The beaches in and near San Francisco California have a rocky appearance and gloomy skies. The breathtaking views, salty sea air, and relaxing sound of breaking waves are all available to visitors. While Baker Beach offers the most breathtaking vistas, Ocean Beach is San Francisco’s longest section of coastline. Pescadero State Beach and San Gregorio State Beach are undeveloped, whereas Half Moon Bay is a well-liked day-trip location outside of San Francisco.
The best time to explore San Francisco beaches is in September or October when daytime coastal temperatures range from the mid-60s to the low-70s. Fog may roll in unexpectedly and eerily, giving the area a distinct beauty. Daytime highs to lows in the 50s to 60s are typical for San Francisco beaches in the spring and summer.
With this list of the best beaches in the San Francisco California region, explore the wide variety of sandy sea shores inside the city boundaries and close by.
#1. Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Wild Ocean Beach is one of the best beaches in San Francisco California, which has beautiful, white sand and strong surf. As a matter of fact, it is the longest sandy area in the city and is used frequently for running, dog walking, building sandcastles, and socializing around bonfires. No lifeguards are present, and swimming and wading are prohibited because of the dangerous rip currents and chilly water temperatures.
Besides, with free parking and public facilities, Ocean Beach is a well-liked surfing location. The Beach Chalet is a chic eatery that serves freshly caught fish and traditional American meals. Furthermore, a favorite hangout for residents is The Park Chalet. The Fisher Family Children’s Zoo and the Golden Gate Zoo are nearby attractions.
#2. Stinson Beach, Marin County
The distance from Muir Beach to Stinson Beach is six miles. Hills covered in trees surround it, and when lifeguards are on duty, swimming is often safe there. Meanwhile, it offers beach volleyball, surfing, fishing, picnics, and a 3.5-mile white-sand beach. Also, Californian-inspired gourmet cuisine is served at the Parkside Café. In the San Francisco region, Stinson Beach is a “beach town” with a grocery store, distinctive local stores, family-run restaurants, and a few motels.
In addition, the Sandpiper Lodging at the Beach offers to lodge and has amenities including picnic spaces, public bathrooms, and a sizable free parking lot. Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais State Park are nearby attractions.
#3. Baker Beach, San Francisco
San Francisco’s Baker Beach is also one of the best beaches in San Francisco California. It is a one-mile stretch of sand that is bordered by Monterey cypress trees, Mediterranean plants, and local flowers. However, it’s a terrific location for beautiful walks, animal observation, fishing, hiking, and picture opportunities. Note that, you should avoid swimming in the waves, and there are no lifeguards on duty. A sizable picnic area with barbecue grills, public bathrooms, water fountains, and a free parking space is available as amenities. On weekends and beautiful summer days, get there early.
#4. Aquatic Park Cove, San Francisco
The San Francisco Maritime National Heritage Site includes Aquatic Park Cove, which features a harbor for Fisherman’s Wharf boats and other leisure craft. The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz can be seen when strolling along the municipal pier at Aquatic Park. There are seats where you can rest and take in the views, but there aren’t many amenities. Use the Buena Vista café and the Hyde & Beach cable car station to get there. Ghirardelli Plaza, Fisherman’s Wharf, as well as the Maritime Museum, are attractions in the area.
#5. Crissy Field Beach, San Francisco
Tourists and locals alike like visiting Crissy Field Beach. It is safe to swim and wade in, and the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay frame it. With parking areas, public facilities, and a picnic area, the park is thoughtfully constructed with tourists in mind. The Warming Hut café offers small meals, coffee, hot chocolate, as well as snacks.
From Crissy Field South Beach, one can also drive or walk to the Warming Hut, the Marina district, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Marina neighborhood, the Warming Hut, and the Golden Gate Bridge are all nearby sights. To escape the wind and fog, visitors should go early in the day, and they should go to the Warming Hut to remain warm.
Read Also: SAN FRANCISCO CAMPING: Best Outdoor Spots
#6. Muir Beach, Marin County
North of San Francisco, in a tranquil cove surrounded by cliff-like coastal cliffs, is where you’ll find Muir Beach. The gorgeous surroundings and outdoor pursuits such as beach volleyball and hiking are available to visitors. Also, to provide habitat for threatened and endangered species, the Redwood Creek Lagoon nature preserve was established.
There are no lifeguards present, only basic public facilities, and a picnic area with two tables as safety measures. Note that, you should get there early and pack your own snacks and beverages. Muir Woods, the Green Gulch Zen Center, and Stinson Beach are some of the nearby attractions.
#7. San Gregorio State Beach, San Mateo County
For its pristine natural setting, this undeveloped beach with driftwood is highly valued. San Gregorio State Beach seems safe due to the surrounding grass-covered seaside bluffs and sheer sandstone cliffs. A protected estuary that harbors wildlife and seabirds lines the beach on three sides. For bird viewing, the estuary is excellent. Also, there is a picnic area and a parking lot available (day-use fees apply). The property’s toilets have high ceilings (no flush).
Safety Advice: Swimming and wading are not advisable because of the large “rogue waves,” perilous rip currents, and frigid water. There are no lifeguards on duty at this beach. Around 40 miles south of San Francisco, San Gregorio State Beach, is a one-hour journey.
#8. Half Moon Bay State Beach, San Mateo County
In the Santa Cruz Mountains, Half Moon Bay is a quaint little village. However, Roosevelt Beach, Dunes Beach, Venice Beach, and Francis Beach are among the four miles of sandy beaches there. Beside the shore, the California Coastal Trail follows the ocean cliffs. Limited lifeguard coverage is one of the safety measures, and swimming and wading are not advised because of the chilly water and hazardous ocean conditions. Additionally, there is a parking lot, public facilities, and picnic spots at Half Moon Bay State Beach. Campgrounds and bathrooms are available at Francis Beach and Venice Beach.
#9. Pescadero State Beach, San Mateo County
A little rural community called Pescadero is situated 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay. You can find More than 200 bird species and animals captive at the 500-acre Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, which is located there. On four hiking routes and on a docent-led Pescadero Marsh Walk, visitors can explore the preserve. Not only that, the lone restroom has a squat toilet and no running water for hand washing, there are just a few lifeguards on duty, swimming and wading are frequently upset, and there is only one restroom.
#10. Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica
The 15-mile drive south of San Francisco will take you to Linda Mar Beach (Pacifica State Beach), a well-liked weekend vacation spot for locals. Surfers and kayakers enjoy it because of the cove’s protection and accessibility. Due to severe rip currents and low water quality, safety measures include minimal lifeguard coverage and the recommendation against swimming.
Public bathrooms, a drinking fountain, parking that is pay-to-park, and outdoor showers are available facilities. In addition, many boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores can be found in the bustling commercial area close to the beach. Taco Bell sits adjacent to the ocean and has an excellent view from its outside terrace.
#11. Tennessee Beach, Marin County
Six miles over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Tennessee Beach is just a short drive away. Because of the cliffs of sheer granite that surround it, it is ideal for trekking and picnics. Swimming as well as wading are safe activities, and there are no lifeguards on duty to watch over the beach. As a matter of fact, there are amenities including free parking and public bathrooms. Being ready to walk 1.7 miles roundtrip, packing your own food and drink for a picnic, and avoiding high tides are some pieces of advice.
#12. Mile Rock Beach
Under the famous lookout, Mile Rock Beach is a tranquil location for a stroll and exploration of the park’s natural surroundings. Moreover, the beach has a number of accumulated pebbles and logs that give it a rustic and natural appearance. If you climb the cliffs above the beach, you may uncover the intriguing Lands End Labyrinth, a rock maze with lovely views of the bridge. On the southern side of Golden Gate, near the park’s center shore, is where you can find this beach.
Where to Stay in San Francisco California Near the Beach
San Francisco, which is shrouded in fog, is not a beach town like other Californian towns such as sun-drenched Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Yet, if you pick a hotel in the Marina or Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhoods, you can stay in San Francisco close to a respectable beach. The modest sandy beach at Aquatic Park Cove is reachable on foot from hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf.
Chestnut Street in the Marina neighborhood, a lively region with numerous fine dining establishments, hip cafés, alluring bakeries, and independently owned clothing stores, is a far but beautiful walk from Crissy Field’s beach.
Does San Francisco Have Swimmable Beaches?
San Francisco can not be recognized as a beach town, but there are some beautiful beaches here that are well worth visiting: Beaches with shelter close to Fisherman’s Wharf: and Aquatic Park (the only good swimming beach in SF). Baker Beach, Marshall’s Beach, China Beach, and Crissy Field East Beach are among the beaches with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
What is the Warmest Beach in San Francisco?
The warmest Beaches in San Francisco California include
- Crown Memorial Beach.
- Coyote Point Recreation Area.
- Baker Beach.
- China Beach.
- Ocean Beach.