It may be odd to talk about the beach in the fall season but the nice thing about living on the coast is that you get to enjoy the beach during the whole year. There are plenty of beaches in the Bay Area and I got to take some pictures of Baker and China Beach a few months ago. These are two beaches located on the western coast of San Francisco with views of the waters of the Golden Gate and its famous bridge.
Baker Beach is part of the Golden Gate region of the Presdidio National Park. The park used to be a military site but is now a recreational space for visitors. This beach is about a mile long and, as you can see above, has great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can easily drive to the site on paved roads to the location but parking is limited. I was able to find parking in the main parking lot the day I took these photos. People who couldn’t find a parking spot in the main lot where able to park a little further away & walk to the beach.
If you aren’t able to drive to the location you can still take a nice walk along the Coastal Trail from Fort Point. I have added this trial to my list of things to visit since I’ve read it has beautiful views of the coastline and the Marin Headlands across the Bay.
China Beach is about a 15 minute walk from Baker but you can also drive & park to this beach. The beach is a small little cove protected by rocks protruding from the coastline. The waters have dangerous rip tides so you shouldn’t swim there. However, you can still sit and enjoy the sun; I have read that the rocks here protects the area so its not as windy. However it can probably still be foggy at times like most of San Francisco.
China beach was named for the history given to this cove; Chinese fishermen used it as a campsite during the years of the Gold Rush. The monument above is at the entrance into the park on top of the hill. Visitors can walk down the paved road or the stairs cut into the cliff to get to the beach down below. There is an old beach house or recreational building that is on the site. It seems to have been closed for a while but it doesn’t hinder your path to the beach.
One thing I hope to do is to go to the beach whenever I can. It’s funny how a costal city like San Francisco is so busy and congested with hundreds of people that I can forget that I am living and working right on the beach! I will have to take advantage of this and take some time to feel the sand between my toes while listening to the waves crashing into the sand.