China Beach

China Beach, San Francisco: Address, China Beach Reviews: 4.5/5

China Beach
4.5
About
Located in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco outside the Golden Gate, this cove is tucked between Baker Beach & Land's End. Offering spectacular views of Marin Headlands and The Golden Gate this cove of sand is good place for sunbathing, play spot for children and a picnic. Observe the monument to the Chinese fishermen and early residents who camped and anchored in the cove.
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4.5
84 reviews
Excellent
53
Very good
20
Average
9
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Brian
South San Francisco, CA3 contributions
Best Beach in San Francisco
Nov 2019
San Francisco doesn't have beaches like the golden sands of Southern California. The water is dark and ice cold and the brown sand is strewn with kelp and driftwood.

Instead, in NorCal, it's all about the dramatic views and rocky coastline. And this little beach is the best in the City proper, surrounded by elegant multi-million dollar homes. It can get crowded on nice days, but when the sunset hits the bridge, it's magical.
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Thomas V
Oakland, California10,971 contributions
Foggy Beach
Mar 2020
This is a pleasant beach, but it is cold, foggy and windy so do not plan to get a sun tan. And it is way too cold to go in the water.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

55Mickey
San Francisco, CA328 contributions
China Beach is overrated
Jun 2019
oooooouuuuuh I love China Beach. The love the neighborhood vibe. I feel sorry for the residence/neighbors because of tourest traffic!
Written October 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

UpstateNySimplyme
Endicott, NY117 contributions
Beautiful
Aug 2019 • Family
After a day sight seeing in San Francisco we Came upon the China Beach gate. What a beautiful view. It happened to be a clear night.
Written August 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Daniel Greenways
Edmonton, Canada21 contributions
Beautiful beach
Jun 2018 • Friends
A beautiful little beach. Very calm, not many people around. What more could you want? Sometimes egrets wade around in the shallows and go fishing.
Written May 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TaraToni
San Francisco, CA92 contributions
Great small public beach
May 2019 • Friends
With great views of the Golden Gate Bridge this small hidden beach is worth the hunt!! Located in front of the sea cliffs homes. It still has 2 small BBQs that are free to use for the public!! Which are up top overlooking the beach!! And if ur a mussel fan then you’re be in hog heaven!! Just follow the rules on the signs posted on when you can eat them!! There’s a ton of mussels there on the rocks!! Enjoy!
Written May 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jehenson81
Washington DC, DC21,995 contributions
Named for its Occupants
Mar 2019 • Solo
This beach was named for the Chinese fishermen that camped here. It sits between Lands End and Baker Beach. It is a small beach and has excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is some parking but remember it is in the middle of a residential area.
Written March 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andrewsk8s
Trondheim, Norway274 contributions
One of SFs Secret Spots
Dec 2018 • Couples
I have been going to this beach for 50 years and it has not changed much since the summer of '69. It is a nice little isolated cove hidden within a posh residential neighbourhood in Western San Francisco. I have been to many bigger, sunnier, swankier and more exotic beaches in my life, but this is the beach that I dream about. I love it on the colder, foggier days, when no one else is around.

The beach itself is nice, a wide apron of sand surrounded by rocky cliff shoulders which provide some shelter from the wind. The waves are not bad for beginners, particularly off the westward end where there is a small break at lowtide. But the main attraction is the spectacular, unforgettable, some would say "million dollar", view of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate. Many newlyweds choose this backdrop for their wedding photos. For nature lovers, I have at rare times seen dolphins, seals, and migrating birds from the far north here.

There is an old lifeguard station with public bathrooms at the bottom of the public access path. Though the restrooms and garbage cans are regularly serviced, I have not seen a lifeguard there for decades. And I vaguely remember a time when the little snack bar was open. The rust -stained concrete is really showing it's age (like an old WWII coastal bunker) but the flat roof is a good sunbathing spot.

The cliffs to the left are a fun play area for kids/explorers and there is a small "cave" there. I find the odd, eroded rocks that wash up here interesting, as I sometimes find signs of some very old building debris. The cliffs to the right are a bit less family friendly, but do make for a great photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

It should be mentioned that from the small, free, parking lot (about 20 cars) to the beach is about a 80 foot elevation drop, by stairway or by a switchback roadway. Some (perhaps elderly) people may find the ascent strenuous so just be prepared. Parking in the surrounding residential area is very limited and strictly permit controlled. Nearest legal parking that I know of is like 250 yards away and on crowded days, one must drop off passengers and beachgear, go find parking, and then hoof it back to the beach.

It has already been mentioned that the Seacliff District is, or was, home to numerous celebrities from movies, TV, radio, and politics. Back in my Uni days, I used to hang out with someone whose father was a foreign diplomat, that resided literally across the street from China Beach. So it was like a personal beach to us.
Written February 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lambert
Taipei, Taiwan1,769 contributions
Secluded Beach with Great Views
Oct 2018 • Solo
Though very small, the beach does boast great ocean views. You’d better come early as possible because the space may not accommodate many people.

Around the beach there was a neighborhood of beautiful mansions, which was a fantastic view to appreciate too, if you are visiting by foot.
Written October 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AndiamoAMagna
Clinton, NJ878 contributions
Fantastic ocean views
Sep 2018 • Family
Limited parking for this beach, plus you need to walk down a set of stairs. Beach offers very cool views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Fran coastline. Also, there are little coves to the left of the beach which were interesting, especially for a 14 year old. You can also visit baker beach which is only a few miles away.
Written September 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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