Beautiful Beaches in San Francisco | San Francisco Beaches

Beautiful Beaches in San Francisco | San Francisco Beaches

A day at the many stunning beaches in San Francisco guarantees breathtaking sunsets, an endless list of things to do, great food, and more. The added benefit here is having the mighty Golden Gate Bridge n the backdrop at Baker Beach, Marshall's Beach, and China Beach.

Here is the list of 14 Beautiful Beaches in San Francisco | San Francisco Beaches

1. Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach
4.0 /5

Ocean Beach is San Francisco’s prime destination for surfing. Its long history of being inhospitable has paid off and its powerful waves are a hit with experienced surfers. However, the ocean at the beach is too dangerous for casual swimmers even with wetsuits and lifejackets, in most cases. However, it is a great place for families and dogs to just relax and enjoy the view. The areas towards the Golden Gate Park is more popular for regular bonfires.

Parking: No Parking Fees
Pet Policy: Off-leash allowed

2. Baker Beach

Baker Beach

Baker beach in San Francisco sits on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in the northwest part of San Francisco. It is approximately half a mile long, starting just south of the famous Golden Gate Point stretching towards the south in direction of the Seacliff peninsula, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor along with the Sutro Baths. The northern segment of Baker Beach is frequented by visitors who prefer no clothes on the beach as it is considered to be a nude beach.

Located in: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Things to do: Fishing, Sunbathing, Walking, Hiking
Pet Policy: No dogs allowed
Parking: Free

3. China Beach

China Beach

Since the area was used as a campsite by Chinese fisherman in the Gold Rush times, the beach has been named after them. Facing north, with breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, China Beach is a small quaint beach located in the Sea Cliff neighborhood. The large daunting mansions of the Sea Cliff area look onto the beach and ocean.

Things to do: Sunbathing, Picnicking, Tidepooling
Pet Policy: No dogs allowed
Parking: Free

4. Mile Rock Beach

Mile Rock Beach

Just a few steps away from Outer Richmond is Mile Rock Beach. Wild and natural, the beach is scattered with logs and driftwood of all shapes and sizes. This beach in San Francisco boasts of a newly restored Coastal Trail, starting from El Camino del Mar. Follow the trail along the steam-powered Cliff House Railroad built by Adolph Sutro to attract people to the famous Sutro Baths. After the railway line closed down, it became a part of the trail and offers jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. The beach is barely visible during high tide and becomes extremely narrow, but is an attractive picnic spot for family and friends during low tide.

Located in: Lands End, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Things to do: Hiking, Beach Exploration, Photography
Pet Policy: Dogs Allowed
Parking: Free

5. Fort Funston Beach

Fort Funston Beach

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Merced , situated on San Franciscos coast is Fort Funston Beach. The beach is famous for hang gliding and hikes towards the south which get more and more remote with every step. The access to the beach is free of cost with ample parking spaces all over.

Located in: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Things to do: Hang Gliding, Hiking, Beachcombing, Equestrian Use, Beach Walking, Fishing, Biking
Pet Policy: Dogs allowed
Parking: Free

6. Crissy Field Beach

Crissy Field Beach

This beach in San Francisco is a former US Army airfield and now is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The easily accessible beach has a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge with many areas to set up beach shelters to take in the view. The nearby Crissy Field Marsh is a great place for some bird watching. The promenade, which links the Fort Point National Historic Site and the Marina, runs through the beach.

Parking: Free
Activities: Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, Birdwatching, Biking
Pets Allowed: Off-leash allowed

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7. Muir Beach

Muir Beach

The southernmost point of Marin County is home to the quietest beach tucked three miles west of Muir Woods into the long coastline. The latest addition in the area, the Dias Ridge Trail takes you straight down to a favorite picnic spot among locals, Muir Beach. The trail offers jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Marin coastline.

Other Names: Bello Beach
Things to do: Hiking, Beachcombing, Birdwatching, Fishing, Sunbathing, Bonfires, Picnicking
Pet Policy: Dogs Allowed
Parking: Free

8. Esplanade Beach, Pacifica

Esplanade Beach, Pacifica

Esplanade beach in San Francisco is one of the most dog-friendly beaches in Pacifica, the northern end is designated to be a leash-free area for dogs. Its rugged bluffs and soft sands are appealing to anyone. The beach might be beautiful but it's quite narrow and can be very dangerous during high tide. Visitors should check the tide tables in order to ensure their safety on the bridge. The beach is accessible through switchback trails and stairs, which are safest on the northern end. The beach is a delight for beach enthusiasts and dog lovers.

Pet Policy: Dog Friendly (Off-leash)
Parking: Only Street parking on Esplanade Avenue

9. Dunes Beach

Dunes Beach

Located along California’s renowned Pacific Coast Highway, the views from Half Moon Bay are a sight to behold. Dunes Beach is one of the four beaches that makes up the Half Moon Bay State Beach. It's a favored spot throughout the seasons for sunbathing, fishing, surfing, picnics, and camping. The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail runs through the beach and is a must for any hiking fan. It runs parallel to the Pacific coast and offers sweeping views of the water. Half Moon Bay is located just outside San Francisco city limits, not more than an hour away if you take the scenic route. Dunes Beach is located about midway in the Half Moon Bay stretch of beaches.

Things to do: 
Hiking, Biking, Skating, Fishing, Beachcombing, Beach Walking, Sunbathing
Location: Half Moon Bay State Beach, San Mateo County

10. Bolinas Beach

Bolinas Beach

With an extremely picturesque view, but a rather rocky bottom, Bolinas beach in San Francisco is a favorite amongst surfers due to the low but regular waves. Just about 13 miles northwest of San Francisco, it Is located on the Southern Coast of Marin. For tourists, it could be quite a hassle reaching Bolinas as the locals are not very fond of outsiders visiting their reclusive village.

Things to do: Surfing, Bodyboarding, Birdwatching, Kayaking, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Sunbathing
Pet Policy: Dogs allowed
Parking: Free street parking
Also Known As Brighton Beach

11. Kirby Cove Beach

Kirby Cove Beach

Kirby Cove Beach is a secluded, course-sand beach and camping area with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge facing east. Made up of red and brown sand with plenty of colourful pebbles the beach is situated at the base of the Marin Headlands and can be accessed via the Kirby Beach Trail, which is a 2-mile round-trip hike that starts just west of the Battery Spencer parking lot. The trail is relatively steep, so take caution as the descent to the beach may be easy, but the return trip can test your mettle. After a somewhat hectic hike, the demanding effort of this excursion will prove worthwhile for its alluring scenic views.

Location: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Conzelman Rd, Sausalito
Things to Do: Camping, Photography, Hiking, Biking
Pet Policy: No dogs allowed
Parking: Free

12. Rodeo Beach

Rodeo Beach

Located near Sausalito, Rodeo beach in San Francisco is one of the most peaceful beaches across the bridge from San Francisco in Marin County. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a protected section of land filled with beautiful birds and natural landscapes. The beach enclosed within a cliff is one of the favorite spots for people surfing, hiking, running, watching birds, or simply digging around in the sand. You might be lucky enough to see a few dolphins and sea lions in the area. Even though this is one of the most popular beaches in the area, it has still been able to maintain a peaceful environment and is much quieter compared to other spots.

Things to do: Hiking, Birdwatching, Surfing, Rockhounding
Pet Policy: Dogs Allowed
Parking: Free

13. McClures Beach

McClures Beach
5.0 /5

A secluded beach situated in the Point Reyes National Seashore, McClures is one of the few accessible destinations for beachcombing in the western side of the Tomales point. The downhill hike which begins from the trailhead at the end of the Pierce Point Road promises a small coastline roofed with different birds as its destination. You should hike along this trail amidst colourful wild flowers with adequate time in your hands to enjoy both the creek that sometimes drifts into the ocean and to beachcomb driftwoods during your visit.

Nearest Transit Hub :  Point Reyes Station
Hike distance :  2 Km on out and trail back trail
Hiking time : 1 – 2 hours round trip
Parking :  Free parking
Restrooms : Yes
Lifeguards : No
Pets : Not allowed

14. Montara State Beach

Montara State Beach
5.0 /5

One of the cleanest beaches by the Pacific Ocean, the Montara State Beach is located half mile north from Half Moon Bay. A mile-long beach popular for fishing and tide pooling can be accessed from two points on Highway 1. Out of the two points, the northern side leading to this land stretch is also called as Devil’s Side because of the steep stairs that awaits the visitors. The southern side on the other hand has a comfortable staircase for the visitors to step on. Lined with Montara mountains, hills and cliffs, the beach houses a multitude of wild and coastal lives.

Nearest City : Half Moon Bay
Nearest transit hub : State Route 1
Parking : Yes
Amenities : Picnic tables
Tide pools
Restrooms : Yes
Prohibitions : Dogs are allowed on leash
Camping is not allowed
Collecting natural items from beach is prohibited
Fireworks are prohibited
Drones are prohibited
Beach fires are not allowed

This post was published by Shalaka Sreekesh

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