Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If crowds at Seacliff and Rio Del Mar State Beach are getting you down, just continue down Beach Street to find the small and enjoyable Platforms Beach. The parking can be a challenge because the area is largely residential, though you may find free parking below some eucalyptus trees; otherwise, you'll have to pay to park in the designated area. The beach has clean restrooms and a foot shower. There are relatively few fire pits on the beach, so be sure to grab one early if you plan to enjoy a fire later in the day. A long stretch of beach extends to Rio Del Mar State Beach, so finding your own space is never an issue. The stretch of coast between Platforms and New Brighton State Beach is excellent for watching passing wildlife. You are almost guaranteed to see seagulls, pelicans, and sea lions throughout the year; however, the area is also a great bet for gray whale sightings during the spring and early summer migrations.

 

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Pros

Low congestion. Short drive.

Cons

Close to a residential area.

Features

ADA accessible
Fishing
Surfing
Whale watching
Wildlife
Wildlife
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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