11 best beaches in San Francisco, USA

San Francisco’s beaches – beautiful places of the coast

San Francisco is a California city that differs from other cities in the state with cold summer fogs, steep hills, and strong winds. The bathing season comes in July and ends in September . Even then, however, the ocean water is cold to swim in.

For this Pacific coast is characterized by strong currents, dangerous to life bathers. Therefore, people come to the beaches of San Francisco to relax, sunbathe and surf. Only a few brave ones dare to go in the water without a wetsuit.

Baker Beach

Baker Beach.

In the northwest part of San Francisco is located classic Baker Beach with picturesque views of the Golden Gate. The coastline is 1,5 km long. The area and the ocean floor are covered with white sand. On the mainland side the beach is surrounded by rocks. The water in the area rarely gets warmer than 14°C even during the bathing season. Often the battering currents form. So swimming at Baker Beach is not only cold, but also dangerous.

A small area to the north is a place for nudists.

Entrance to the coastal area is free. During the warm season, the area is popular with locals and tourists who picnic on the shore, sunbathe, walk along the coast, fish or do photo shoots. It is possible to rest together with dogs and their presence without a leash. Infrastructure is represented by free toilets, barbecue tables, 2 parking lots. Lifeguard service is not responsible for surveillance of campers. There are no sun lounger rentals.

Baker Beach is located at 1504 Pershing Dr, San Francisco. Vacationers take the No. 29 bus to the site, getting off at the Stilwell Rd stop. Some rent a car, which can be parked in the free parking lot.

Aquatic Park.

Aquatic Park.

Downtown San Francisco is home to Aquatic Park, a public beach. The bay shore is covered with sand. The bottom ground is also sandy. The water is cool. The depth is gaining gradually. There are no strong winds or waves.

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Entrance to the beach area is available to all . The coastal area is small. Vacationers come here to relax in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful views of the Golden Gate, Alcatraz and moored old ships. There are no water activities. Nearby outside the beach are cafes and bars, outlets for ice cream, drinks, and other snacks. There is free parking.

To get to the beach you need to take buses number 2, 4, 8, 18, 24, 27, 38, 44, 54, 58, 72, 74, and 76. Get off at the Beach St. & Hyde St. stop.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is located on the western outskirts of San Francisco. It is a wide beach of just under 5 km in length. The coast and the bottom are sandy. The predominant color of the sand is snow-white. Sometimes there are places with what looks like dirty sand. The reason is the presence of such black mineral as magnetite. The water temperature in the ocean ranges from +13 to 15°C. There are rip currents and strong waves. Therefore, Ocean Beach is not suitable for swimming. The main activities here are skysurfing, windsurfing, hiking, picnics or biking.

The recreation area is public. The infrastructure is well developed . Equipped with free toilets and changing cabins. There are cafes and bars, as well as stores that sell water sports accessories. There are special places for making bonfires. It is prohibited to be on the beach at night and drink alcohol. There is no rescue service. For the convenience of visitors there are 3 parking lots.

Ocean Beach is located at Fulton St. & Great Hwy, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco. The location is easily accessible by car by following Geary Boulevard to a cul-de-sac. Then you should turn onto Great Highway. Those who don’t have a car take public transportation. The N Streetcar goes to the beach. Exit at the Judah/La Playa/Ocean Beach stop. Also available by bus: #N-OWL at the Judah/La Playa/Ocean Beach stop, #7 & 7X (stop Noriega St. & 48th Ave.), #18 (Vicente St. & 47th Ave.). From the stop, walk towards the ocean.

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China Beach

China Beach

China Beach is a cove surrounded by cliffs. It is a small secluded beach located in Northwest San Francisco between Baker Beach and Lands End Park. The distance from downtown is 7.4 km . The shoreline and the bottom of the bay are covered with white sand. The water is murky and cool. It is often foggy .

The coastal area is public . Infrastructure is represented by free toilets, showers and changing cabins. There are no cafes and stores. Lifeguards and medical personnel are not on duty in this water area. Vacationers come here for sunbathing, picnics, surfing or photo shoots against the Golden Gate. It is prohibited to drink alcohol, make bonfires, bring glass bottles and bring pets on the beach. Parking is available for motorists, but it’s hard to find a free spot.

China Beach is located in the Sea Cliff neighborhood at End of Sea Cliff Ave. off 25th Ave. in San Francisco. If traveling by car, the destination will be 455 Sea Cliff Avenue. You can take the No. 29 bus toward Lincoln/Camino del Mar and 25th Ave. Then walk west. The parking lot, from which there is a paved road to the bay, serves as a landmark.

Fort Funston Beach

Fort Funston Beach

The southernmost vacation spot is Fort Funston, where the Pacific coastline is surrounded by steep sandstone cliffs covered in green vegetation. The beach along the cliffs is about 400m long. Windy and foggy weather prevails. The water is cold. There are strong currents. Swimming is prohibited here.

The coastal area is accessible to all. Vacationers hang gliding, horseback riding, picnicking, watching whales, dolphins and other sea animals. There are trails for hiking. This is an official place to walk dogs without leashes. There are water taps for pets. There is a supply of garbage bags. At the top of the cliff there is a parking lot. From it to the beach descends a steep sandy road, climbing back up will be a lot of effort. There are also easier trails that even people in wheelchairs can take.

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Fort Funston is located on Skyline Blvd . The San Francisco Zoo, which is 3 minutes from the site, serves as a landmark. By car, follow Sloat Boulevard all the way to the ocean. Then you must turn left onto the big highway, Skyline Boulevard. You should ignore the first sign and only turn at the second sign. This road is shorter and leads directly to the parking lot.

Marshall’s Beach.

Marshall's Beach

This recreation spot is the closest to the Golden Gate. The distance from the city center is 1.4 km . The coastline is about 300 meters long. The isolated beach area is located north of Baker Beach and can be reached via the steep Batteries to Bluffs Trail. You have to walk down the cliffs along the wooden steps and then down the sandy trail. The way back will require a lot of strength. The water is cold. It is dangerous to swim here because of the strong currents.

Marshall’s Beach is a public area with free admission for all comers. The infrastructure is not developed: there are no toilets, no outlets with food. On the beach is allowed to be without clothes. It is forbidden to bring pets, bring glass containers and build fires.

To get to the beach, park your car in the large free Langdon Court parking lot on Lincoln Blvd. Public transportation is available from Fisherman’s Wharf. Take Golden Gate Transit Bus #4 (Strawberry Via Mill Valley) or #27 (San Anselmo). Get off at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza Stop. After you need to go down to the lower level, cross the road through the tunnel and shift down Merchant Road toward Lincoln Blvd. Turn right into the Langdon Court parking lot.

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