Stinson Beach

Just twenty miles to the northwest of San Francisco is where you will find beautiful Stinson Beach, which extends for 3.5 miles and is a wonderful place to seek relaxation on the California Coast. The picturesque setting of Stinson Beach California certainly encourages visitors to engage in relaxing beach walks, and for those who prefer a little more action, the Stinson Beach surf often offers waves that are ideal for surfing and bodyboarding. Kayakers can give their upper body a workout while taking in views of the mountainous coast. Other recreational opportunities can be taken advantage of in the surrounding parklands. Popular with San Francisco residents and Northern California visitors alike, Stinson Beach deserves a look when in the area, and since it’s easy to get to San Francisco from Stinson Beach, you can easily combine urban pursuits with beach-related activities when vacationing here.

Vacations to Stinson Beach can see you spending time both on the beach and in the small town, which is home to approximately 750 residents. One of the main benefits of vacations to Stinson Beach, besides the relaxing pace of life, the friendly people, and the proximity to San Francisco, is the fact that the beach is part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area. This National Recreation Area covers much of the land between the Golden Gate Bridge and Stinson Beach. Ascend to the top of Mt. Tamalpais in the nearby Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of not only the beach, but also much of the surrounding bay region. Brave visitors can even hang glide off of Mt. Tamalpais, and there may be no finer views to be had here than from the sky above. For those who prefer to stay grounded when enjoying vacations to Stinson Beach, there are miles of hiking trails that course throughout the surrounding parklands. There are also plenty of picnic areas and public grills where you can take a break and enjoy some refreshments. Pack a bottle of wine from Napa Valley and throw some cheese and fruit into your picnic basket, and you’ll truly enjoy a fine slice of California life.

In addition to the aforementioned activities that can be enjoyed at Stinson Beach California, volleyball, bicycling, and sun bathing are popular things to add to the list of possibilities. There are surf shops in and around Stinson Beach where you can rent watersports equipment like surf boards and kayaks, so you won’t have to worry if you are without your own watersports wares. The best time to enjoy watersports at Stinson Beach California is between the month of May and October, as this is the warmest part of the year and the only time that lifeguards are on duty. The water here is relatively cold throughout the year, so you might find that swimming or surfing without a wetsuit can be a bit uncomfortable. Also, the riptides can be rather strong, so you will want to keep that in mind. Great White Sharks prowl the Pacific Ocean along the California Coast, and while attacks are rare, it is worth noting as well.

Stinson Beach doesn’t boast as many facilities as some of the other beaches in California, but there are cold-water showers and restrooms available here. You can find the restrooms near the main parking areas, though if you drive here, it is encouraged that you not bring any vehicle over 35 feet in length. The steep and winding road that leads down to the beach isn’t exactly ideal for such vehicles. From nearby San Francisco, drivers will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and continue for about three miles on Highway 101 before hitting the Stinson Beach exit. If you are bringing a dog with you to Stinson Beach, it must be on a leash, and you will want to pay attention to the parts of the beach where dogs are permitted. Visitors 21 and older can consume alcohol on the beach, but no glass containers or kegs are allowed, so you will want to keep that in mind as well.

Vacations to Stinson Beach can be enjoyed year round, and the beach and park area opens to the public at 9 a.m. Closing times vary according to the season. No campsites or RV parks are found near Stinson Beach, but those looking to spend a night or more here can rent a room at one of the few small hotels or motels, some of which offer cabins in addition to more standard rooms. Rates are highest during the peak summer season, though they are pretty reasonable regardless of the time of year. Vacation rentals are available as well. Other top beaches in Northern California include Fort Bragg Beach, Point Reyes Beach, and the Crescent City beaches, all of which are found further north along the coast. Just south of Stinson Beach is Red Rock Beach, which is one of the more popular nude beaches on the north coast for those who are interested.

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