Seven Less Traveled Bay Area Beaches To Enjoy In Early Our Fall
If you’ve lived in the Bay Area for a while, you’ve probably learned that the summer months offer less than ideal weather on most of the area’s beaches. The onset of fall is usually when the cold fog begins to recede, leaving warmer, summery conditions with clear skies over the coast.
If you’re looking forward to some fall sunbathing or taking the dog out for a splash, these Bay Area beaches (north to south) will give you easy parking, smaller crowds, and a greater sense of adventure for a while. as you soak up the sun and heat.
Steep Ravine Beach – Marin County
If you are looking for an alternative to the crowds of Bolinas or Stinson Beach in the North Bay, then Steep Ravine Beach is a great option. It’s south of Stinson and not too far from Hwy 1. Don’t let the name scare you, there are some stairs that lead you down the ‘steep ravine’ to the little beach which has great views. views and rock formations.
Tennessee Beach in Marin. | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
Tennessee Beach – Marin County
You can see a lot of cars in the parking lot at Tennessee Beach, aka Tennessee Cove Beach, but there aren’t usually large crowds on the sand. Indeed, to get to the beach you have to walk just over half a mile of the Tennessee Valley Trail, but the walk is easy and flat and the quaint little beach is worth the trip. Most of the crowds are on the nearby hiking trails and don’t congregate on the sand.
South Rodeo Beach – Marin County
If you want to stay close to San Francisco, try South Rodeo Beach, which is just south of the much more famous Rodeo Beach. This area is also full of hiking trails, so parking can be a challenge, but if you want to spend some secluded time on the beach, taking an extra walk to South Rodeo Beach is a good option.
Gray Whale Cove State Beach | Photo: Phil H./Yelp
Gray Whale Cove State Beach – San Mateo County
It’s easy to escape the huge crowds that normally swarm Pacifica State Beach every day by heading south just a few miles away. Gray Whale Cove State Beach features a steep trail leading to a small, private sandy cove surrounded by hills, boulders, and cliffs. Beachgoers often spot gray whales from the shores.
Martins Beach – San Mateo County
When the sun shines at Martins Beach along Route 1, the water turns a bright blue color, making it very pleasing to the eye. Access to the beach has been blocked for years by a tech billionaire, but after a Supreme Court ruling, public access has been granted. Crowds are still generally very sparse.
Pistache Beach – San Mateo County
Pistachio Beach is located just north of Pigeon Point, about an hour south of San Francisco. It features a long sandy shore that allows you to sunbathe without the crowds. There are also many opportunities for exploration at low tide.
Panther Beach – Santa Cruz County
The beaches in Santa Cruz are often crowded, but if you head north a few miles from Panther Beach, you’re likely to find quiet crowds. At low tide you should have enough space to lie in the sand, but high tide tends to cut parts of the beach.
Hopefully some of these lesser known Bay Area beaches give you a better overall experience than you would get by going to the same beaches everyone else is visiting. Enjoy!