Marin Blog · The Best in Marin Collection

Five Best Beaches in Marin

Posted in Blogging Marin on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 by MCVB Staff

Nestled along the picturesque coast of Northern California, Marin County offers a wealth of natural beauty and outdoor adventures. With its stunning coastline and diverse landscapes, it's no wonder that Marin is home to some of the most captivating beaches in the region.

Keep reading as we explore five enchanting beaches located in Marin County with their sandy shores and breathtaking vistas and start planning your trip today!


Majestic Beaches in Marin County

With San Francisco socked in with friendly fog or the inland areas baking in the heat, Marin offers easy coastal escapes and refreshing beach walks. So, without further ado, let's dive into an overview of the top five beloved beaches in Marin:


Drakes Beach

If you are looking for a remote sandy beach reachable by a long scenic drive, Drakes Beach is the perfect option. It is located in Point Reyes National Seashore. If you’d like your trip to be educational and are curious about Point Reyes, the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, which is open on weekends most of the year, has many informative exhibits to offer.

If you are interested in spending your time at Drakes Beach actively, the mellow surf is perfect for stand-up paddleboarding. You could also engage in hiking activities, as Peter Behr Overlook is reachable by a path that starts right at the parking lot. This overlook offers spectacular views of Drakes Beach and the bay. Another local sight that’s worth checking out is Point Reyes Lighthouse. Just a short drive away from Chimney Rock are trails and a magnificent seal viewpoint. Feel free to check out the most recent news about elephant seals at Point Reyes!


Stinson Beach

Are you interested in visiting a scenic and entertaining seaside town? Then get ready to fall in love with Stinson Beach.

Situated within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), it is a beloved coastal destination for locals as well as visitors. Its pristine sandy expanse stretches for miles, offering ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and beachcombing. Also, keep an eye out for sea lions, which are not unusual to spot here.

If you love engaging in an active lifestyle, swimming, and surfing make excellent pastimes on Stinson Beach. Other exciting activities include boogie boarding and windsurfing. Keep in mind that the lifeguards are on duty from late May through mid-September. If you love hiking, you should check out the Dipsea Trail, Steep Ravine, and Matt Davis Trails – all of which loop to Stinson Beach.


Muir Beach and Overlook

Muir Beach is the closest beach to San Francisco, just 20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. With its natural charm and abundant wildlife, Muir Beach offers a peaceful sanctuary for those seeking solace by the sea. While on the beach, you can easily spot anemones, hermit crabs, starfish, and sea urchins. The Muir Beach Overlook is one of many spots along the park's coast where whale lovers can watch these giant marine mammals during their migrations from Alaska to Mexico.

The Muir Beach Overlook also offers expansive views of the Pacific Coast, including the Point Reyes Peninsula. A number of historic coastal defense stations and observation posts are also available for visitors to explore.

Apart from sunbathing and swimming here, you can also hike through close-by Muir Woods. One of the popular trails to take from Muir Beach is the Dias Ridge/Redwood Creek Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Marin Headlands.


Tennessee Beach

Tucked away in a hidden valley, Tennessee Beach offers a serene coastal retreat amidst lush hills. This secluded beach can be reached via a picturesque hiking trail, the Tennessee Valley Trailhead. While hiking, you will be able to enjoy a view of the lagoon that runs parallel to the beach.

The wetlands are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Turkey vultures, red-tail hawks, red-shoulder hawks, northern harriers, great-horned, and barn owls can be seen in the sky. While Pacific rattlesnakes are infrequently seen, it is advisable that you avoid rocky outcrops off-trail.

Explore the wildlife-rich wetlands, enjoy a peaceful picnic, or simply bask in the tranquility of the surroundings. Tennessee Beach's beauty and peaceful atmosphere make it a true hidden gem for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil coastal experience.


Limantour Beach

Nestled within Point Reyes National Seashore, Limantour Beach boasts expansive sandy shores, stunning vistas, and a sense of untouched wilderness. The waves' steady crashing and expansive views of the nearby coastline will greet you as you stroll along the beach. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore, breathe in the fresh ocean air, and revel in the tranquility that Limantour Beach offers. Wildlife enthusiasts will also appreciate the opportunity to spot shorebirds and harbor seals in their natural habitat. The parking is also a plus here since the main lot accommodates up to 250 vehicles with rest areas and picnic tables.



Helpful Resources for Your Trip 

If you’re planning a trip around Marin’s beaches, check out this guide from the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has a wealth of helpful tips, resources, and information.

If you wish to enjoy the magnificent Point Reyes National Seashore through horseback riding, visit the Five Brooks Stable, a full-service riding stable that offers guided trail rides. Consider an all-day ride to Wildcat Beach, a remote white sand beach to view Alamere Falls. This can be an excellent way to spend time with your family and friends.

If you want to enhance your hiking experience with expert guidance, be sure to get in touch with Uli K Hike & Yoga. She offers hiking sessions, daily retreats, and yoga practices that can help you get the most out of your coastal travels.

Also, try a variety of guided walks with Coastal Walkers in the Redwood Forests of Marin, the Golden Gate Coast, and Sausalito's Headlands including Kirby Cove’s unique views of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Marin County's beaches offer a remarkable combination of natural beauty, stunning views, and outdoor adventures. From the expansive sands of Stinson Beach to the secluded serenity of Muir Beach, each coastal destination in Marin provides a unique experience. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your beach towel, and immerse yourself in the coastal wonders of Marin.

Whether traveling from near or far, Marin County is the quick getaway you are looking for. For the best places to stay in Marin, visit the Marin CVB at