A trip to Northern California doesn’t have to be only about urban pleasures and wine tastings. There are also beaches in Northern California where depending on the season, you can work on that tan during the same trip as you are exploring the streets of San Francisco. One of the most popular beaches for this type of trup is Baker Beach. This mile-long beach is known for its incredible views of the iconic San Francisco landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. Escape the bustling streets of San Francisco for a day of sunbathing and nibbling on a picnic at Baker Beach.
There are a few things to know about Baker Beach San Francisco when planning a visit. Part of the beach, on the northernmost end, is considered a clothing-optional beach. Especially on the weekends, this section of the beach is frequented by nude bathers. There is a sign warning you that you are entering this part of the beach. If you’re planning a trip to Baker Beach with a family, you might want to stick to other parts of the beach for your picnic. Depending on the season, the weather, and the day of the week, you might find a large number or a small number of nude sunbathers.
Located at the bottom of rugged cliffs, Baker Beach San Francisco is best known for its incredible views. Don’t be surprised to see a bride and groom on the beach taking their wedding photos—this beach is that scenic. On sunny weekends, even though the beach is one mile long, it can get quite crowded. To avoid problems with parking, arrive early or plan your visit during the week when you can enjoy the quiet atmosphere a little more. If you want to combine some exercise with your sunbathing, Baker Beach is also a spot to pick up a hiking trail called the Coastal Trail. Many hiking enthusiasts finish their trek on this beach for a scenic picnic.
If you are planning a picnic here, you will find many amenities once you arrive. The picnic areas offers not only picnic tables, but grills too. San Francisco locals take full advantage of these facilities and often create impressive meals, along with basic barbecues. For those visitors who love a beach that offers restrooms, you will find them at the east end of the parking lot. While picnics are very popular here, visitors should exercise caution when it comes to swimming. The surf is known to be dangerous and powerful, so be sure to stay closer to shore than you might otherwise.
Locals never arrive too early at Baker Beach San Francisco because the mornings can sometimes be foggy. If you’re looking to explore another beach option in Northern California, be sure to check out Glass Beach. This beach got its name from the incredible amount of seaglass you can find on the shores. Another great spot for sunbathing in Northern California is Point Reyes National Seashore. Beyond soaking up the sun, here you can also go hiking and maybe even catch a glimpse of migrating whales off the shore. To continue your exploration of the coast, head south to Central California or give surfing a try at the beaches of Southern California.