Beaches in and Around San Francisco

Beaches in and Around San Francisco

The Bay Area is known for its fantastic weather; almost every day is a good day to hit the beach and visit these beach destinations in and around the city.


Baker Beach

  • This public beach is a popular stop for locals and tourists who want to soak in some rays. There’s plenty of room on this sandy beach for sunbathers, with the northern end attracting its fair share of nudists. It’s not meant for surfers and swimmers, though, since the strong waves and rip currents make the water dangerous.
  • The beach offers an excellent view of the Golden Gate Bridge and is often used as the backdrop for wedding photos. It’s also the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Crissy Field Beaches

  • As part of the Golden Gate Recreational Area, Crissy Field is a beautiful place to go for a walk and admire spectacular views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. East Beach, located on the east end of Crissy Field Park, offers plenty of space for sunbathers, and the water is safe for swimming.

West Bluff Picnic Area and Beach 

  • Feature picnic tables, BBQ grills, grassy areas, and a beachfront where the kids can play all day long. Visitors can also drop by Warming Hut Café, which serves pastries, sandwiches, tea, and hot chocolate.

China Beach

  • Tucked away in a cove, China Beach is shielded by rock walls on either side, making it a wonderful place to visit on windy days. This beach is on the smaller side, and there are a few dry spots when the tide is high. When the tide is low, however, you’ll be treated to scenic views of the tide pools, where you’ll find mussels, anemones, and starfish.
  • This north-facing beach also offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the majestic cliffs of the Marin Headlands. It can be accessed through steep stairs or a paved path.
  • Spend a quiet day swimming, sunbathing, and long, peaceful walks along the coastline. Play volleyball or Frisbee, roll out a blanket, and have a small picnic with friends and family.

Ocean Beach

  • Ocean Beach is the quintessential California beach where surfers show off their moves on the water. Swimming is allowed, but one must remember that only expert swimmers can navigate the strong currents. The long coastline is excellent for flying kites and starting bonfires. It’s also a dog-friendly beach, so bring your four-legged friends and let them run free.
  • Java Beach Café is just a stone’s throw from the beach and serves freshly roasted coffee and locally sourced dishes.

Lands End

  • Tucked away in the northwestern corner of SF, Lands End stands guard over the channel that empties to Golden Gate Bridge and the entry point to San Francisco Bay. Here you’ll find a serene Cypress forest and clumps of wildflowers. Visitors can hike along the trail and go out into the rock formation that stretches out to the ocean.

Marshall Beach

  • This secluded spot is blocked by cliffs and can only be accessed via a winding series of paths and stairways. It’s a great place to sunbathe and take photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. However, check the tide tables before you visit – the high tide leaves no dry spots in the area.

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