One of our favorite family places to go in California and things to do in California is visiting Baker Beach in San Francisco. Baker Beach is one of the best beaches in Northern California to visit. It’s about 2 hours from our home on a good traffic day. If you are planning a California Vacation and visiting San Francisco or the California Coast, I recommend making this beach part of a half day trip. Getting to Baker Beach can be difficult on hot summer weekends because it is a very popular for its scenic area and view of the Golden Gate bridge. Even so, these are the same reasons we love going there. The wind is great for flying kites and the views are perfect for taking photos. The area is part of a greater destination called the Presidio which is part of the Golden Gate national park.
A few months ago, we took the kids to the beach hoping to get out of our town on a hot day just before the kids started back at school after what seemed like a short summer. The traffic getting there was terrible and by the time we got there, we were all pretty cranky. It ended up being crowded and parking was difficult. We stayed for about an hour and a half which seemed fine for everyone once we were done, but looking back on it – what a waste of a day and a total combined driving time of at least 4 hours.
So, for those of you thinking of heading to the California Coast and visiting Baker Beach or Northern California beaches sometime soon, I’ve got some key tips and items to bring.
- Go on a weekday (not a holiday either) – This will save you traffic time and parking headaches
- Consider visiting during off peak seasons like February. It’s cold but beautiful and you’ll still get the best photos, but wear lots of warm clothes because San Francisco can be very cold (even during the summer)
- Bring food and drinks. There are no food concessions within walking distance from this beach. This will get you to stay a while and get the full experience.
- Bring sand toys for the kids (and for yourself)
- Bring a kite. It’s a blast for everyone!
- Bring a football or Frisbee to toss around.
- Bring a large blanket and towels
- a change of clothes and shoes is always a good idea
- Don’t forget your camera
- A jacket and hat wont hurt. It can be cold no matter what time of year in San Francisco.
The California coast is one of the best destinations in the world, so beyond being prepared, I recommend you just enjoy yourself and take in the scenery.