If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Marin County, California, don't even think about missing out on Muir Beach (the beach) in the town of Muir Beach, CA (with a Sausalito zip code!). This beautiful stretch of beach features a white sandy shoreline, and beautiful clear water. Many of the locals flock to this beach in order to enjoy the sun which doesn't just shine, but rather glows with the beauty and charm of the area.
If you are heading to Muir Beach, it is best to do so in September or October when she sun shine in Northern California finally starts to settle on the beaches full force, creating an ideal atmosphere for sun-worshippers. The area is also ideal for hikers who enjoy the many trails surrounding the beach in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where pets are allowed to travel with their human companions on leashes. Mount Tamalpais (aka Mt. Tam) is nearby as is the wonderful Muir Woods National Monument.
The beach offers warm sand and water, however the sand can be a little rocky in patches. Somehow, the area manages to be both spacious and intimate at the same time, and is almost never over-crowded. Although the amount of people visiting Muir Beach might be modest in numbers it certainly is not in personality and offers a great opportunity to make friends with both locals and other tourists.
This beach is also ideal for families as it offers a bathroom area at the parking lot, which is right across from the beach. Although there isn't any food offered on the beach, refreshment is not far away. If you're craving comfort food or a brew look no further than The Pelican Inn, just down the road to your left. If you're looking for somewhere to stay, a place often recommended by the locals is The Cottage, a quaint hotel, which is guaranteed to ensure a fabulous trip without going over budget.
As with any Northern California beach, the cons of Muir Beach are few and should not deter people from visiting. Although the tide is perfect for surfing, it does pose a danger to children and weak swimmers as the water can be very rough at times, especially during the winter. As it is a small beach, life guards are not present, however there is a flag system which warns beach-goers of the risks of swimming on any particular day. On another note, visitors should be wary of stinging nettles and poison oak lining the beach. The only other con of this beach is that the drive to the beach itself is very windy and could potentially make those who get car-sick nauseous.
Finally, if you do decide to visit this beach, you should know that the north end of this mile-long beach is privately owned. Although this is not a potential issue in itself, nud-ity has been spotted a few times by locals.
So next time you're in Marin County, if you're a tourist or a local, make sure to stop by Muir Beach, conveniently located near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Muir Beach is located a stones throw from the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Head north on Highway 101 and soon after leaving the bridge exit toward Muir Beach. You will enjoy a scenic, winding road, but not for too long as Muir Beach is only a 6 mile ride from the Highway 101 exit. If this still isn't your thing, and you don't fancy contending with the traffic to this popular hotspot, you can always catch the shuttle service that runs frequently along route 66. The Muir Woods shuttle service runs throughout the summer and into late September, and your ticket even includes free parking at the bus station.