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what is the best beach near San Francisco??

Toronto, Canada
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what is the best beach near San Francisco??

best ocean beach for swimming/cutest beach town within a 2 hour drive of SF?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

Define "cutest."

Capitola is cute with shops, tourists, small, walkable.

Santa Cruz is much bigger, more vibrant, lots of people, has the Boardwalk. Sights & Activities: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g33048-c133677 Boardwalk: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g33048-d156830 and tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33048-d15…

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2. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

Ditto on the "define cutest".

Please also note that any swimming you do in the Pacific Ocean (compared to say the San Francisco Bay itself and even that's restricted to pretty hardy souls) within 2 hours of San Francisco is going to be in a wet suit.

Berkeley, California
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3. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

You'll want to head to the Santa Cruz area. Which beach specifically (Santa Cruz, Capitola, etc.) depends upon your definition of cute.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

If you are thinking of the stereotypical beaches of California, then you are thinking about Southern California -- Venice and Laguna and other beaches down that coast -- if you want to swim that is the place to go in Summer. The Pacific Ocean currents are always cold especially so up and down Northern California.

Agree with the other posters on where to visit -- if you just want hang out on a beach in SF go down the great highway to ocean beach and you can walk on sand. if you want to swim -- bring wet suits

SF Bay Area
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5. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

It definitely is warmer the further south you go. Try Linda Mar beach in Pacifica. If it is sunny like today, then it is a great beach to swim, wade, watch the surfers, get takeout from Taco Bell or other nearby restaurants. And I believe Ocean Beach has signs regarding ripcurrents and doesn't recommend swimming there.

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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6. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

caffiend said,

"Please also note that any swimming you do in the Pacific Ocean (compared to say the San Francisco Bay itself and even that's restricted to pretty hardy souls) within 2 hours of San Francisco is going to be in a wet suit."

I have never seen anyone swimming in this area in a wet suit. The vision of it makes me giggle. Anyway, the Santa Cruz beaches are not the Pacific Ocean but southern facing Monterey Bay.

Capitola is cute, with a smallish beach, but parking is impossible and the flooding of Soquel Creek a few weeks ago damaged quite a few of the tourist shops.

You can be in Santa Cruz in less than two hours....70 miles.

Read the link that PaciicNW gave you above to help you decide.

'

Providence, Rhode...
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7. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

Having been to Santa Cruz on my last trip to San Francisco, I'd recommend Santa Cruz. I don't know if I'd use the word "cute", but it's definitely a beach town. It's like the small beach villages we have here on the East Coast blown up into a much larger town. There's a lot to do there, shopping, amusement park, pier w/ sea lions and even a state beach area (Natural Bridges State Park).

flickr.com/photos/…set-72157625327264749

San Jose, California
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8. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

I think the key here may be the definition of "swim".

If by swimming, you mean splash around in the waves, boogie board or body surf, bob around in the swells just past where the waves are breaking, then no wet suit needed - the water is cold, but as long as the sun is shining and the air is reasonably warm, it is fine. Lots of people will be out playing in the water. You won't want to be in the water for hours and hours, but it is fine for awhile.

If by swimming you mean swiming out a significant distance or paralleling the shore for awhile, then it will be cold and you'll probably want a wet suit.

SF
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9. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

I like Quarry Beach on Angel Island the best. It is also more swimmable, probably, but there ain't no town there, let alone a cute one. You could ferry to Sausalito, a cute town, after swimming though. Davenport is kinda cute, but beaches around it is more for surfing, I believe.

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10. Re: what is the best beach near San Francisco??

Capitola! :)