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San Francisco Beaches

Baker Beach     China Beach
Ocean Beach
Burton Memorial Beach     Thornton Beach

San Francisco Beaches

Baker Beach and China Beach

Baker Beach off Lincoln Blvd., southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge
China Beach off Sea Cliff Ave., between Lands End and Baker Beach

Beach Hours

Open sunrise to sunset
Entrance fee: None

Main Attractions



Special Regulations

Hazards Include

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.


Fort Funston Webcam

Golden Gate Area Webcams

San Francisco Beaches

A number of great beaches are found along San Francisco's Pacific Ocean shore. Two beaches included here - Thornton Beach and Phillip Burton Memorial Beach - are actually at least partially in San Mateo County, but their access is from Fort Funston in San Francisco. Famous Ocean Beach stretches for miles along the western coast near Golden Gate Park, while China Beach, Baker Beach and Marshall's Beach are between Lands End and the Golden Gate Bridge.

China Beach

Secluded China Beach in the Sea Cliff neighborhood near Lands End is a favorite with many who seek a quiet place to sunbathe, relax, or perhaps enjoy a picnic. Similar to its larger neighbor Baker Beach, China Beach has amazing views of the Golden Gate and the Marin headlands. Read more about China Beach below.

Baker Beach

Baker Beach is immediately southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge. The one mile stretch of sand faces the Pacific Ocean. Baker Beach is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Outcroppings of serpentine rock rise above the beach. The northern end of the beach has a history of being clothing optional. Among the attractions of the beach are wonderful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin headlands, and the Pacific Ocean. See more about Baker Beach below.

Marshall's Beach

Marshall's Beach is a secluded length of sand northeast of Baker Beach. To reach Marshall's Beach, take the sand stairs to the Coastal Trail and then almost immediately onto the Battery to Bluffs Trail.

Phillip Burton Memorial Beach

Phillip Burton Memorial Beach is tucked between Thornton Beach and Fort Funston near Daly City. Access to the beach is through a staircase and trail leading down from Fort Funston. A network of trails spreads along the bluffs above Burton Beach and Thornton Beach, some leading south to the Mar Vista Stables on Skyline Boulevard.

Thornton State Beach Closed

Due to erosion of the bluffs above the beach, Thornton State Beach (officially in San Mateo County) was closed. Access to the beach area is still possible from Fort Funston via Phillip Burton Memorial Beach.

Ocean Beach

See our OCEAN BEACH page for photos, maps, and complete information about this popular beach.

map of San Francisco beaches, CA

Fort Funston

Formerly a shore defense installation, Fort Funston is located along Skyline Boulevard above Burton Beach and the southern end of Ocean Beach. It features early artillery batteries and trails. Dogs are allowed to run off leash here. Hang gliding is popular along the bluff. See more about activities in the area on our

Baker Beach

Baker Beach's mile of sand along the Presidio's northwestern shore is attracts locals and visitors alike. The breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands are unmatched. Photographers, painters, wedding parties, and tourists are seen along the beach any time of year. Dog lovers enjoy one of the few beaches where pets can be let off leash to romp and play.

Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

The beach can become crowded on warm summer weekends, but many times there are plenty of parking spaces available in the two lots. Portable toilets are located at the southwestern lot and regular restrooms can be found at the northern lot. Access to the beach is off Lincoln Boulevard in the Presidio.

The Battery Chamberlain, disappearing shore guns from early in the 20th century, can be viewed along the bluff above the beach. Trails connect various parts of the beach. The infamous sand stairs lead from Lincoln Blvd. and the Coastal Trail down to the beach - a tough climb back.

Baker Beach map, San Francisco, CA

China Beach

China Beach is nestled between Lands End and Baker Beach. The small pocket beach offers a scenic retreat with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands. There is a picnic area and a small, sheltered sunbathing deck located on top of the lifeguard equipment pick-up station. Access to the beach from the parking lot is via a staircase or a paved drive. There are restrooms and cold water showers. Dogs are not allowed on China Beach.

China Beach, San Francisco, CA

China Beach

China Beach map, San Francisco, CA

Nearby Beaches

Books of Local Interest

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

California's Best Beaches

Chicago Park Web Design

Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Also, check with lifeguards that conditions at the beach are safe for your planned activities.

The maps displayed above are for illustrative purposes only. California's Best Beaches website makes no warranties regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of any of its maps. The information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.