Point Lobos Avenue, Great Highway
San Francisco, CA 94121
Ocean Beach boasts 3.5 miles of sand near the Golden Gate Park. Known for its white sand and distance from the hustle and bustle of the city, Ocean Beach has cold water, but offers ample fun during the summer months. If you are looking to enjoy the ocean when it is sunny, go in the fall after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving. If the urge play in the water overcomes you, please note that the waves here are meant for experienced surfers and not recommended for swimmers. Despite the foggy San Francisco weather, Ocean Beach is the perfect contrast between city life and the romance of the seaside.
Ocean Parkway and Evergreen Road
Bolinas, CA 94924
Just north of San Francisco and across the Golden Gate, Bolinas Beach is both dog friendly and kid friendly. An excellent location for those who want to surf, paddle board and enjoy the surfing culture of California outside San Francisco, it’s also a popular pet-friendly destination for pet parents eager to share their love of the ocean with their dogs. Pooches must be on a leash, and surfers abound so it’s best not to let the pups loose in the water.
Montara State Beach
Highway 1 at 2nd Street
A short 10-mile drive from San Francisco, this public beach provides a beachfront community complete with shops and hotels for extended stays. Surfing and fishing opportunities abound, and its away from the sounds of the urban areas. The beach is even open for nighttime relaxation, however bonfires are not allowed. Bring layers as the temperature change quite a bit, even in summer. Montara State Beach is a convenient drive from downtown Pacifica or Half Moon Bay, making it an ideal coastal getaway.
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Beach
California and North Lake
Moss Beach, CA 94062
Two miles away from Montara, and full of natural marine wildlife splashing in the Pacific Ocean, Fitzgerald is an ideal spot for budding marine biologists. Marine animals are all protected here, so behave as conservationists and nature-oriented interest groups work to preserve these invaluable habitats. School field trips are common here as the scenery and marine life offer plenty of real-world learning experiences for children to understand the ocean and nature. Spend a memorable day observing the tide pools and marine life right in Northern California, then hit the shops and cafes.
152 Poplar St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Poplar Beach is notable for its easy parking, animal friendly environment and stunning coastal views. Poplar Beach tends to draw in horseback riders and dog lovers alike. The cliffs at Poplar Beach offer multiple benches and allow visitors to admire the picturesque views from perfect vantage points. Spanning in about three miles, this particular beach also attracts fitness junkies for seaside runs and beach volleyball.
Rheba Estante is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.