China Beach

Enjoy sun, surf and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge in this tiny secluded cove between Lands End and Baker Beach.

Discover the hidden gem of China Beach. Although it’s just a few miles away from the bustle of downtown San Francisco, it feels a world away. Rocky walls with sweeping vistas across the Pacific Ocean shelter the small and secluded area. Escape to a little getaway in the midst of the city.

Find China Beach in San Francisco’s exclusive Sea Cliff neighborhood. It is sandwiched between the rocky shores of Lands End to the west and lively Baker Beach to the east. Follow trails leading all along the San Francisco coastline, with some of the most beautiful views in the city. Look across China Beach to the gleaming Golden Gate Bridge and the wild Marin Headlands across the water.

Learn about the rich history of China Beach. Note the large stone monument near the parking area. During the Gold Rush, Chinese fishermen congregated and camped on the beach. The monument pays homage to those early settlers.

Swim with extreme caution as there are no lifeguards. Riptides and strong currents are fairly common. Instead, wade in the shallow water. At low tide, look for the starfish, anemones and other sea creatures along the beach.

Park your car in the parking lot for China Beach at the end of Sea Cliff Avenue. Note that the lot is small and fills up quickly, especially on weekends. Consider taking a bus. Several lines for Muni, San Francisco’s public transportation, have stops near the beach.

China Beach has no refreshment stands and the area surrounding it is residential, so pack a lunch if you think you’ll be hungry. Enjoy a picnic or barbecue on the grills located above beach level. Find restrooms and showers near the picnic area. Stairs and ramps connect the parking and picnic areas to the beach below.

Visit China Beach throughout the year during daylight hours. There are no fees for entrance or parking.