Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge, this mile-long beach off the Presidio draws locals and visitors alike. Large waves, undertow and rip currents make the beach unsafe for swimming, but it does provide panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands and Lands End, as well as the impressive mansions of the Seacliff neighborhood. Be warned, the northern part of the beach is clothing-optional.
When you’re surrounded by the hustle and bustle of downtown, it’s easy to forget that San Francisco is a beachside city, but if you head west or north, then you'll soon start to see golden expanses of sand kissed by lapping blue waves.
While it’s true you’re more likely to see folks bundled up in blankets and hoodies than board shorts and bikinis, don’t take the best San Francisco beaches for granted. It’s not about languid sunbathing here—instead, you’ll find public fire pits, rad surf shops, breathtaking San Francisco views, sandy dog paradises and some of the city’s best hikes. From the Pacific to the Bay, there’s a sandy stretch for every beach-going style.
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