archaeological District, a National Historic Landmark, on October 17, 2012.[3][4]

The bay is fed by Drake's Estero, an expansive estuary on the Point Reyes peninsula. The estuary is protected by Estero de Limantour State Marine Reserve & Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area. Point Reyes State Marine Reserve & Point Reyes State Marine Conservation Area lie within Drakes Bay. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.

The bay is named after Sir Francis Drake[5] and has long been considered Drake's most likely landing spot on the west coast of North America during his circumnavigation of the world by sea in 1579. An alternative name for this bay is Puerto De Los Reyes.[2]

View of Drakes Bay from Drake's beach

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 10/22/12 through 10/27/12". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Drakes Bay
  3. ^ Kovner, Guy (17 October 2012). "Drakes Bay at Point Reyes named national historic landmark". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "US Interior Dept. makes 4 Calif. sites landmarks". San Jose Mercury News. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 109. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°0′43″N 122°55′9″W / 38.01194°N 122.91917°W / 38.01194; -122.91917