Stinson Beach is a place to walk for miles on white sand, take a dip, have a barbecue, jog, or play games. Visitors can even borrow volleyball nets and balls from the main lifeguard tower in exchange for a driver’s license. Lifeguards are generally on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Stinson’s white sand and oceanfront make it one of the best swimming beaches in northern California—not to mention a favorite surfing, picnicking, and volleyball spot. 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.
The adjacent town of Stinson Beach offers several restaurants, a small grocery store, and a handful of shops. Stinson Beach has an extensive picnic area complete with tables and barbecues.
Seasonality / Weather
The average summer water temperature is a cold 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stinson Beach is located about 20 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. From US 101 exit at the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach/Highway 1 exit. Signs will guide you to Stinson Beach. The road is steep and winding; vehicles over 35 feet long are not advised.
On weekends and holidays, a Golden Gate Transit bus runs from Stinson Beach up to Pantoll Ranger Station and along the Panoramic Highway to Marin City, stopping at several mountain trailheads on its route.