“Over the river and through the woods to Stinson Beach we go!” Even though Stinson Beach is considered “right outside” San Francisco, it’s actually a beautiful cove hidden behind miles of the twists and turns of the Marin Headlands.
Living in the East Bay our entire Californian lives, we had never made it to Stinson beach until recently. My cousin’s daughter was visiting friends who lived in Marin area and suggested that we meet up at Stinson Beach. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, and to a New Jersey girl it’s not Memorial Day weekend unless you visit a beach, we decided it was the perfect spot.
Once at Stinson beach, my husband and I quickly wondered why we have never been there before. Parking was plentiful (if you get there before 11am), and there is a famous café, the Siren Canteen, right on the beach. The kids ran in the waves, played in the sand, and we all ate fish tacos and quesadillas, which the adults washed down with a nice IPA or Margarita.
I will say that being on the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by the Marin Headlands, this beach is an unfortunate victim of Karl the Fog. On our first visit, the fog eventually broke just before lunch. But we went back recently when my sister was visiting, and the fog didn’t start to break until 2:30pm. When the fog is in, the beach can be quite chilly; it’s not uncommon to see people in long sleeve shirts, jeans, and hats until the fog lifts.
Driving to Stinson Beach is not for the weak. But the reward is worth the drive. So on a clear day, get in the car, drive the winding roads, and be pleasantly surprised at the beach just waiting for you to enjoy.
- Address: Highway 1, Stinson Beach, CA
- Hours: Open year round. Entrance gates open at 9am, and close at different times depending on the season
- Parking: There is large parking lot, but it can fill before noon on warm days. There is no overflow, so it’s recommended you arrived early.
- Address: 3201 Highway 1, Stinson Beach, CA
- Hours: Opens 11 AM all week. Closes 6 PM Monday – Thursday and 7 PM Friday – Sunday