Grab the sunscreen, toss a book in your bag and head to the beach. It’s summer – you know you want to. But aren’t you sick of going to the same beach year after year? We thought you were. Here’s a few of our favorite little known beaches to give you a smorgasbord of summertime opportunity. Add a few to your bucket list. It’s time for a little change, don’t you think?
1. Black Sand Beach, Conzelman Rd
This one is a favorite around here. The good thing is you'll get a bit of exercise hiking down the wooden stairs to the black sands below. I do need to warn you: some who go here believe clothing is optional.
2. Marshall's Beach, San Francisco Presidio
There's a spot you need to find: Batteries to Bluffs Trail, which will take you right to this gem of sandy serenity. It's not that long of a hike -- only .03 miles but the golden arches that stand tall when you arrive make it more than worth it.
3. Gray Whale Cove, San Mateo County
A great place with a sheltered cove for the kids to play. This beach in between Pacifica and Montara and about 18 miles south of San Francisco. Bring the whole gang. This is the place!
4. Shell Beach, Jenner
This is a really unique beach that pleases lots of folks. Fishermen love this secret spot for the different fish they catch; hikers love to take the Kortum Trail along the bluff to views and other beaches beyond this one. You'll love this place.
5. Heart's Desire Beach, Tomales Bay State Park
This is one of the favorite intimate beaches around. Tucked away, it's got bbq's and picnic tables and even outdoor showers. The view is pretty lovely, too!
6. San Quentin Beach, Marin County
There's a little known beach tucked beneath the San Rafael Bridge. This spot is a favorite of dog lovers because the beach is dog-friendly. So, bring Fido!
7. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg
Sure, we know this one is a little more known, but we had to include it. Why? Because there's still a whole lot of you out there who have yet to come here. Bring your friends and start nature's treasure hunt. Once a tragic story of insensitive polluters, the ocean had a few tricks up her sleeve. She tumbled and restored the glass into something of value. Well played, Pacific. Well played.
8. College Cove Beach, Humboldt County
This beach is a great place to watch the waves roll in. This is also the place surfers enjoy catching a few waves, too. Like all the rest of the secluded beaches, make sure to look around. Lots of folks like to think of wearing clothing as optional, but the parks and rec department frowns on that. Which means please bring your clothes.
9. Baker Beach, Humboldt County
This lovely little cove beach is a wonderful place to enjoy a day of sun and surf. Just a little outside of Trinidad, the views are some of the prettiest around.
10. Martin's Beach, 25 Martins Beach Rd. Half Moon Bay
This is a beach that you won't find a lot of tourists at, really only locals. Parking does cost $10 but it's a beach that gives you lots of space and seclusion. After all, isn't that worth it!?
11. Point St. George Beach, Crescent City
You can see the Siskiyou Mountains from this beach. Not to mention Oregon is in view, along with the seasonal whale that's spotted more and more often lately.
There are dozens more where these came from. Didn’t see your favorite? Then tell us. We’ll see if it makes the cut next go-round!