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Things You Most Likely Didn’t Know About 20 Best Beaches In San Francisco

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Are you heading to the best beaches in San Francisco and can’t decide where to go for a pleasant experience?

Fret not!

This list of the best San Francisco beaches will help you a lot to find the perfect one.

San Francisco is one of the most beloved destinations for a beach vacation, comprising some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with various rejuvenating activities.

The map shows sandy beaches all around the city; few of them are just walking distance from the city.

But wait… San Francisco’s beaches have many other treasures to attract tourists from all over the world.

San Francisco is famous for its hills, beaches, camping spots, painted ladies, especially the Golden Gate Bridge that connects the Bay and the Pacific Ocean. 

Water in San Francisco is icy, and the current is very much uneven for surfing. The Bay area beaches of the city are worth visiting for sunbathing in summer.

Top 20 best beaches in San Francisco

The beaches of San Francisco city have one of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the United States and several adventure activities for those people who love to dare.

But the weather disappoints tourists who come here to enjoy the best beaches in San Francisco in July or August.

In this season, wet fog and drizzle are seen off the coast of Northern California in the early morning hours during the spring.

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.”

–Robert Henri

If you are planning a vacation in San Francisco, we have come with the top 20 best beaches in San Francisco to enable you to make memories with your family and friends.

1) Baker Beach

Baker beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Have you ever imagined a place that is crowned by mesmerizing view of the beach at sunset or sunrise?

Baker Beach is one of the most famous and most visited beaches of San Francisco because of the breathtakingly beautiful views of the quintessential Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands.

Baker Beach offers one of the best filming locations in San Francisco with an ideal backdrop.

Towards the southern zone is the Seacliff peninsula is enhancing the beauty. In 1904 at the cliff, a vast gun named Battery Chamberlin was installed. 

Brides and grooms also come here for their perfect wedding photoshoot. Whether it is a foggy or a sunny day, the beauty is just unparalleled.

Besides the ideal picturesque, it is one of the best beaches in San Francisco for pets, and this is one primary reason for the local footfalls every day.

The picnic spot nearby is perfect for having a fun-filled and relaxing day out. 

The north section of the beach is segmented for the visitors preferring no clothes on the beach and is regarded as a nude beach.

For visitors who are avoiding the nude beach must avoid the north section and remain in the center of the beach.

The north of this area, just near the nude beach, lies the Baker beach parking zone.

Since this is one of the most visited and best beaches in San Francisco, it is advisable to arrive early at this place to be able to park easily.

Baker beach’s parking area is limited, so on an expected crowdie day, it is advisable to avoid taking personal cars and use bikes or public transport to be free from the parking tension and enjoy the visit.

Places around to visit in Baker beach 

  • Edge of the World Tour,
  • Battery Chamberlin, 
  • China Beach
  • Walt Disney Family Museum
  • Hidden Garden Steps
  • Lands End
  • Presidio of San Francisco Golden Gate Park

Address

Baker Beach, San Francisco

 Things to do in Baker beach

  • Fishing
  • Sunbathing
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Outdoor Yoga

Safety Precautions

Since it is a pet-friendly beach, people who do not like dogs must think about it. There is a separate nude zone; people avoiding it must remain only in the center of the beach.

Nearby stay hotels in Baker beach

  • Marina Motel
  • Cow Hollow Inn & Suites
  • Coventry Motor Inn
  • Lombard Plaza Motel
  • Geary Parkway Motel

Why visit Baker beach:  There are many fun activities and perfect day-out destinations for friends and family.

Within a stretch of 15-20kms, you can see many famous and exciting places.

Due to the beautifully visible picturesque, it is recommended and used for many pre/post wedding shoots.

2. Ocean Beach: 

Ocean Beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Do you like surfing and looking for a long coastline where you can catch a wave?

For people who love surfing, Ocean Beach in San Francisco is the ideal location with the beauty of the sea and added perks.

Many experienced surfers love to visit it repeatedly and never feel bored.

Considered among the best beaches in San Francisco California, the place is a beautiful uncrowded place for a family visit. In addition, It is a pet-friendly beach.

The site is suitable for bonfires as well. During low tide season, the ship King Phillip can be seen. There is a famous restaurant, The Cliff House, on the site of visitors’ favorite.

The renowned historic camera, The Obscura, overlooks the beach of the earlier Sutro Baths.

However, San Francisco has several gorgeous hot springs to relax in, the Sutro bath, a privately owned public saltwater pool, is extremely popular.

The Sutro Baths were the world’s largest swimming pool inbuilt indoor, the ruins of which remain. The ships are many times seen very close to the shores because of the rough water. 

Places around to visit Ocean Beach

  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Angel Island
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum
  • The Marine Mammal Centre
  • Angel Island State Park
  • Battery Spencer

Address

Ocean Beach, San Francisco

 Things to do in Ocean Beach

  • Surfing

Safety Precautions  

It is a beach with high tide and harsh waters.

Experienced surfers enjoy the site of these best beaches in San Francisco.

But the waves are relatively extreme compared with the waves of any other beach, and non-swimmers or causal swimmers shouldn’t take the risk of swimming on this beach, even with lifejackets and wetsuits.

This beach is counted as one of the must-see best beaches in San Francisco for surfers.

However, this is one of the best beaches in San Francisco for family and kids, the children must be kept a watch on this beach.

Nearby stay hotels in Ocean Beach

  • Inn On Broadway
  • Seal Rock Inn
  • Yale Hotel
  • Annie’s Cottage
  • Alpha Inn & Suites
  • Lodge at the Presidio

Why visit Ocean Beach: It is a surfer’s delight due to the high tides of the ocean on this beach and crowned as one of the best surfing beaches in San Francisco.

The site is not crowded, free from the hustle and bustle of the city, and a perfect place for relaxation with family.

Some people love to enjoy watching the changes in the tide.

It is also one of the best dog beaches in San Francisco, where dogs are allowed off-leash in designated areas.

3) China Beach :

china beach - best beaches in San Francisco

China Beach is sometimes counted as the same beach to the Bakers Beach continued to the south. It is an area of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

It is known as a bay surrounded by rock walls between the Lands End and Bakers Beach. For this reason, this beach is sheltered and is one of the smaller beaches found in San Francisco.

It is among the best beaches in San Francisco CA and is mostly visited by people who like small beaches. 

If you are in mess about what is the closest beach to San Francisco, China beach San Francisco is one of the closest.

The advantage is that the tide pools on both sides are beautiful to see. This beach is not suitable for swimming.

Walking at this beach is delightful where visitors can see anemones, Mussels, and starfishes. The Picnic spot views the monument of the Chinese Fisherman. 

Address

China Beach, San Francisco

Places around to visit in China beach

  • Golden Grate Bridge
  • Bakers Beach
  • Golden Gate National Recreational Park
  • South Bay
  • Lands End Lookout 
  • Legion of Honor 

Things to do in China beach

· Watch the sea anemones and starfish

· Photoshoots

· Picnics

Safety Precautions 

It is a safe beach but swimming is not allowed.

Parking can be problematic.

Nearby stay hotels in China beach

  • Inn On Broadway
  • Mansion on Sutter
  • Hotel Del Sol
  • Greenwich Inn
  • Chelsea Inn
  • Alpha Inn & Suites

Why visit China beach: China beach is comparatively a small sheltered beach.

It is suitable as a picnic spot—people who do not find space in Bakers Beach due to the crowd visit here.

Visitors’ who do not want the crowd and the sights of the Nude beach prefer going to this beach.

The view is the same as Bakers beach, just that from Bakers beach the views are closer. 

4) Stinson Beach, Marin County :

stinson Beach - best beaches in San Francisco

The way to Stinson beach is itself a delight. The route on one side has the mountainous range, and on the other side, with the ocean view, the highway is an adventurous ride.

Driving to the beach is exciting and challenging—the journey sets into a coastal mood. On a typical bright sunny day, the traffic is slow without any jamming. 

There are some sheltered locations, and it is one ideal and safe beach for swimming and a long romantic seaside walk.

San Francisco has several beautiful places to walk including Stinson Beach.

People are seen involved in other activities like surfing, fishing, or playing volleyball.

An ideal picnic spot to set the table for grilling and barbeque.

A snack bar and an excellent restaurant is serving Californian cuisine.

In San Francisco, Stinson Beach is regarded as a “beach town” surrounded by rural people with a pleasant offbeat vibe.

People who love shopping will find local shops with unique collections in varied categories. This beach is one of the best places for spending a relaxing weekend.

Address 

3514 Shoreline Hwy

 Stinson Beach

Places around to visit in Stinson beach

·    Muir Woods

·    Dipsea Trail

·    Mount Tamalpais State Park 

Things to do in Stinson beach 

  • An ideal picnic spot
  • Volley ball / badminton
  • Fishing
  • Surfing
  • beachcombing

Safety Precautions

It is an utterly safe beach for visitors. It’s a beach that does not allow dogs, for people taking their dogs have to restrict themselves to the north section of the beach.

Nearby stay hotels in Stinson beach

  • HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel
  • Courtyard by Marriott Novato Marin/Sonoma
  • Hotel Majestic
  • Kensington Park Hotel
  • Western Hotel
  • Royal Inn

Why visit Stinson Beach, Marin County: It is ideal for spending a peaceful weekend and family time.

The journey is equally enjoyable and exciting, which sets in the coastal mood before reaching the spot.

The mountainous range adds to the beauty of the ocean.

The rural people surrounded by the beach set to spread a unique collection. You can enjoy several sports activities.

5) Chrissy Field Beach :

Chrissy field beach - best beaches in San Francisco

This beach fosters a camping ground with a spread of several picnic spots. Most of the locations are within walking distance, to FortPoint National Historic Site.

This site was once crucial to the Military now, and this is maintained and converted to a National Park. The site is windy with a soothing breeze. Kite lovers love flying their colorful kites here.

The place has a historical significance for the National Park and is valued for the waterfront, ideal for bikers and walkers.

There is a fantastic view of the preserves of tidal wetland. In addition, the visitors can see different types of bird species.

Address

1199 E Beach, San Francisco

Places around to visit Chrissy Field Beach

  • Golden Gate Bridge 
  • Crissy Field Avenue Trail.
  • Marina district (A beautiful residential neighborhood)
  • Marin Chestnut Street (For shoppers and dinners)

 Things to do in Chrissy Field Beach

  • Wading
  • Swimming
  • Kite Flying
  • Picnic
  • Jogging /walking
  • Viewing different species of birds.

Safety Precautions

It is also one of the best beaches in San Francisco, which is safe for any kind of activity.

The tides are not too high, a comparatively safe windy place. Around Mid-day, wind and fog can roll in.

Nearby stay hotels in Chrissy Field Beach

  • Cow Hollow Inn & Suits
  • Infinity Hotel SF, Ascend Hotel Collection
  • Chelsea Inn
  • Laurel Inn
  • Francisco Bay Inn

Why visit Chrissy Field Beach

This is a place of relaxation for local people, dropping by for jogging, walking, or trying the attractive eateries around the site.

The view of Chrissy Field beach, a frame with the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, is just scenic beauty that takes the heart away.

The sandy seashore, along with the sheltered water, is an attraction for visitors.

6) Marshall’s Beach :

Marshall's beach - best beaches in San Francisco

The sandy region in the North section is a small area known as Marshall’s Beach.

Being the sandy beach, the beauty attracts the photographers—an ideal location for wedding photoshoots. Reaching Marshalls Beach is relatively easier than returning because of the steep hike making driving difficult.

The best time to visit this spot is during the low tide. It will avoid danger from sliding off the slippery rocks.

The cold water, high tide, and rocky view make it one of San Francisco’s best beaches. It is an adventurous beach and regarded as one of the most breathtaking beaches of San Francisco.

The sunset and the coastal view here are epic. Once the Golden Bridge gate lights are switched on, the beauty of this place completely changes with the backdrop beauty. It is suggested that one may try to wait and have a look.

Address

Marshall’s Beach, San Francisco

Places around to visit in Marshall’s Beach

  • Golden Gate Bridge 

Things to do in Marshall’s Beach

  • Photoshoots 
  • Picnics
  • Dining

Safety Precautions  

The driveway is rocky and slippery, especially during the high tides.

Nearby stay hotels in Marshall’s Beach

  • Geary Parkway Motel
  • Conventry Motor Inn
  • Inn on Broadway
  • Jackson Court
  • Van Ness Inn

Why to visit Chrissy Field Beach: It is considered one of San Francisco’s best beaches for viewing sunsets. This place is best known for its scenic beauty, surrounded by rocks and sand and the beauty of Golden Bridge Gate. It is regarded as a photographer’s delight. People love it for doing wedding photoshoots.

7. UpFort Funston Beach :

Funston beach - best beaches in San Francisco

In Lake Merced, Funston Beach used to be a military base in defending San Francisco Harbor. It was deactivated in 1963 and turned over to Golden Gate parks, making Fort Funston a prevalent location with locals.

If you love your dog and want your dog to visit the beach, this will be the perfect place. Unfortunately, most beaches don’t allow dogs to walk. 

The southern part of the beach has a sand ladder; your legs will feel comfortable walking on water sand. It has one of the largest parking lots, but the taboos are rough. So if you know how to climb a car or take it down from sand, you are allowed to take advantage of its parking lot. 

Now let’s talk about routes; if you move to the North, it makes a great loop that will land you on another beach; the sunset from that side looks explicitly beautiful. On your way right, you will find an artsy golden dog man on it. 

Places Around To Visit in Funston Beach

● Phillip Burton Beach 

● Sunset Trail 

● Artsy Golden Dog Man

● Military installation of World War 2

Things to do in Funston Beach

● Walk on sand 

● Watch sunset

● Photoshoot

● Watch whales from the beach 

Safety Precautions

● Swimming is not allowed on this beach because aquatic animals crawl nearby beaches. 

Address 

Fort Funston Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132, United States

Nearby Stay Hotels in Funston Beach

● San Francisco Marriott Marquis

● Hampton Inn Francisco-Daly City 

● Beck’s Motor Lodge

● Stanyan Park Hotel 

● Geary Parkway Motel 

Why visit UpFort Fustian Beach 

Our question is, why not? This beach has a fantastic path that looks more like a local street that allows your dog to walk. You can come with a horse too to ride on this beach. To view the tide above the rock cliff, you must visit the south of Ocean beach. Moreover, there is a space to walk on that cliff. 

8. Aquatic Park Cove, San Francisco :

Aquatic park - best beaches in San Francisco

If you wish to swim, but do not want to go in the water, just walk a few steps away from Ghirardelli Square. There you will find a tiny beach and a sea so calm that it almost feels like a swimming pool.

Aquatic Park Cove is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, a harbor for recreational boats. In addition, you can enjoy other recreational activities such as visiting Fisherman’s Wharf.

Tourists can get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz from the Hyde Street Pier. For even better ideas, they can take a walk along Aquatic Park’s municipal pier.

It offers benches to sit and soak up the views. Unfortunately, there are no public restrooms. Visitors who drive must use metered street parking.

Across the street from a cable car stop is an atmospheric restaurant catering to dockworkers at a nearby cannery. 

The walls of the Aquatic Park Cove area are lined with the museum and other buildings. The most notable of these is Ghirardelli Square and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Places to visit Around Aquatic Park Cove

● Pier

● Museum, 

● Grass Park,

● Cable Car Stop

● Historic Ships

Nearby Stay Hotels in Aquatic Park Cove

● Alcatraz Island. 

● Crissy Field – East Beach. 

● Crissy Field – West Bluff Beach. 

● Treasure Island. 

Things to do in Aquatic Park Cove

● Walking on sand 

● Visiting historical ship 

● visiting Fisherman’s Wharf.

Address

Beach St and Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Safety Precautions

Do not go swimming on this beach because many dangerous aquatic animals stay near the bank; that is why swimming is not allowed.

Why Visit Aquatic Park Cove

Aquatic park cove is the best place for you to visit the park with your pet animal. If you have a horse, do not worry, you can still go with that. The stairs are unique and can lead you to the path of extreme glorified view. 

9. Half Moon Bay State Beach, San Mateo County :

Half-moon bay state beach - best beaches in San Francisco

The San Mateo Half Moon Bay State Beach is a four-mile extension of secured beaches in the state park system of California.

It is one of the best beaches in the San Francisco bay area which comprises Roosevelt, Dunes, Venice, and Francis Beaches. The area is well known for Mavericks and its annual maverick surf contest.

Until 1874, the area was called Spanishtown. Then, the name changed to Half moon bay and was chosen because of the crescent shape of pillar point harbor.

To this day, several residents speak Spanish as their native language, as is true for many California coastal communities.

The pacific beach is situated south of pillar point harbor and the town, utilized for its usual waves influenced by reflective actions from the harbor jetty. At the North, there is a trail that allows hikers access to the ocean below the tip.

Things to do in Half Moon Bay beach

● Biking and hiking

● Horseback riding

● Sports fishing

● Tide pools

● Golf

Places to visit in Half Moon Bay beach

● Francis beach

● Dune beach

● Venice beach

● California coastal trail

● Pillar point harbor

Safety precautions

They are known for solid rip and high tide. One must go with a swimming partner and study the wave before heading into the water. 

Keep in mind that it can be 35 degrees cooler than the inland part of the bay area.

Nearby stay hotels in Half Moon Bay beach

● Inn at Mavericks

● The Ritz Carlton

● Half moon bay lodge

● Nantucket whale Inn

● Cypress Inn 

Why visit the Half-moon

Two internationally known linked courses with amazing coastal views, landscaping, and challenging holes. For wine tasting and nightlife. The breathtaking beaches are a spotlight to the bay area town.

10. San Gregorio Beach

San Gregorio - best beaches in San Francisco

San Gregorio beach is just a short drive from Silicon Valley in the South Bay Area and about 10 miles south of Half Moon Bay.

With high sandstone cliffs stretching through the creek is a beautiful beach to walk. In addition, you get to check out fossils and caves on the northern side of the stream.

It is one of the beaches between Santa Cruz and San Francisco that is usually seen with lesser people, sand is decent, and you will love the calmness of the ocean.

The stream flowing into the sea and the long highway over the raised bridge in the background make a surreal scene.

Be ready to dip your feet in the lagoon and cross over to the actual part. It is one of the best beaches in San Francisco for swimming with picturesque rolling waves.

The sand is perfect for sandcastles and long walks. It is the best place to work on your tan as there is plenty of Sun and sure you will have a great day.

Places to visit nearby San Gregorio beach

● Pigeon Point Light Station

● Pomponio State Beach

● Harley Farms Goat Dairy

● Half Moon Bay Golf Links

● Bean Hollow State Beach

Address

La Honda Rd and Cabrillo Hwy

San Gregorio, CA 94074

Things to do in San Gregorio beach

● Hiking

● Beach walking

● Bird watching

● Beach bombing

● Feel the breeze and just relax

Safety precautions

Camping and dogs are prohibited. Beach fires and fireworks are not allowed. Collecting and flying drones is not permitted. Be aware you might stumble upon a clothing-optional beach.

Nearby hotels to stay in San Gregorio beach

● Harbor View Inn

● Good Living Inn

● Holiday Inn Express & Suites Belmont

● Comfort Inn

● Best Western Plus Riviera

Why visit San Gregorio beach

This beach provides a unique ambiance. You get to see seals if luck is on your side. There are many places to explore nearby.

11. Pescadero State Beach, San Mateo County :

Pescadero state beach - best beaches in San Francisco

It has two distinct beach areas that are partitioned along Pescadero creek.

The North is more expansive and has more sand, while the south is rocky. The northern beach gradually connects to Pompania state beach and Sam Gregoria state beach, depending on the tide level.

The natural habitat is a refuge for steelhead, blue heron, kite, deers, raccoon, fox, skunk, and weasel. A common bird of northern California’s rocky shoreline is a black oystercatcher.

Among the best beaches in San Francisco, the beach has a mile-long shoreline with sand coverage, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots, and picnic facilities.

A popular place for bird watchers and other naturalists across the highway is Pescadero marsh natural preserve.

The shoreline at the center and southern parking areas is preserved from ocean waves by offshore rocks with numerous tide pools and areas of open water.

The pinnipeds alternately sun themselves by hauling onto the offshore rocks and sliding back into the water to hunt nearby.

Address

Alongside State Route 1, 14.5 miles south of Half Moon Bay. 1.5 miles west of Pescadero city, San Mateo County, California.

Things to do in Pescadero State Beach

● Tide pools

● Fishing

● Scenic lunch

● Touring

● Surfing

Places to visit in Pescadero State Beach

● Downtown local for coffee and pastries.

● Pigeon point lighthouse

● Big basin redwoods

● Buono state park

● Portola rosewoods

Safety precautions

Icy water so swims with proper measures and limited lifeguard surveillance.

 Nearby Hotels to stay in Pescadero State Beach

● FL beach hotel

● Hotel Tallahassee

● Valdosta

● Aristocrat hotel

● Zaballa House

Why visit Pescadero State Beach?

The beach offers fantastic scenic sights and a tranquil coastline. It is a beautiful natural picnic spot that also provides rock climbing to visitors.

It is counted among the best family beaches in San Francisco where people can enjoy in the bay area.

12. Linda Mar beach :

Linda Mar beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Linda Mar beach, also known as Pacifica State Beach, is one of the finest beaches in the Bay Area. It is located in the southern portion of Pacifica, California, in a large cove.

The beach is managed by the city of Pacifica and is known as Linda Mar Beach. Dunes border the northern part of this long and wide sandy beach.

Rockaway Point is a tall north of the beach with hiking paths that meander through the hills to numerous overlooks above Rockaway Beach.

It is also one of the best beaches in San Francisco and the most popular beach trails in San Francisco where you can get a beautiful view of the sunset.

In addition, bikers may enjoy a paved multi-use track that goes behind the beach and continues far north and make it among one of the best beaches in San Francisco.

There is a Taco Bell restaurant right on the beach, and there are additional restaurants and businesses across the freeway.

San Pedro Creek breaks through the sand at the south end of the beach and contributes microorganisms to the bay.

Address

5000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacifica, CA 94044, United States

Places around to visit in Linda Mar beach

● Mori point

● Devil’s slide trail

● Rockaway beach

● Grey whale cove state beach

Things to do in Linda Mar beach

● Surfing

● Bike riding

● Swimming

● Sunbathing

● Beach yoga

Safety precautions

● Always swim in a patrolled area.

● Keep dogs on a leash at all times, and their owners must clean up after them.

● Smoking is not permitted on the beach and in parking lots.

Nearby stay hotels in Linda Mar beach

● Pacifica beach hotel

● Sea breeze motel

● Inn at Rockaway

● Lighthouse hotel 

● Inn at Mavericks

Why visit Linda mar beach?

This mile-long crescent bay is surrounded by sand, and the waves crash softly and gently, making it a favorite place for beginning surfers and ideal for splashing around with little children.

You can pitch a tent on the beaches early in the morning for a full day of surfing, swimming, sandcastle construction, and simply enjoying the weather and stunning vistas.

13. Sutro Baths : 

Sutro Baths - best beaches in San Francisco

The Sutro Baths were a substantial and privately operated communal saltwater swimming pool facility in the Lands End region of San Francisco’s Outer Richmond District.

Sutro’s vision for the Baths was to give thousands of San Francisco’s beaches offering a healthful, enjoyable, and affordable swimming facility.

A large glass enclosure with seven swimming pools of varying temperatures opens by a traditional Greek doorway. Slides, trapezes, springboards, and a high dive were among the attractions.

During high tide, the Pacific Ocean’s strength could fill all pools with 1.7 million gallons of water in just one hour. The Baths had a capacity of 10,000 persons at a time and rented out 20,000 bathing suits and 40,000 towels. 

The approaching high tide filled the saltwater pools, and an underground turbine pump could replenish the water every five hours at low tide. 

Address

1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

Places around to visit in Sutro Baths

● Cliff house 

● Golden gate park

● Legion of honor

● Lands end lookout

● Golden gate bridge

Things to do in Sutro Baths

● Historic site to view

● Seasonal food to eat

Safety precautions

The terrain surrounding the baths may be slick and uneven, and dirt paths are widespread. Taking comfy footwear can be aided.

Nearby stay hotels in Sutro Baths

● Seal Rock Inn

● Mansion on Sutter

● El Prado Hotel

● Rodeway Inn & Suites

Why visit Sutro Baths?

Sutro Baths are the must-see area of town with spectacular views from a historic site.

They are the remnants of what used to be one of the world’s most extensive saltwater bathing facilities.

Many signs are detailing the creatures that dwell in the woods and explaining how this entrance was formerly utilized by Native Americans who used the beach to catch shellfish and collect sustenance on a seasonal basis. 

14. Clipper Cove Beach :

Clipper cove beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Half of the fun lies in getting to the beach on Yerba Buena Island.

Just park at the Treasure Isle Marina and take a walk down the wooden stairs to a small but cute beach to get relaxed.

You should check it out when you wander around Yerba Buena and Treasure Island.

This beach in San Francisco is a cove; it has better wind protection than other beaches; hence it can get warmer, and the water remains peaceful.

That is why it is counted among the best warm beaches near San Francisco.

A visit to Clipper Cove Beach on a morning when the Sun is full is something you would like.

It is a cute little beach with soft sand. It is narrow but clean and dog-friendly and among one of the best beaches in San Francisco.

There are not many visitors to be found here, so you get to enjoy your company to the fullest. You get to see a splendid view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge.

Places to visit nearby in Clipper Cove Beach

● The Golden Gate Bridge

● Exploratorium 

● Golden Gate Park

● San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

● Alcatraz Island

Things to do in Clipper Cove Beach

● A walk to remember

● Wineries and breweries

● Hiking

● Just relax on soft sand and do nothing!

Address

Treasure Island Road

San Francisco, CA 94130

Safety Precautions

You might want to go early in the day, in case you want to soak in the Sun, as the beach gets into shades by the afternoon.

Nearby hotels to stay in Clipper Cove Beach

● Hotel Vitale

● Hotel Griffon

● Hyatt Regency San Francisco

● Le Meridien San Francisco

Why visit Clipper Cove Beach?

If we consider Clipper Cove Beach as one of the best dog beaches in San Francisco then it will not be wrong.

The bathrooms up top are clean. You get to witness a spectacular view of the bridges and luxury yachts floating around.

15. Kirby Cove Beach :

Kirby Cove beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Kirby Cove Beach is a small coarse-sand beach and camping site in Sausalito, California, with a stunning east-facing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The beach, which is made up of red and brown sand and a variety of colorful stones, is located at the base of the Marin Headlands.

There is a 2-mile round-trip trek that begins just west of the Battery Spencer parking lot to reach the beach. It is also where the Golden Gate Bridge’s parking is located.

Before trekking down to the beach, make sure to stop by this viewpoint. Kirby Cove is a great spot to shoot the Golden Gate Bridge.

In Kirby Cove, tent camping is available opposite the historic military gun site of Battery Kirby, which is situated just behind this beautiful beach. Reservations for there can be made every morning for the next three months.

If you want to view the Headlands by bike, the gravel route is well-graded and available to bicyclists.

Nearby Places To Visit in Kirby Cove Beach

● Slacker Hill Trail

● Rodeo Valley Loop

● Black Sands Beach

● Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 

● Bolinas Beach

Address: Conzelman Road Sausalito, CA 94965

Things To Do in Kirby Cove Beach

● Camping

● Hiking

● Biking

● Photography 

Safety Precautions

● Be ready for any type of weather.

● Carry water as there is no water available at the site.

● Bring soap or sanitizer as only toilet paper is available there.

Nearby Hotels in Kirby Cove Beach

● Hotel Sausalito

● The Inn Above Tide

● The Gables Inn Sausalito

● Cavallo Point, the Golden Gate

Why Visit Kirby Cove Beach?

The Golden Gate Bridge is seen on the left, Daly City is straight ahead, and the Pacific Ocean is visible from Kirby Cove, making it more mesmerizing.

There is also a swing at the beach, which is a pleasant pastime that visitors should not miss.

16. Mountain Lake Beach :

Mountain Lake beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Ever wonder about the best mountains in San Francisco!

Imagine a place that gives you a heavenly view of the lake beach with mountains surrounded.

The mountain lake beach is located at 14 acres of extension surrounded by the band of land bordered by the presidio, a park known for its scenic overlooks, grassy scenic fields, and the North presidio and south of Lake Street.

This beach since 1899 has been one of San Francisco’s earliest sources of freshwater and is known as one of the best beaches in San Francisco.

But in past decades, this beach has experienced some rough times.

Mountain Lake is adjacent to the west coast of a high-traffic highway, a golf course, and around the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco.

As a result, the biological diversity has changed significantly and has been affected by non-native plants and the degradation of lake water.

Places around to visit in Mountain Lake Beach

● Crissy Field 

● Lake Park 

● Andy Goldsworthy’s Woodline

Lobos Valley Overlook 

● Presidio Promenade Trail 

Address

It is located near Richmonds’ District at the southernmost edge of Presidio Park in San Francisco.

Things to do in Mountain Lake Beach  

● Hiking 

● Sunbathing

● Exploring Golden gate park

● Playing golf 

● Biking trails

Safety precautions

However, this beach is counted among the best warm beaches near San Francisco, this beach has some safety precautions.

The beach is bordered with corals and algae, which may be poisonous and toxic so try to be cautious.

Be aware of the water currents while swimming, as the wind is faster due to high tides. Swimming in those areas which lifeguards supervise as like other best beaches in San Francisco.

Nearby stay hotels in Mountain Lake Beach

● Stanyan park hotel 

● Infinity hotel

● Monte Cristo bed and breakfast 

● My Rose Garden guest room 

Why visit Mountain lake beach?

If you love watching natural history, then this place is for you.

It is a unique jewel in the presidio where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the oasis, surreal landscape, and epic beauty and satisfaction. 

17. Tennessee Beach (MarineCounty) :

Tennessee Beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Tennessee Beach is a dark sand beach in San Francisco located along the west side of a marine headline in Marin County, California. It is located approximately 9miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Tennessee Beach is located around 1.80 miles from the Tennessee Valley Trailhead in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

After the SS Tennessee, a ship ran aground here in 1853 while entering Golden Gate Bay. However, those people managed to escape, but its iron carcass is still there.  

Among the best beaches in San Francisco, this beach further merges into a trailhead that requires a two-mile hike from the Tennessee Valley.

This beach has lots of trails to explore which are surrounded by meanders with lush greenery. 

Places around to visit in Tennessee Beach

● The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

● Gatlinburg

● Nashville

● Knoxville

● Andrew Jackson Hermitage

Address

Tennessee beach, which later merges into various trailheads, mainly Tennessee Trailhead, is located approximately 1.7 miles west of highway-1 near the underdeveloped part of Marin County.

Things to do in Tennessee Beach

● Playing frisbee

● Go hiking

● Building sandcastles

● Sunbathing 

● Playing volleyball

Safety Precautions

Although that place is safe and secured, try to take all the safety measures required while visiting there, like taking note of your sunburns and skin issues.

However this beach is among the best beaches in San Francisco, take note of your feet as the sand is a bit rocky and rough, so don’t walk bare feet much.

Nearby stay hotels in Tennessee Beach

● Bluff View Inn

● Red Roof Inn

● Quality Inn

● West Gate Mountain Resort

● Econo Lodge

Why visit Tennessee Beach

Every beach has its specialty, beauty. And this place has a lot to give, the mountains, the trailheads, and the lush green environment.

There is calm in every wave and a lot of breathtaking adventures to experience.

18. Mile Rock Beach :

MIle Rock beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Looking for the best beaches in San Francisco that are less crowded and have more things to make fun of?

Then Mile Rock Beach is a perfect choice!

A jaw-dropping, alluring sunset view, which makes these best beaches in San Francisco look all the more inviting.

Below the Lands End Point in San Francisco’s portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is where this tiny cove is located.

There’s also a lighthouse foundation on Mile Rock from where this beach gets its name. A bit hidden, but perfect for watching the sunset.

The trails are fun; the Lands End Labyrinth is a small rock Labyrinth that offers a great view of the bridge just above the beach. It takes about 1 mile of a long walk through the trails from the vision center to the beach, but it’s worth the effort.

You get access to a stairway with about 260 stairs while exploring the trails that plunge towards the water. The beach makes you feel as if you are in an old pirate movie.

It is usually not crowded. There are many logs and places to sit down and just unpack stuff and munch on your favorite snacks while taking in the view inside.

Places to visit nearby in Mile Rock Beach

● Baker beach

● Sutro Baths

● Sutro Heights

● Cliff House

● Point Lobos

Address

El Camino Del MerSan Francisco, CA 94121

Things to do in Mile Rock Beach

● Hiking

● Photography

● Explore Beach

● A lot of restaurants nearby

● Take in the panorama and just unwind

Safety precautions

It is not recommended for people with mobility issues. Be careful with the waves on the rocks. Although there are few locations where steps have failed, you need to take double steps.

Nearby hotels to stay in Mile Rock Beach

● Seal Rock Inn

● Great Highway Inn

● Beach Motel

● Geary Parkway Motel 

Why visit this particular beach?

You will feel like you are in a remote area with the sounds of waves and birds singing. It is a dog-friendly beach, so bring your buddy with you.

19. Black Sands Beach :

Black Sands beach - best beaches in San Francisco

As the name says, it’s a dark sand south-facing beach below the Marin Headlands in Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Just a little hike from the parking lot is all it takes, but it’s worth it! The beauty it holds is breathtaking

The beach will be narrow during the high tides, so make sure to check out tide charts before the trip.

The Black Sands parking lot only has space for a dozen cars, so consider leaving home early to get a spot.

This beach is surrounded by massive redwoods, a Marine preserve, and the King Coastal Range.

This beach features about 25 miles of walkable black sand. It makes up the Lost Coast Trail, a well-known hike on many people’s bucket lists.

The climate is surreal, and you will love it! Your sunscreen has no work to do over here, and the road to this beach will give your brakes a workout. 

While visiting this beach, be ready to walk on gravel, they are rounded, but still, it is hard to sand. The crashing waves and the fog that covers them are mesmerizing.

Places to visit nearby in Black Sands Beach

● Humboldt Redwoods State Park

● Drive-thru Tree Park

● West port

● Piercy

Address

Beach Rd and Humboldt LoopWhitehorn, CA 95589

Things to do nearby in Black Sands Beach

● Watch whales

● Sports fishing

● Enjoy the lost trail 

● Hiking

● Surfing

Safety precautions

Dogs are restricted, and campfires are not allowed. Part of the beach is clothing-optional, so be aware while you roam. The tides can be high.

Nearby hotels to stay in Black Sands Beach

● Oceanfront Inn

● The Northern Inn 

● Humboldt Redwoods Inn

● Inn of the Lost Coast

Why visit this particular beach?

Due to its black-colored sand, you will get the vibes of Iceland. It is not hot like other beaches, and the aura it provides is captivating.

20. Muir Beach, Marin County :

Muir beach - best beaches in San Francisco

Located about 12 miles or just a bit over 20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge is a beautiful beach to walk around in your flip-flops.

It is one of those peaceful places to consider if you want to feel relaxed, as it is a quiet and secluded beach and counts among the inexpensive things to do in San Francisco when visiting anywhere in SF.

Among the best beaches in San Francisco, the best part of this beach is that it offers ample parking space.

Muir beach overlook should be your quick stop if you are on the way through the redwood trails of Muir Woods or Mount Tamalpais State Park or just wandering around Stinson Beach.

It is an epic view of the Pacific Coast. A perfect talking spot, witnessing spectacular sunset along with uninterrupted ocean views.

There are dense woods nearby, giving chances to view wildlife such as Monarch butterflies, foxes, coyotes on the hills, frogs in the marsh, and rare plants. Well, if you head there during winters, you have a chance to witness a migrating blue whale.

Places to visit nearby in Muir Beach

● Redwood Creek

● Owl trail

● Pirates cove

● Slide Ranch

● Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Address

200 Pacific WayMuir Beach, CA 94965

Things to do in Muir Beach

● Sunbathing

● Birdwatching

● Hiking

● Bonfires

● Fishing

Safety precautions

The beach lacks lifeguards, so be aware of the waves and look out for your children while swimming. The north end of the beach is clothing-optional, so you may find people looking to even their tan lines.

Nearby stay hotels in Muir Beach

● Pelican Inn

● Muir Woods Lodge

● The Inn Above Tide

● Seal Rock Inn

Why visit Muir Beach?

You are likely to see less crowd here, and this beach is pet-friendly, and there are no parking fees! What else do you need? 

Final Words about the best beaches in San Francisco :

So these are the best beaches in San Francisco that are best for swimming, weekend outings, surfing.

We mention here not even the best kid-friendly and family beaches, but also the best beaches in San Francisco with your dog.

You must be tired of sitting all day at home; it’s time you take a break from work and go out for some fun on these best beaches in san Francisco.

In this post, I have shared a total of 20 beaches in san Francisco that will help you, numbers 1,2, 4, 5, 7, 13, 16, and 20 are the most favorite among the people.

Some beaches still have military bases from the second world war, or the beaches have Aquatic parks to look out for aquatic animals.

So, what are you waiting for?

Pick one of the best beaches in San Francisco, pack your bags and let’s walk on the warm sand.

If you find our hard work, don’t forget to share it with your loved ones and also comment down below which beach are you going to visit!

Thank you very much!

FAQ’s about the best beaches in San Francisco :

Q1. Can you swim on San Francisco beaches?

Ans. China Beach, San Francisco is suitable for swimming.
However, this is a cold water beach, outside the Golden Gate that is suitable for swimming in San Francisco.

Q2. Are there sharks in SF Bay?

Ans. However, these are the best beaches in San Francisco, there are 11 species of sharks that live in the San Francisco Bay.
But don’t worry, those species of sharks are mostly calm in nature and non-man eaters.

Q3. How deep is the water under the Golden Gate Bridge?

Ans. The depth of the water under the Golden Gate Bridge is approximately 115 meters.

Q4. What beaches in SF allow dogs?

Ans. There are many dog-friendly beaches in San Francisco like:
Fort Funston
Esplanade Beach
Lands End Beach
Montara State Beach
Pacifica State Beach

Q5. What are the best family beaches in San Francisco?

Ans. There are many family beaches in San Francisco like:
Paradise Beach Park
China Beach
Schoonmaker Beach
Crissy Field – East Beach
Fort Baker Beach on Horseshoe Cove

Q6. What are the best surfing beaches in San Francisco?

Ans. There are various best beaches in San Francisco for swimming like:
Linda Mar Beach
Ocean Beach
Mavericks Beach
Princeton Jetty


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