Beach Travel Tips
Beach and Outdoor Adventure Travel Tips
Tip 1: Plan your visit in advance. If possible, try to visit popular spots on weekdays. Travel at off-peak times, midweek stays, and even early-morning outings can help you avoid the crowds. Expect to make car parking reservations at Muir Woods National Park in advance. Popular peak season weekends and holidays sell out quickly at the Woods.
Tip 2: Use public transportation when available. The Marin Transit Bus #16 (Marin Stagecoach) is a convenient way to the coast and parks of Marin County. Most parking lots fill-up quickly on busy weekends and holidays before 11am.
Tip 3: Make a “Back-up Plan” When making any travel plans it is always smart to have a back up plan if your first choice doesn’t work out. Hot days can make Marin parks and beaches extremely popular and it always best to go to the lesser-known areas to beat the crowds. Beach parking lots fill up before 11am on hot days and holidays. Please click here for a complete list of Marin beaches and their features.
Tip 4: Lodging and overnight stays. Make your hotel reservations well in advance of your trip. Marin hotels are quite busy during peak season (June through October) and when Marin County is hosting either a large event or it's a busy holiday weekend. Large events in San Francisco can also impact our local hotels/motels. For information on Marin hotels and lodging please click here.
Tip 5: Prepare for different climates. Marin County enjoys a Mediterranean climate so days can be quite warm and then cooler at night. It is smart to dress in layers when visiting our beaches and parks.
Tip 6: Practice “Leave No Trace” Leave No Trace pioneers science and provides proven, research-based solutions for the protection of the natural world. For the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace please click here.
Tip 7: Beach Safety - Never turn your back to the ocean. Due to the frequently large surf, many Marin beaches are not safe to play close to the water's edge, much less to go for a swim. The ocean water may be as low as 50°F (10°C). Hypothermia, sneaker waves, and rip currents are just a few beach hazards of which visitors should be aware while visiting Point Reyes Beaches. Please visit the NPS Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information.
Travel Resources and Information
Stinson Beach Tips & Information
The main parking lots at the Stinson Beach fill to capacity very quickly on hot days, weekends during peak season and major holidays. If you drive to the coast during these instances, you must arrive early to find legal parking. Be prepared in knowing that the Marin County Sheriff’s officers will be issuing tickets to automobiles that are parked illegally.
Take public transportation to the beach so you don’t have to worry about parking! Marin Transit Bus #61 (also known as the Marin Stagecoach) is the perfect way to travel to the coast.
Stinson Beach is open year-round every day. The entrance gates open at 9:00 a.m. Closing times vary depending on season. Lifeguards are generally on duty from the first week of July to Labor Day.
The best times of year for surfing are winter and spring. For windsurfers, the prevailing northwesterly winds blow best in the afternoon. The summer surf is most suitable for rafters and body-boarders.
A snack bar is open during summer months at the base of the main lifeguard tower. Restrooms are located along the beach adjacent to each of the parking areas. The shower (cold) is located at the central rest room building.
Dogs are allowed on leash in the parking lot, picnic areas, and on the adjacent county beach. However, pets are not allowed on the National Park Service section of the beach. Upton Beach north of Stinson Beach is dog friendly.
For more information on Stinson Beach please click here.
Tri-County Partnership to Create a Cleaner Coast
MARIN, SONOMA AND MENDOCINO COUNTY PARTNER TO CREATE A CLEANER COAST Teaching Leave No Trace Practices to Growing Visitor Audiences in Coastal Communities. Learn more by reading the Tri-County Partnership Press Release (6/15/2022)
For information on Beaches in Marin please click here. For a graph listing of Marin Beaches and their features please click here. Beaches in Point Reyes National Seashore, parking lot information please click here.
Marin Transit: https://marintransit.org/map →
Outdoor Adventure in Marin: https://www.visitmarin.org/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/ →
Point Reyes National Seashore: https://www.nps.gov/pore/index.htm →
Visit California Travel Tips: https://www.visitcalifornia.com/trip-planning/travel-tips/ →