Stinson Beach

NileGuide Expert Says:

Where the North Bay goes for a classic NorCal beach experience.

User Rating:


Highway 1
Mill Valley, CA 94970

NileGuide Expert tip:

On a hot day, the beach can get crowded, so motivate early.


Let's face it. For 10 (or sometimes 11) months out of the year, San Francisco is not a beach-weather destination. However, Marin County to the north tends to have warmer temperatures and sunnier skies than the fog-blanketed city—and so heading to Marin's idyllic Stinson Beach is where all the locals go to soak up some rays. The drive there alone, on gorgeous coastal Highway 1, is worth the cost of gas (it's no wonder it's been used in many a car commercial), but the ultimate reward is plunking yourself down on Stinson Beach's golden sand to gaze at the ocean and enjoy a tranquil picnic. The water at Stinson Beach is too cold for swimming, but with a full-body wet suit you can take the plunge or hop on a surf or boogie board.


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