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Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco

08.02.17

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Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
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  • Ocean Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Looking north toward the Cliff House and Seal Rocks at Ocean Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Surfing at the north end of Rodeo Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Rodeo Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Muir Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Fire pits on Muir Beach. - Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • A relaxing day at Bolinas Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Looking southeast along Bolinas Beach. Bolinas Ridge is in the background.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Baker Beach, San Francisco.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Picnic areas behind Baker Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • A busy day at Highway 49 Crossing. - Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Quieter spots are found up and downstream at Highway 49 Crossing.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • China Cove is home to a popular swimming beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • The Donner Creek outlet is a big draw in summer.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Day use and picnic area at the Donner Creek outlet.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Looking down Donner Lake from near China Cove.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Lake Anza Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Pacifica State Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Pacifica State Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • A mix of sand and beach vegetation at Seabright Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • The harbor at Seabright Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • The Santa Cruz Wharf at sunset.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Enjoying the night near a fire at Seabright Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Sunset from the bluffs at Davenport Landing Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Sunrise on Panther Beach.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
  • Looking south toward Alamere Falls.- Beat the Heat: 20 Summer Escapes Near San Francisco
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Contributor

As the rest of the country’s summer winds down, ours is just getting started here in the Bay. September means the arrival of all that steady dry heat we miss during foggy July and August, and residents yield to distracted workdays spent staring longingly out office windows wishing for cold drinks and feet in the sand. Don’t waste a single weekend indoors because of the heat this year. Instead, venture out to one of the spots on this list and cool down with an ocean breeze or quick dip in your local swimming hole.

  • Ocean Beach: Arguably the best beach in San Francisco, but guaranteed to be packed on hot days.
  • Rodeo Beach: Pebbly, family-friendly beach in Marin.
  • Muir Beach: Bustling sunny beach just 3 miles south of Muir Woods National Monument.
  • Bolinas Beach: Walk along the channels at low tide or surf the waves. 
  • Baker Beach: Relax with some of the best views of Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Pacifica State Beach/Linda Mar: Cool off and watch the surfers in this famous California spot.
  • Seabright State Beach: The nicer and less-crowded alternative to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. 
  • Sunny Cove: A great escape in the Pleasure Point area of Santa Cruz.
  • Davenport Landing Beach: Just north of Santa Cruz, this is a perfect spot to stretch out and watch the sunset.
  • Panther Beach: Located in Coast Dairies State Park, the beach requires a short climb down, but the views are worth it.
  • Point Reyes National Seashore: A pristine area protected from development, Point Reyes has the hikes and beaches to make for a complete day away from the city heat.
  • Palomarin Hike to Alamere Falls: A great way to experience the Point Reyes area, this walk features fantastic ocean views, tree cover, lakes, and a beach stop.
  • American River: Cool off in the calmer sections of this long winding river. 
  • Russian River: Float down the river in a tube or just lounge by one of its many beaches. 
  • McCloud River: Hike to one of three distinct waterfalls for cliff jumping and swimming. 
  • Emerald Bay: Swim in the prettiest corner of Lake Tahoe. 
  • Stinson Beach: A prime swimming spot in Marin. 
  • Highway 49 Crossing: Get some sun on the rocks, then dive into emerald green pools. 
  • Donner Memorial State Park: Boat rentals and swimming on this stunning Sierra lake.   
  • Lake Anza: Cliff jumping and sandy shores in East Bay's Lake Anza. 
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