Out & About: Family-Friendly Bay Area Beaches

Out & About: Family-Friendly Bay Area Beaches

August 03, 2018 / Out & About

Summer's not over yet! Maximize your last few weeks with a visit (or three) to one of these Bay Area beaches, where the temps may actually climb high enough to take a dip in the water. Stef Tousignant has a few ideas to get you out of the city and playing in the sand.

Linda Mar Beach (Pacifica State Beach)

1416 9th St., Pacifica

Parking: $5

Dogs on leash

Restrooms and showers

No lifeguards 

A crescent-shaped, flat beach perfect for beginning surfers—the city even offers surf camps. This popular beach will get busy on hot days, so claim your spot early!

Muir Beach

100 Pacific Way, Muir Beach

Parking: free

Dogs off leash okay


No lifeguards 

This beach is easily missed (turn left at the Pelican Inn!). Boasting beautiful dark grey sand, it is a popular spot with the locals but is never too busy.

Stinson Beach

Highway 1, Stinson Beach

Parking: limited but free

Dogs on leash on national park beach, no dogs on county beach

Restrooms and showers

Lifeguards: May-Oct

A 51-acre park adjoins this scenic three-and-a-half-mile stretch of beach, so prepare for some great picnicking and even biking! Try to arrive before 9 a.m. for easier parking.

Kirby Cove

Conzelman Rd., Sausalito

Parking: limited but free

No dogs allowed

Restrooms at campground

No lifeguards 

Be prepared to earn the sweeping views of SF and the Golden Gate Bridge—it is a lush and beautiful mile-long trek from the parking lot. Four campsites are also available through the National Park Service.

Lake Anza—Tilden Park

Lake Anza Rd. (off of Central Park Dr.), Berkeley

Small beach access fee required

No dogs allowed

Restrooms and showers

Lifeguards: June-Sept

If a break from the Pacific is what you are looking for, head to this beautiful park. Sheltered and warm throughout most of the summer, this is the perfect place for younger kids to splash in the lake!

Crown Beach

Eighth St. and Otis Dr., Alameda

Parking: $5 (seasonal)

No dogs on beach

Restrooms and showers

No lifeguards

Warm and shallow water make this the perfect place to bring younger ones or nervous swimmers. Grab a spot at the west end and explore the Crab Cove Visitor Center!

San Gregorio State Beach

Route 1 and Route 84, San Gregorio

Parking: $8

No dogs on beach


No lifeguards

This beach features a huge lava tube cave, a warm lagoon, and a sandbar. Bring layers, because it can get windy! (And keep to the south end, as the north can be a popular nudist beach.)

Stef Tousignant lives in the Inner Richmond with her high school sweetheart and two boys, who love to play air guitar and explore Golden Gate Park.

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2015 issue of GGMG Magazine.


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