OK, I’m not going to wait any longer. In spite of this gloomy weather, it’s June and I am going to write about Stinson Beach, which is completely appropriate as school’s out this week and it’s beach time!
Stinson Beach is an extremely cool hang-out, and one can spend day after day there and not get bored. It’s a really long, sandy beach (over 2 miles), with really cold water (about 58°), pretty good waves, and gorgeous scenery around you, not to mention having a couple of tasty burger joints at hand Parkside Snack Bar (just off the beach) and Surfers Grill (under the main lifeguard tower).
Everyone can find something fun to do at Stinson, whether it’s just running into the waves and swimming for hours (highly recommended by Mac – but not many can take the numbing cold for that long), throwing a football or frisbee on the beach, surfing or body surfing (watch out – there actually have been shark attacks here), or playing volleyball (balls and nets are available for free from the main lifeguard station). And, there are always the more stationary options, like burying your friends in the sand, stretching out on your beach towel and getting tanned, or bringing a beach chair and reading a good book.
The beach is open every day of the year at 9:00 a.m., and the parking lot fills up by noon on sunny days. You can often find a spot on the surrounding streets, but not close to the beach! Traffic also backs waaaay up on Highway 1 on sunny weekend days, so come early if you can. Or, take the bus (you can catch it in front of Tam High and from several other locations).
Dogs are welcome only at the county beach (Upton Beach), which is at the northernmost end of Stinson, outside the National Park Service part of the beach. Otherwise, they can be in the parking lot and picnic areas, but not on the beach.
Where: Highway 1 to the signs to Stinson Beach (map)
Hours: Parking Lot opens daily at 9:00 a.m. Closing times vary by season – check the sign when entering the parking lot. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day through mid-September.
PS Thanks to McKenna for two of the photos!