The Bay Area's Best Swimming Spots for Kids


This is our weekly guest-blog post from the moms behind Red Tricycle, a site that focuses on the "lighter side" of parenting. Every week, they'll be bringing us their picks of stuff to do around the Bay Area with kids.

You wouldn’t dare dip a toe in those frigid Bay Area waters…or would you? It all depends on where you go. Even beyond the community pool, there are definitely ways to enjoy swimming with the family. Here are some hotspots to consider for the warmer weather that’s been creeping up on us little by little.

Lake Anza in Berkeley
Grab the goggles and swimsuits and head on over to the Lake Anza swimming facilities in the Berkeley hills. In spite of how crowded this favorite gathering spot can get, swimming here always feels like a local secret, tucked away in the midst of hiking trails, below the picturesque hills. This stretch of beach typically gets plenty of sun, while the surrounding landscape protects your wet ones from the wind. Read more...

Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore
If you’ve found yourself in Livermore in the summer, you know how scorching hot this part of the Bay (far outside the fog belt) can get. Del Valle Regional Park offers the perfect solution, with not one, but two swimming beaches opening for the season. Read more...

McNear’s Beach County Park in San Rafael
This public pool is a traditional go-to swimming spot for families in the know. While it’s not the same as an outdoor lake, the large pool is surrounded by a view of the San Pablo Bay, with a beach park and concession stand nearby, grassy lawns to play in, and picnic facilities available for the post-swimming BBQ. Read more...

Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch
Here’s an alternative to the big West Coast waves and icy waters … what about a nice, protected swimming lagoon in the heart of an 80-acre reservoir? That’s Contra Loma for you, with a sandy beach and lifeguard included in the swim zone. Boating, picnicking, biking, and nature study are also popular here. Read more...

Parkside Aquatic Beach in San Mateo
This San Mateo gem of a spot has nary a wave or the nasty whirlpools that come alone with them. On one side of the quaint swimming beach, there’s a playground for kids, and on the other side, there are picnic tables if you prefer to keep the sand out of your sandwiches. Read more...

Oyster Point Marina/Park in South San Francisco
In addition to having a 33-acre park for hiking and jogging, a fishing pier, and picnic tables with a view of the Bay, Oyster Point Park in South San Francisco has a sandy beach over two acres wide, with access to peaceful waters for swimming. Read more...

Crissy Field Beach in San Francisco

With ample parking, mild bay water and views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field Beach is a popular destination for San Francisco families with little ones pretty much any day of the week. Building sandcastles, flying kites and exploring the wetlands are all popular activities for active kiddos. Read more...

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