Basking, bikinis and boardwalks: A breakdown of the Bay’s finest seashores

From surfs to silky sands to glowing blue waters, the Bay Space has a seaside for everybody. However for these new to the world, selecting from the lengthy listing of locations could also be a frightening process. Here’s a native’s number of seashores worthy of a day journey from Stanford. 

The next seashores are reviewed primarily based on their cleanliness, magnificence, location, facilities, sand high quality, accessibility and admission prices. 

Half Moon Bay State Seaside 

Only a 40-minute drive from Stanford, Half Moon Bay State Seaside is a go-to for a lot of Bay Space natives for its pure magnificence. The 4-mile-long strip, comprised of a number of separate seashores, incorporates a slender stretch of sand to chill out on earlier than the gorgeous blue waves of the ocean. 

Although the seaside’s blue water and tender sand are nice, the spotlight of the Half Moon Bay expertise is the scenic drive and breathtaking flowers atop the coastal cliffs.

Beginning at Stanford, the route guides you over the glowing Higher Crystal Springs Reservoir and thru tall bushes and plush inexperienced mountains. Merely sitting within the automobile and listening to a delicate playlist whereas staring on the beautiful flowers and distant waves was undoubtedly one of the best a part of my go to to Half Moon Bay.

Wildflowers in bloom by the parking zone of Half Moon Bay State Seaside. (Picture: MELISSA QIN/The Stanford Every day)
Cleanliness 7
Location 6
Sand 7
Accessibility 7 (steep slopes in some areas)
Admission value? $10 (for parking)
Distance from Stanford 20 miles

Pacifica State Seaside

Widespread for its browsing (and “the world’s most stunning Taco Bell“), Pacifica State Seaside presents a stark distinction to the quiet great thing about Half Moon Bay. Although I lack firsthand expertise browsing, I can confidently say that the surfers swaying atop the waves seemed like they have been having a blast.

A beach on a windy and cloudy day. Two people stand holding their surfboard. There is a small stony hill in the background.
Surfers in wetsuits prepared to leap into the waves at Pacifica State Seaside. (Picture: MELISSA QIN/The Stanford Every day)

The seaside is broadly appreciated past the browsing crowd. Regardless of visiting on a cloudy weekday, the seaside was filled with households taking part in frisbee or lounging in chairs, all accompanied by pop music taking part in from anyone’s moveable speaker. 

Cleanliness 6
Magnificence 6
Location 9 (many retailers simply throughout the road)
Accessibility 10
Admission value? No
Distance from Stanford 30 miles

Baker Seaside

Identified for its proximity to the Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Seaside is the one spot I knew I couldn’t skip on this evaluate. The impeccable view of the historic bridge establishes its place as one of many Bay’s most iconic shorelines. Situated on the northern tip of the town, it borders the well-known Presidio, permitting easy accessibility to scenic trails and museums filled with California’s historical past.

A photo of a beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
Baker Seaside welcomes the Saturday crowds with sunny climate and an ideal view of the Golden Gate Bridge. (Picture: MELISSA QIN/The Stanford Every day)

The seaside is a feast for the eyes in all instructions. On its proper is the long-lasting and larger-than-life Golden Gate Bridge, forward lies the inexperienced Marin Headlands of the North Bay and, wanting left, I used to be greeted with homes in all colours of the rainbow dotting the cliff aspect. 

Cleanliness 8
Magnificence 9
Location 10 
Accessibility 10
Admission value? No
Distance from Stanford 35 miles

Montara State Seaside

Montara State Seaside’s magical allure lies in its glimmering blue-green waters and lightweight, pristine sand. The smaller customer inhabitants in comparison with different Bay Space seashores is a bonus. The peaceable atmosphere and mesmerizing surroundings make this the right place to spend a day.

A photo of a beach with few visitors.
Guests admire the spotless sand and glimmering waters at Montara State Seaside. (Picture: MELISSA QIN/The Stanford Every day)

If you wish to hike, park close to the northern finish and watch your step as you head down the steep, slender path resulting in the quieter aspect of the seaside. In any other case, park on the southern aspect and both calm down within the extra crowded areas, or trek 10 minutes northward to arrange camp within the extra serene setting.

A small hill with a trail for hikers.
A slender path right down to the seaside accessed by means of the northern parking zone. (Picture: MELISSA QIN/The Stanford Every day)

General, Montara State Seaside is unparalleled in its pure magnificence, from the sunshine spotless sand to the breathtaking coastal cliffs. I’ll undoubtedly be again with my entire household, lounge chairs and a seaside umbrella. 

Cleanliness 9
Magnificence 10
Location 5
Sand 9
Accessibility 6
Admission value? No
Distance from Stanford 28 miles

Santa Cruz Seaside 

After I visited Santa Cruz Seaside on a Saturday afternoon, practically each sq. foot of sand in entrance of the water was occupied by solar tents and umbrellas. The environment was unmatched: music blasted from audio system in all route, mixing with the sounds of individuals laughing with their mates.

A beach with countless umbrellas and beachgoers on the sand.
A sea of umbrellas, tents and excited beachgoers at Santa Cruz Seaside. (Picture: MELISSA QIN/The Stanford Every day)

The historic boardwalk incorporates a numerous number of rides that may both pack a punch, just like the thrilling Fireball, or entertain the entire household, just like the relaxed Sea Swings. 

Santa Cruz Seaside is right for these seeking to spend a day of unbridled enjoyable. I like to recommend visiting on a weekday or early on a weekend so parking isn’t too troublesome. Go on rides till you’re dizzy, then sit on the seaside having fun with lunch from the distributors as you gaze out on the glowing water. Discovering a spot could also be troublesome, although!

Cleanliness 5
Magnificence 5
Location 10
Sand 6
Accessibility 10
Admission value? No
Distance from Stanford 45 miles

Editor’s Observe: This text is a evaluate and contains subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.