Your San Francisco travel group is all about hitting the must-sees and got-to-dos; that said, what trip to California would be complete without some quality beach time? These aren’t your typical huge expanses of sun and sand, and bear in mind, you are in foggy San Francisco; beaches in Northern California are the most beautiful in the world, but they aren’t always warm! Layering comes highly recommended. Whether you’re wanting a little solitude, some great views, a place to picnic, the sound of surf and seabirds, a little beachcombing or a morning stroll in the sand with a steamy cup of coffee-to-go, the locals have their favorites and here are a few! Quiet Ocean beach is a great option if you’re craving a natural refuge away from the busy city for an hour or two.
This almost-five-mile stretch of white, sandy beach is located on the Western-most border of San Francisco, adjacent to Golden Gate Park. Perfect for kite flying, horizon-gazing or just catching your breath. East Beach, also known as China Beach, is a family-friendly choice: this small, sheltered cove in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco features picnic areas with restrooms and cold water showers, shallow waters for waders young and old, opportunity for a little sunbathing and spectacular views of the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate. In the heart of the City, and boasting fabulous views of iconic landmarks Golden Gate and Alcatraz, you will find minuscule urban beach Aquatic Park, formerly known as Black Point Cove. Bring your steamy sourdough bowl and Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate out to the steps to enjoy-be sure to share the crusts with seagulls! This tiny beach is a “bay beach,” not an ocean beach-roll your cuffs and stroll the soft, sandy shore, while miniature, chilly surf laps and nibbles at your toes like small fish.