The girls and I LOVE a beach day. The ocean waves, sand and gentle breezes are just part of us!
Of course, we can't always head to the warmer beaches of southern or central California. But that's okay! We have plenty of wonderful options within a stone's throw (not literally!) of our home.
So, on a hot summer day in Northern California, it's time to head to the coast and embrace the beauty of the Bay Area's stunning beaches. Whether you're a local or a visitor, these coastal gems offer a perfect family escape, where you can bask in the sun, play in the sand, and enjoy the splendor of the ocean. It can wash the stressors of the day away--at least for awhile.
Read on to discover the top beaches that are just a short drive away!
Located on the serene island of Alameda, Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach beckons with its calm waters and gradual beach slope, making it a haven for families with young kids. Enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline and planes taking off from Oakland airport. As an added plus, Crown Beach has earned a reputation as one of the cleanest beaches in the Bay Area.
San Francisco's biggest beach, Ocean Beach, offers plenty of space for everyone, even on crowded days. Enjoy strolling along the shore, watching surfers ride the waves, or watching a sunset. Be cautious of waves and currents, as it isn't ideal for swimming.
Stinson Beach is a crowd-pleaser! A favorite weekend retreat for San Francisco and Marin County families, Stinson Beach enchants with its beauty and spaciousness. Located on Highway 1, the scenic drive is well worth the journey. Take in the natural beauty of the Marin coast as you revel in the tranquil surroundings.
Escape the crowds at Baker Beach or Ocean Beach and head to China Beach, an often less crowded option within city limits. The shallow waters are safe for young kids, and lifeguards are sometimes on duty during the summer. Enjoy stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The only bummer is that parking can be limited.
For a day trip adventure, head to Santa Cruz, the surf city mecca with plenty of family-friendly entertainment including rides and carnival games. The beach adjacent to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers a calm pool created by the San Lorenzo River meeting the Monterey Bay, perfect for kids to wade in and build sandcastles.
When the need for the beach hits, head to Crown Beach in Alameda or enjoy the thrill of Santa Cruz. I'm sure you'll find that the Bay Area has the perfect beach destination for your family's summer escape. 🏖️🌞