Land: Marin's Best Beaches

Looking for a getaway in the sand and surf? Marin County has some of the best beaches, be they county, state or part of the National Park Service. Grab your towel, some sunscreen and possibly a jacket and head out for some waterside fun.
Debra Tarrant

For the Birds

Limantour Beach, Inverness

Between Drakes Bay and an estuary sits this white sandy beach with more than two miles of rolling sand dunes and bountiful birdlife. Waves are on the calm side here due to the beach’s south-facing location, yet the current can be strong.

Family Fun

Heart's Desire Beach, Inverness

The sheltered cove with clean white sand, still waters and light wind is favored by families. A peaceful place to listen to the water lap against the shore or read on the warm sand, the beach offers convenient drive-up access and a safe, relaxed environment.

Toddlers in Tow

Shoonmaker Beach, Sausalito

With its shallow, calm water, this whitesand beach is the perfect place for families with young children. Nestled in the heart of Schoonmaker Marina, it’s also an ideal launching point for kayakers and paddleboarders. Limited parking.

Fido Friendly

Rodeo Beach, Sausalito

Three miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, this dark pebble beach is at the western-most edge of the Marin Headlands. It’s a popular dog-friendly spot where canines are welcome either on a leash or under voice control.

Search for Sea Life

Agate Beach Park, Bolinas

Awash with tide pools, Agate Beach boasts a walkable two miles during low tide with plenty of spots to watch whales, sea lions, shorebirds and other wildlife. Named after the semiprecious stones found in the sand, Agate is also a great place for a picnic.

Catch a Wave

Bolinas Beach, Bolinas

Celebrated for its light rolling waves, Bolinas Beach is an ideal learn-to-surf spot and is also great for swimming and rock collecting at the southern edge. Stand-up paddleboard and surfboard rentals are available at 2 Mile Surf Shop, on the road to the beach.

Leave the Clothes Behind

Red Rock Beach, Stinson Beach

Accessible via a steep trail, Red Rock is a quarter-mile curve of sandy shore tucked into a wind-protected cove between Muir and Stinson. Regarded as the friendliest Bay Area nude beach, this is a social place and can be crowded on weekends.

It Does a Body Good

Stinson Beach, Stinson Beach

Three-and-a-half miles of white shandy shore and crashing waves make this spot popular for bodysurfing year-round. On warm days, get there early –– traffic builds up thick and quick.

For the Family and the Gear

Muir Beach, Muir Beach

If you are setting up for a full day on the sand, you will love this beach's close-by parking. The crescent-shaped cove featured a lagoon and sandy beach. The waves are good for bodyboarders and kayakers (watch for strong currents), and fish are plentiful.

Bring the Whole Gang

McNears Beach, San Rafael

A large park with lots of amenities and activities, McNears is great for big gatherings. It sits in a sheltered cove in a 55-acre park, with a narrow bayside beach. The fishing pier is popular for catching striped bass, halibut and crab.

Categories: Beaches, Summer Guide