China Beach

Sea Cliff Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94121

(415) 561-4323


China Beach’s sheltered pocket of sand provides access to the water and a place to stretch out or picnic in the sun. The beach offers a picnic area, sunbathing, good play spots for children, and fine views of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate.

Place Information

  • Place Category

    Venues, Parks

  • Place Cost Free
  • Place Hours
    Sunday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    Monday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    Tuesday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    Wednesday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    Thursday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    Friday 6:00am - 10:00pm
    Saturday 6:00am - 10:00pm

Word on the Street

Most of us San Franciscans know not to let the weather dictate our plans, so the fog and chill outside today did not phase me as I planned a trip to the beach.  I slathered my son and myself with sunscreen (a good idea even when it's overcast) and then headed toward the shore.  Following the beach access signs skirting the Presidio led us to China Beach.  I had expected to end up at Baker Beach and was at first disappointed, but was quickly won over by this cozy stretch of sand!We chose to walk the paved path down to the beach rather than take the stairs to accommodate my three year old (and my lack of patience).  I marveled at the delicious warmth of the sand as soon as I stepped onto the beach.  Because the beach is in it's own private alcove tucked in between two cliffs, it is mostly sheltered from the wind.  Our hoodies tossed to the side, Jack and I took off our sandals and buried our feet in the sand.  We didn't leave until the tide threatened to overtake our little spot.On our way out I noticed a grassy area with a couple of tables where a group was enjoying a picnic.  Next to the picnic area was the restroom, which includes showers for those brave enough to swim (swimming is allowed, but there are warning signs posted everywhere).  All in all, China Beach is a well-appointed hangout spot for being so small.  There is even free (albeit limited) parking!

China Beach: From the Parents


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