Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Stinson Beach is a wide sandy public beach within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the northwestern area of the San Francisco Bay. The beach makes a popular destination for fishing, swimming, volleyball, wind surfing, and hiking in the surrounding Muir Woods hills, including trails that descend to the town of Stinson Beach.

Lying near the Highway 1 turnoff for the town, the public beach has large parking lots, flush bathrooms and showers, picnic tables and grills nestled in the park's lawns, and a lifeguard tower, visitor center and snack stand that are staffed during peak summer months. A walkway from the parking lot leads to a street in the town with several cafes and restaurants, as well as a small market that has a pretty good selection of groceries a block away.

While generally quiet throughout most of the year, Stinson Beach can fill up very quickly during weekends or on warm weather days, and there is extremely limited parking on streets throughout the town. 

Wide sandy shores are popular for families to throw out blankets and umbrellas, beach volleyball players, and beachcombing walkers alike. While not as ideal as nearby Bolinas Beach, Stinson is popular with surfers, particularly during Winter and Spring months when surf conditions tend to be better. 

One distinction that some visitors should be aware of is the boundary between Stinson Beach in the National Recreation Area and the county beach which lies to the north. Dogs are permitted on leash in the parking area of the National Recreation Area, however are not allowed on the beach grounds. Those with dogs are permitted to bring them onto the county beach to the north.

Beach hours vary by season. Visitors can contact Stinson Beach Lifeguard Tower at (415) 868-0942 for up-to-date hours.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Spacious. Short walk from cafes and market.


Can get very crowded on weekends.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Picnic tables
Big vistas
Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Potable water


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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