• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking across the bay back towards San Francisco, seen in the distance.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

Ocean Beach

View of Ocean Beach
View of Ocean Beach.
NPS/Kirke Wrench
 

Picture a 3.5-mile stretch of white beach with few tourists and no highrises. It's just you and the waves and the seabirds at Ocean Beach, on the westernmost border of San Francisco, adjacent to Golden Gate Park. Great for strolling and flying kites, but the water is frigid and the currents hazardous for all but the most experienced surfers.

Tips and Highlights

  • The sunniest months for a beach walk are September and October.
  • The beach is almost always covered in fog throughout late spring and summer, with average temperatures in the 50s.
  • Please do not trample fragile plants on the dunes.
  • Fire rings were installed in April 2007 as a way to allow and enjoy fires on the beach. If you love beach campfires, please learn more by downloading this Ocean Beach Fire Ring Policy Brochure (PDF), and make a difference.
  • Volunteer regularly with hundreds of like-minded individuals and help keep Ocean Beach clean and safe!

Nature

Snowy Plover
Look for the small, shy Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus)-a threatened species that rests here in the winter. In California, there has been a significant decline in breeding locations as a result of various forms of human disturbance. The species is being strictly monitored and protected by the National Park Service.

Did You Know?

Photo of Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis).

Alcatraz Island is the site of a large colony of Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis), the gull species that inhabits the Oregon and California coast. Individuals mate for life and come together each year on Alcatraz to defend their historic territory and raise three chicks.