The Best Beaches Near San Francisco

Beaches Near San Francisco

Built on a peninsula, San Francisco is surrounded by water. It touches the bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. With so much of life in the city geared towards the water, there are bound to be great beaches. From small and quiet, to larger and more popular, these are some of the best beaches in San Francisco.
Sutro Baths
Sutro Baths
Once a grand public swimming area, the Sutro Baths are now just ruins of a burned-down building, of which visitors can see the old pools built out of cement into the side of the hill overlooking the ocean. The beach here is small but beautiful. The hill above is Point Lobos which has a nice walking trail and views of the surrounding hills and coastline.
1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, California
Lands End Park
Lands End Park
Lands End is a park that's located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It runs along the beautiful rocky shoreline and offers stunning views out over the water. It's located between the Sutro District and Lincoln Park and has a number of hiking trails that follow the coast. You'll also find a few small beaches such as Mile Rock Beach and Sea Rocks Beach. Also inside the park is the Legion of Honor art gallery, Holocaust Memorial, a golf course, the USS San Francisco WW2 Memorial, the Sutro Baths, and more. It's a nice place to explore, or find a space to yourself and enjoy reading or simply relaxing.
Seacliff, SF, California, 94121-1545
Planning a trip to San Francisco? You might also be interested in The Best Art Museums in San Francisco and The Best Children's Museums in San Francisco.
The Presidio
The Presidio
The Presidio historically served as a U.S. Army base but today it is a large green space and a public park. It's situated in the northwestern corner of the city at the gateway to the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is a national park that is controlled by the National Park Service and it runs between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, ending at Baker Beach. Within the park there are stunning views of Marin County and the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as a number of biking, hiking and walking paths. There are also plenty of places to enjoy a picnic or rest with a good book. The Walt Disney Family Museum as well as a golf course and several cafes are also found within the park.
The Presidio, San Francisco, CA
Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach
This state park is located in the city of Alameda by the San Francisco Bay.
Gold Coast, Alameda, California, 94501
Tennessee Beach
Tennessee Beach is in Marin County and is just under a 2 mile hike from the closest parking lot. During low tide you can see parts of the ship that it was named for.
San Francisco, California
Rodeo Beach
Rodeo Beach is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It's located in Marin County and has a notable spit that is about 50 meters wide. There is pebbly sand and cliffs by the beach.
San Francisco, California, 94965
Lake Anza
Located in Tilden Regional Park, Lake Anza is a swimming reservoir where visitors can enjoy a refreshing dip between the months of May and September. The park is found in the Berkeley Hills above Berkeley.
San Francisco, California, 94708
Baker Beach
Located in the northwestern part of San Francisco, Baker Beach is a public beach that is about half a mile long. The northern part of the beach is a nude beach.
Seacliff, SF, California, 94121
San Francisco has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: Things to Do In San Francisco on a Rainy Day and Budget Friendly Neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is located on the West Coast of San Francisco by the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by the Golden Gate Park, the Richmond District, and the Sunset District.
1506 Great Highway, Sunset District, SF, California, 94122
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
This recreation area (not to be confused with Golden Gate Park) is a beautiful natural area in Marin County that's across the Golden Gate Bridge from the city. It offers a beautiful escape from the city with walking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and beaches. The area is known for its stunning views that look back on downtown San Francisco. The park is popular with photographers who want to capture that classic San Francisco shot.
San Francisco, CA, 94123
Golden Gate Park
The Golden Gate Park is a diverse outdoor space with museums, wildlife, gardens, and trails all within a peaceful setting. It is the third most visited park in the United States, and it's the perfect place to wander, walk, run, or relax. Inside the park you'll find world-class museums like de Young Museum, the unique Japanese Tea Garden, and the impressive San Francisco Botanical Garden. It's easy to pass hours here just soaking up the refreshing outdoor setting.

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
Angel Island State Park
Catch a ferry from Pier 41 to explore this beautiful state park. Nature lovers will enjoy the peaceful setting and photography enthusiasts will appreciate the views looking back at the city. This is the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay and it has a number of great biking, hiking, and running trails. There are five different picnic areas, eleven campsites, and several nice beaches as well. There's also a casual restaurant on the island.
San Francisco, CA
China Beach
This is one of the most scenic beaches in the San Francisco area. As it faces north looking towards the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, beachgoers here will have nice views looking onto some classic San Francisco scenery as well as out to the ocean. The beach here is flat and somewhat wide with room to lounge, or play, although it's not very long. Bring a chair and you can enjoy a good book in a quiet setting. It was once frequented by Chinese fisherman which is where the name came from. To get here head to the parking lot on Seacliff Ave between the Presidio and Land's End park. And try not to gawk at the expensive houses on your way in.
Seacliff Ave, San Francisco, California
Kirby Cove Beach
On the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, in the Marin Headlands area, this small southern-facing beach has fantastic views looking out towards the bridge and the city, as well as the ocean. You'll have to walk about a mile and climb some steps to get down here, but when you do, you'll be alone for the most part.
San Francisco, California
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