Points of Interest
Of course, most people spend a good part of their visit on Stinson Beach. Lifeguards are on duty May through October. Three and a half miles of sand give plenty of access to swimmers, surfers, and sun bathers. The 51-acre park adjacent to the beach offers more than 100 picnic tables (some with grills - all available on a first come basis). A snack bar is open April through September. The park is open until sunset.
Dogs are allowed in the park area on a leash only but are not allowed on the public beach area which is approximately a 1/2 mile of the 3.5 mile beach. Restrooms and showers are also available. Fires are NOT allowed on the beach. There are no campgrounds or RV Parks in the area, but there is lodging available.
Below, you will see other points of interest in the immediate area that should interest you. There is always something to do or see in West Marin County. Stinson Beach is a great place to stay while visiting the bay area as there are few sites as beautiful as the Pacific Coast and yet we are only a few miles from all that San Francisco has to offer!
Point Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes National Seashore
A 308 step walkway leads to this 1870 lighthouse, built high on a Point Reyes cliff. Whale-watching is very popular here January through March. More than 70 miles of trails for hiking and biking weave through open pastures, rugged ridges, and coastal cliffs in this 70,000 acre wilderness area. Over 400 bird species have been seen at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. More information is available at any of the three visitors centers.
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve
(Photo by Clint Graves)
Great egrets and great blue herons nest here each spring. Harbor Seals are also inhabitants of Bolinas Lagoon. They may be watched from a distance, but approaching the seals, or harassing them in any way is a violation of federal law and is strictly enforced.
Mt. Tamalpais State Park
(Photo by Clint Graves)
For more than a century visitors have enjoyed the attractions of the spectacular mountain towering over the bay north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The view from Mt. Tamalpais spans the bay region from the sloping hills of the East Bay to the jagged peaks of the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles to the west. 6,200 acres provide habitation for deer, raccoon, fox, bobcats, and numerous other species. Amenities include picnic areas, hiking trails and campsites. Contact the Ranger Station at (415) 388-2070 for more information.
Coast redwoods, some more than 500 years old, cover 560 acres, filling the area with a rich pine aroma. Trails through the shady groves pass markers describing the trees and their growth cycles. Open daily 8 a.m. - sunset, daily.
Red Rock Beach is touted as the north coasts friendliest and most popular nude beach. It is located only .5 mile south of Stinson Beach, at Milepost 11 on Hwy. One. A roadside turnout provides parking, but no signs are posted. Poison Oak is abundant, so be sure to wear shoes and keep a watchful eye out while making your way down the steep ravine trail to the beach. It's about a 15 minute hike. There are no facilities at Red Rock Beach, but there is a natural spring for drinking.
Covering 12,000 acres, the Marin Headlands features well-marked hiking, biking and equestrian trails that cross high blufs and grassy meadows. There is also a Marine Mammal Center dedicated to the recovery and release of injured or sick seals and other marine mammals. Located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which manages the area between the Golden Gate Bridge and Stinson Beach as well as other places of great historical value in the area. Visit their site for lots of information on local places to visit, locations of the few camping spots, and other information.