Main Content

Beaches in and around San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset seen from beach, San Francisco, California.

The Bay Area is known for amazing weather, and every day is a good day to hit the beach. So slather on some sunscreen and visit these beach destinations in and around the city.

  1. 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.

  2. Crissy Field Beaches
    As part of the Golden Gate Recreational Area, Crissy Field is a wonderful 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 features 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.

  3. 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 Golden Gate Bridge and the majestic cliffs of the Marin Headlands. It can be accessed through a steep flight of stairs or a paved path.

    Spend a quiet day swimming, sunbathing, and going on long peaceful walks along the coastline. Play volleyball or Frisbee, or roll out a blanket and have a small picnic with friends and family.

  4. Ocean Beach
    Ocean Beach is the quintessential California beach where you’ll find surfers showing off their moves on the water. Swimming is allowed, but one has to keep in mind 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 you can 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.

  5. Lands End
    Tucked away in the northwestern corner of SF, Lands End stands guard over the channel that empties out 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.

  6. 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 go sunbathing 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.

Live close to SF’s beautiful beaches. Call Ray Amouzandeh at (415)494-7009 or send an email to SFHomez(at)gmail(dotted)com to discover the best of San Francisco CA real estate.