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Halvor Tweto | 08.02.2017

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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