NileGuide Expert Says:
Best escape from civilization within a half hour of The City.
Gray Whale Cove State Beach
(the closest city is Montara)
Pacifica, CA 94044
NileGuide Expert tip:
Bring a sweatshirt even when its sunny. The wind always has a chill to it. That's a big, cold ocean you're looking at.
Just 30 minutes south of San Francisco along windy Highway 1, just past Devil's Slide, a small turnout on the west side of the highway leads to a steep staircase and trail down to this niche of hidden beach. You have a very real chance of seeing migrating gray whales from October to December, when they're traveling south to their Baja California breeding grounds, and April to May, as they return north to the Arctic for the summer. Plus, on any day of the year, you might just have the entire beach to yourself. Why do you think they made it clothing optional?