If you're enjoying a Bay Area staycation — for summer or anytime — there's no reason to miss out on having sand in your toes (and all over your car!). We have lots of great beaches that are just a short drive away.
10 Bay Area beaches for day trips
Check the weather at your intended destination as one of the advantages of driving south, east, or to Marin County is that you are more likely to find beach weather there than in the 510.
- Moss Landing. Moss Landing is about 20 minutes north of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a worthwhile destination for all ages. You can plan a few nights away around this destination.
- Santa Cruz. Visit the Boardwalk to play carnival games and eat lunch out on the sand, or schedule a few days away and explore various Santa Cruz area beaches.
- Camp Half Moon Bay. The ocean is your backdrop, and you can save money by sleeping on the ground.
- Moss Beach with a stop at the Fitzgerald tide pools. Only 30 minutes south of San Francisco, this getaway feels like a real vacation.
- Stinson Beach. This glorious Marin beach is totally worth the trip if you can outsmart the parking situation.
- Pacifica. Enjoy the pier and be home by dark. Just 15 miles south of San Francisco, you can get a little bit of beach with some restaurant recommendations.
- Hearts Desire, this hidden gem of a Marin beach offers a hike for most ages.
Beaches close to Oakland and Berkeley (Half-day trips)
- Crab Cove. In Alameda, shallow enough for wading and swimming with younger kids. The sand is usually pretty clean and it’s protected so it’s a little less windy and often warmer than other Bay Area beaches.
- Angel Island. Take a ferry over for the view, hiking, or some bites to eat. Camping also available.
- Keller Beach in Richmond. Enough sand for a half-day of digging and you didn't even have to cross a bridge.
- San Francisco Zoo and Ocean Beach make a fun day trip.
Aren't we lucky to live here? Where do you like to go to get your beach fix?
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