It's not Maui, but my family was amazingly content on our four-hour vacation at Richmond's Keller Beach. On the smaller side, but there's room to social distance while running around and getting all kinds of wet and sandy.
There's plenty of wet sand, ideal for building castles, digging ditches, and playing catch. There's also plenty of dry sand for lounging and dispensing snacks. If you're looking for shade, there are several trees where you can set up your blanket and watch your kiddos splashing in the surf.
The water is calm, albeit freezing, which didn't stop my 4, 6 and 8-year olds from getting wet up to their waists and screeching with glee. We also saw several open water swimmers and paddle boarders enjoying the water farther out, and people jogging on and around the beach. Overall it was a chill, relaxed vibe at Keller Beach and we'll for sure be back again since it's so close and easy.
How to to Point Richmond:
From I-580 West in Richmond, exit at Canal Boulevard. Turn left at the light onto Canal. Turn right at the light onto W. Cutting Bl., then left at the stop sign onto Garrard Bl. Proceed through the auto tunnel; Garrard becomes Dornan Drive on the south side of the auto tunnel. The park entrance will be on the right less than 1/2 mile south of the tunnel.
Keller Beach is adjacent to a large regional park called Miller/Knox. If you've ever been through the tunnel near the Richmond public indoor swimming pool, you've been right there. To access the beach, park on Dornan Drive and walk down the stairs near the Keller Beach sign. Make use of the restrooms halfway down the stairs to avoid a trip back to them.
Plan your visit to Keller Beach
Check tides before you go: the water feels a bit fresher at the higher tide and there's less seaweed. Also check the water quality conditions to avoid potential swimmer's itch issues. Street parking is pretty easy and free, directly after the tunnel. Just make sure to bring valuables with you.
2020 Covid-19 Information: The upper picnic area is closed as are the bathrooms, so plan accordingly. There's an outdoor rinse shower that's working that people were using, but it looked like it was supposed to be closed like the rest of the picnic area. It wasn't that crowded when we were there mid-week, but it's not a huge beach so it may be crowded on the weekends. Be prepared to pack out your own trash and bring/wear masks.
What to bring:
- Sunscreen and hats
- Beach toys and a kite
- Layers since it can be windy
- A change of clothes for little ones
- A towel and baby powder to dust off sandy feet
- Picnic blanket, chairs and lunch
Interested in more East Bay Beaches? Check out our guide to the Best Bay Area Beaches.