I keep returning to Point Reyes because it is so huge and has so many different and wonderful facets. This trip was to the Tule Elk Preserve, which is at the northern tip of Point Reyes in the area called Tomales Point. The herd is now one of the largest in California, with over 440 animals. Point Reyes actually has two herds; the second smaller herd of about 100 elk roam free in the Limantour / Drakes Beach wilderness area.
While you don’t even have to get out of your car to see them (we had to stop ours while they were crossing the road), my recommendation is to park and get out and do a bit of walking / hiking so that you can get a good feel for their environment, enjoy the views and get some fresh air and exercise. Take your binoculars, too, because you should not try to get close to the elk. There are actually a list of viewing tips the park gives that you should read before going (click here).
Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard up the west side of Tomales Bay, past Inverness, until you get to Pierce Point Road; turn right. Then follow Pierce Point Road all the way to the end. There is a long (4.7 miles each way) and fairly strenuous hike to the very northern tip of Tomales Point that takes you through the preserve and among different groups of elk, and makes for a glorious day.
Where: Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore (map)