As summer draws to a close in Marin County, there's no better way to savor the last rays of sunshine than by heading to some of the finest beaches in this picturesque region.
Just north of San Francisco, Marin boasts an impressive array of sandy havens, each with their own charm and allure.
Whether you're seeking a tranquil escape to unwind for a weekend or a rejuvenating day trip with friends and family, these top-notch beaches promise unforgettable moments of sun, surf, and serenity.
Stinson Beach.(Courtesy of Marin CVB)
Stinson Beach is a scenic and entertaining seaside town situated within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The a beloved coastal spot is a destination for locals as well as visitors thanks to its miles-long, pristine expanse of sand ideal for swimmers, surfers, fishermen, volleyballers, and picnickers. Keep an eye out for sea lions, which are not unusual to spot here. Generally, lifeguards are on duty through Labor Day.
Tip: Stinson is particularly popular on warmer days, so arrive in the morning since parking is at a premium in the afternoon. Plan your beach day!
Muir Overlook.(Courtesy of Marin CVB)
Located just three miles west of Muir Woods, Muir Beach is a quiet spot for an afternoon picnic or leisurely hike. Muir is not only a beach but a lagoon and cove as well, making this an ideal weekend getaway. For great views, stroll along the 235-foot-long pedestrian bridge connecting visitors from the parking lot to the famous Coastal Trail and the Muir Beach Overlook. If you happen to be there in autumn, you may be lucky to spot some of the monarch butterflies that migrate to the California coast each year. During the winter months, you can spot whales from the beach overlook.
Limantour Beach, at the Point Reyes National Seashore, is a perfect spot for an end-of-summer celebration with the whole family. Limantour Beach has gentle surf, stunning views, and miles of sandy coastline. Like nearby Drakes Beach, Limantour is not located against the open ocean, making this beach fine for wading and swimming on calmer days. Even If you don't go into the water, Limantour is lovely for playing in the sand, picnicking, flying kites, and just relaxing. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to spot shorebirds and harbor seals in their natural habitat.
Note: Even though the beach is dog-friendly, the northern part is a nesting area for the endangered Snowy Plover and is off limits to dogs. You are welcome to keep your on-leash canine companions on the southeast end of the beach. Parking for up to 250 vehicles, rest areas, and picnic tables are a plus.
For suggestions on places to stay in Marin County, go to visitmarin.org/hotels.