At the north end of Point Reyes is the Tomales Point tule elk reserve. You can get there from San Francisco in about an hour and a half, but it's far more scenic (especially for a new arrival to the West Coast, like myself) to drive of Sir Francis Drake. The drive is about 2 hours that way, but you winding roads take you through forests, coastal scrub, and darling small towns.
At Tomales Point you'll find a 5 mile there-and-back trail that takes you very close to many, many (many!) tule elk.