The South Bay has the most beautiful beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area, but there is one often overlooked jewel in the East Bay – Stinson.
Stinson Beach is located just 20 miles from San Francisco and along gorgeous Highway 1, so the drive up is just as scenic (if not more) as the beach. But if you get car sick easy, this may not be the beach for you. The drive is full of twists and turns, down a narrow highway, up the mountains, down through the valley, and alongside cliffs. It’s sounds worse than what it is, but you will need to drive carefully.
The water is not necessarily warm, but the beach is really clean. The sand is a beautiful camel brown, and the tides aren’t too intimidating if you’d like to go for a swim.
Stinson is also a great place to have a picnic. Grills and picnic tables line the park just beyond the parking lot. When you’re done eating, the beach awaits you just a few steps away.
I must warn you that Stinson, although not the most well-known beach in the Bay Area, can get a little crowded. Parking is difficult, so if you want to enjoy the beach try to get there before 11 am.
If you are an outdoorsy person, you’ll love this beach. Stinson is close to Muir Woods, famous for its giant Redwoods and easy hiking trails. I definitely recommend you stop by this park after leaving the beach.