Every once in a while, the sun shines bright in San Francisco and every city residents flocks to the nearest park or beach to soak up the sun and day drink.
Baker Beach, in the confines of SF, seems worlds away from city life. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular, and the diverse group of Baker Beach visitors is a testament to what a hodge podge San Francisco truly is. Parking can be a pain in the butt; take the 29 bus and save yourself the hassle.
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Best Beach in SF
When the fog clears this is the best beach in San Francisco, amazing sunsets on the Pacific and backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. Short break creates huge waves not suitable for surfing but alright for wading Take the PresidiGo shuttle or Muni 29 to Baker Beach. Alternatively you can take the Muni bus 1 or 38 into the Richmond district walk through the Presidio at the 15th avenue gate down a nature path direct to the beach. Bring your own food and beverages as there are few shops in the area, closet is Angelina's Cafe at 21st and California
Beautiful beach with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Readers should be aware that the end of the beach closest to the bridge is a clothing-optional area. Usually lots of older men ogling passers-by, but, they won't bother you if you don't bother them. They mostly want to show off their "equipment."
With so many options regarding beaches in the Bay area, which one to choose? One of my favs is Baker's beach. Although it might be quite crowded, it offers a nice panoramic view, which includes the Golden gate bridge. Come early in the summer if you need to park your car!
- Explore the MISSION DISTRICT which is where all the independent shops, coffee shops, hip restaurants, etc are all located. Most of the shops are off Valencia Street, between 16th and 24th Street. You can take BART to 16th Street and walk two blocks there. - In Mission, grab a picnic and hang out in DOLORES PARK and watch people. - BI-RITE ICE CREAM is one of the best ice cream shops in SF. My favorite ice cream shop is Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous but is a little off the beaten path. - One of the best pizzas in the city is at DELFINA Pizzeria in the Mission. - If you're a foodie, check out the 7x7 top 100 eats - If you go to ALCATRAZ, bring a picnic to eat on the island, enjoy the views of the city & the Golden Gate Bridge. - The FERRY BUILDING is a foodie's paradise, and there is a Farmers Market on Saturdays. The Ferry Building has great little shops and things to eat. My favorites are ACME and COWGIRL CREAMERY. - CRISSY FIELD is at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and a beautiful place to walk. - Walking around FILLMORE STREET (@ California) is a fun way to spend a couple hours - cute (but slightly expensive) shops. - If you visit during the summer, look up OFF THE GRID food truck event. The best is at Fort Mason on Friday nights. - If you have a car, pack up a picnic and head to BAKER BEACH for the most breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Top 5 beaches less than 40 minute drive from down town - from a San Franciscan sun worshiper.
5. Muir Beach - Drive Hwy 1 to Muir Beach, stop for a proper English pint at Pelican Inn. Limited parking and only one restaurant means this area can get crowded, get started early.
4. Ocean Beach - Ride Street Car N-Juda or MUNI Bus 5, 31, or 38 to the end of the line. Enjoy a cocktail or meal at Cliff House or Beach Chalet Brewery. Public transit, restaurants and enough parking make this the easiest SF beach.
3- Rodeo Beach - Take Hwy 1 over the Golden Gate Bridge and take the first exit to Sausalito, drive up through the Marin Headlands to Fort Cronkhite. Isolated, quite and at the end of an outstanding drive, great picnic spot
2- Montara Beach - Drive Hwy 1 South and go through the new Devil's Slide tunnel beach on your right. One restaurant on the beach, La Costanera (Michelin Star Peruvian food). Yellow corse sand beach, coast views and few crowds.
1- Baker Beach - MUNI Bus #29 to Baker Beach or FREE PresideGo shuttle. Limited parking so take a bus, taxi or hike in. Outstanding Golden Gate Bridge view and local hangout is what make this beach #1. The end closest to the Bridge is 'naked' so consider yourself warned. On hot weekend days there is a fun-loving festive atmosphere full of families, dogs, and friends. Bring a cooler with plenty of California wine and snacks, once you get here you won't want to leave.
One of my favorite beaches that's somewhat hidden away from the normal crowds in SF is Baker Beach.
If it's a clear day, the view of the Golden Gate bridge is fantastic. Take a visit to Lands' End for a little hike and then continue down to Baker Beach.
Word to the wise: at the end of the beach there are a great deal of rocks which is an area designated as a nude beach. You'd have to walk a ways to get to it if you're coming from the main parking lot, so it's not difficult to avoid it (and there are seldom people there) but just don't be surprised if you wander down that far and get a view of more than just the bridge!
San Francisco is a city after my own heart and it seems that even as my boyfriend and I develop our favorite spots in our 'second home' we are constantly discovering new places each time we visit. On our last trip, we ended up at Baker Beach. It was a windy, yet beautiful sunny day and stumbling upon this beach was a treat. The long stretch is lovely and there's even a climbing path into The Presidio, the sand stairs. We enjoyed walking the length of the beach with bare feet and this is likely going to be a place we'd revisit each time as I always love being near the water.