Stinson Beach

Overhead view of Stinson Beach
Welcome to Stinson Beach!

Stinson’s white sand and oceanfront make it one of the best swimming beaches in northern California. With opportunities for hiking, picnicking, exploring the town, surfing, or sunbathing, people continue to visit Stinson Beach to escape from the frantic pace of everyday life, just they have been doing for over a century.
Things to Do
  • Surf, boogie board, wind surf, hang glide, kayak—Stinson Beach is a popular spot for all these activities. Don’t have your own equipment? Many nearby surf shops have rentals and even lessons.
  • Start up a game of beach volleyball. Visitors can borrow volleyball nets and balls from the main lifeguard tower in exchange for a driver’s license.
  • Avail yourself of Stinson Beach’s picnic tables and BBQ grills. Picnic facilities are available on first-come, first-serve basis.
  • If you’re over 21, feel free to enjoy a drink with your picnic, but pack accordingly, no kegs or glass containers of any type are allowed on the beach
  • Explore the adjacent town of Stinson Beach, which offers several restaurants, a small grocery store, and a handful of shops.
  • Bring your tack and lures for a day of fishing. Please follow the California Fish and Game Guidelines.
Tips and Highlights
  • Stinson Beach is open year round every day. The entrance gates open at 9:00 a.m. Closing times vary depending on season. Check the posted sign when you enter the parking lot.
  • Although the average summer water temperature is a cold 58º F (14º C) Stinson Beach remains a popular surf spot. The best times of year for surfing are winter and spring. For windsurfers, the prevailing northwesterly winds blow best in the afternoon. The summer surf is most suitable for rafters and body-boarders.
  • Lifeguards are generally on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • A snack bar is open during summer months at the base of the main lifeguard tower.
  • Rest rooms are located along the beach adjacent to each of the parking areas. The shower (cold) is located at the central rest room building.
  • Dogs are allowed on leash in the parking lot, picnic areas, and on the county beach. However, pets are not allowed on the National Park Service section of the beach.
  • Inner tubes and motorized recreational equipment are prohibited in swimming areas.
  • Camping is not permitted.
The road to Stinson Beach is steep and winding; vehicles over 35 feet long are not advised.
We recommend calling ahead for parking and weather updates. On hot days, the parking lot often fills before noon, and there are no overflow lots. Cars left in the parking lot after closing will be ticketed. If you are unable to remove your vehicle please contact a ranger or leave a note on the windshield and notify park dispatch.
Public Transit
On weekends and holidays, Marin Transit Bus #61 (also known as the Marin Stagecoach) runs from Stinson Beach up to Pantoll Ranger Station and along the Panoramic Highway to Marin City, stopping at several mountain trailheads on its route. On weekdays the number of stops is limited, but it still services Stinson Beach.


Stinson Beach is included within the lands protected by the Tamalpais Lands Collaborative, hosts the Siren Canteen & Cafe, and provides business for the many surf shops in the area.
Contact Us
For more information, please contact:
Lifeguard Tower
Phone: (415) 868-0942

For Visitor Information:
(415) 388-2595
Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, CA 94941-2696

Last updated: April 13, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


(415) 561-4700
Pacific West Region Information Center (415) 561-4700 Special Event & Commercial Film Permits (415) 561-4300

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