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Travis Katz
Created byTravis Katz
I am a passionate traveler and love to get off the beaten path...

The 12 Most Amazing Beaches in the SF Bay Area

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I am an adventurer and nature lover, and have always loved exploring the dramatic and wild coastline of northern California and seeking out the best spots to enjoy it.  Now that I have 2 kids in tow, the process is even more fun.  These are 12 of my favorite spots to enjoy the majestic California coast.
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Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point Lobos is one of the most beautiful places on the Northern Coast. Amazing hiking trails along wild cliffs above the ocean. If you come in the winter you can see Gray whales. We saw whales, sea otters and lots of California sea lions. Cool tide pools with starfish and anemones. You can spend a full...

Point Reyes National Seashore

Absolutely stunning beach. Hard to get to, but worth the trouble. There are tons of long walks, high sea cliffs and tide pools. When we came it was incredibly windy, so bring layers just in case. If you come at the right time of year you can see the elephant seals, who come here to breed. To see them, you...

Rodeo Beach

Beautiful beach in Marin, with a big tidal lagoon. You can hike up a dirt road from the beach and explore some old military buildings. Its especially nice here at sunset, although like most NorCal beaches can be cold and windy so bring some warm clothes....

Pfeiffer Beach

Windy and wild - this beach is absolutely stunning, with huge rock formations, natural arches with waves crashing through them, and famous pink sand. Lots of space to relax and play.

Gray Whale Cove State Beach

One of the most beautiful beaches in the Bay Area. It's tucked in a cove protected a bit from the wind - when we came it was 10 degrees warmer than Pacifica. A broad area of golden sand wrapped by jagged cliffs dotted with rust colored iceplant and yellow and white wildflowers in the spring. Currents are...

Pomponio State Beach

A broad, sandy beach backed by sandstone bluffs. The cliffs here are not as spectacular as San Gregorio, but the beach feels a bit cleaner.

Pescadero State Beach

Beautiful beach. Pescadero is a huge beach, stretching for several miles along the coast. There are 3 parking lots. Park in the one furthest to the north for easy access to the sandy beach. The other entrances are better for exploring the cliffs and tide pools....

San Gregorio State Beach

Absolutely stunning beach, lined with huge sandstone cliffs.

Stinson Beach

This is a beautiful, windswept beach. Good spot for surfing, although since there was a Great White attack here a year or so ago I am a little scared about getting into the water.

Sand Dollar Beach and Picnic Area

Beautiful beach area about an hour south of Big Sur on Highway 1. Parking for Day Use is $8, but you can park for free outside the park and walk in. There is a trail down from the beach about 100 m past the parking lot.