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The Bay Area's Top 5 Beaches
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The Bay Area's Top 5 Beaches

Picture of Amanda Jones
Updated: 9 February 2017
Need to get away for a day? Maybe even a night? The Bay Area has some of the best beaches in the country, all with their own beautiful and unique characteristics that make each one better than the next. Natural rock formations, aquatic and land wildlife, and views that you will not be able to match will make for some of the most relaxing and beautiful days of the year!
Baker Beach  l  © Matt Biddulph/flickr
Baker Beach l | © Matt Biddulph/flickr
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Baker Beach

There are few better places to get such a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge than Baker Beach. With the spectacular combination of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and the wild wildlife playing in the close tides, this beach is the perfect place for a beach day topped off with a barbeque at the killer-view picnic area.

1504 Pershing Dr, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 (415) 561-4323

Muir Beach  l  © David Baron/flickr
Muir Beach l | © David Baron/flickr
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Muir Beach

/north-america/usa/california/articles/way-more-than-pony-rides-the-best-horse-barns-and-programs-in-la/Located a few miles North of Highway 1 is the small town of Muir Beach, where you will find not only stunning beaches, but also a river of salmon, pastures, and wildlife galore. Other than conventional beach activities like tanning and beach ball, you can ride horses, fish, and boogie board in gnarly waves.

Location of Muir Beach

New Brighton State Beach  l  © Henry Zbyszynski/flickr
New Brighton State Beach l | © Henry Zbyszynski/flickr
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New Brighton State Beach

Have you been to Santa Cruz? Well whether you have or not, New Brighton State Beach is exactly where you want to be in Santa Cruz. The beach is long, large, and clean, and almost year-round you can see otters and dolphins and whales playing very close to the shore. Just a few miles up the road is downtown Capitola and downtown Santa Cruz which have amazing shopping, food, and the exact laid-back culture you would expect from the Santa Cruz hippies.

1500 Park Ave, Capitola, CA, USA +1 (831) 464-6329

Panther Beach  l  © swuphoto/flickr
Panther Beach l | © swuphoto/flickr
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Panther Beach

Beach lovers of all ages love Panther Beach because of all of the amazing photo opportunities provided by the massive rock formations and scenic arch. When the tide goes down you are able to walk out and see the vibrant tide-pools that are alive as ever.

California 1, Seaside, CA, USA

Natural Bridges State Beach  l  © mLu.fotos
Natural Bridges State Beach l | © mLu.fotos
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Natural Bridges State Beach

Have you ever seen sea urchins, anemones, crabs, and sea stars all in the same place at the same time? Well the tide-pools at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz are flourishing, and just inland is a large population of California’s finest Monarch Butterflies. Through the park is Moore Creek which runs out to the ocean, forming a salt marsh on its way out.

2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA, USA +1 (831) 423-4609

By Amanda Jones </p>