SFBU’s Favorite Bay Area Beaches

Two female students are chatting happily

San Francisco Bay University is situated in an exceptional location: Fremont, California. After all, we are still the closest East Bay city to the high-tech Silicon Valley network of businesses, and as such we have access to a strong tech industry presence. We all know that those in the tech industry live by a common motto; they indeed work hard, with 30% of surveyed tech workers admitting they work between seven and ten hours per day, but they like to play hard too. And the same goes for SFBU students. As a San Francisco Area university, we have plenty of “play hard” options. As an East Bay university, we have access to restaurants and bars of all shapes and sizes. And yet, what if a little more relaxation time is what you seek?

Well, that’s where the beaches come in. Colleges and universities in San Francisco have access to some of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast. Someone once said, “The West Coast is the Best Coast” and we couldn’t agree more. And yet, when you picture a typical California beach in your mind, you are likely to think of sun-drenched Southern California, from Santa Monica Pier to Dana Point. And yet, the beaches here in San Francisco have a charm all their own. San Francisco Area university students and locals from all over the area have a plethora of beautiful beaches to choose from. Which ones are your favorites? Here, we introduce you to what we consider to be three of the more notable beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1. Montara State Beach

You might think we would start with one of the more busy and popular options, like Ocean Beach or Baker Beach, but we wanted to deliver some more insider information instead. Let’s visit some beaches students who aren’t from the local area may never have heard of. So, first, we’ll head a half hour’s drive outside of San Francisco to Montara State Beach, a lesser-known beach that boasts magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to bring your hiking shoes, however, as the path down to the beach can be a little gnarly. But due to its location and rugged entrance, it is one of the cleanest and most secluded beaches that San Francisco area university students have access to.

Even better, the waters around the beach are part of a protected marine recreation area. For those who like to plan ahead, visit sometime between March and June and you may be lucky enough to spot humpback whales as they begin moving closer to shore! Restaurants and grocery stores are located nearby in the towns of Montara and Moss Beach. Point Montara Lighthouse offers overnight accommodations and McNee Ranch encompasses a coastal mountain range with well-manicured trails and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.

2. Agate Beach Park

Located a short drive north of San Francisco proper near Bolinas, Agate Beach Park is definitely one for all you nature-loving SFBU students out there. This beach is a drone photographer’s dream, with turquoise blue and green waters surrounding picturesque rocky outcroppings. And with almost two miles of ocean shoreline and a 6.6-acre park, there is plenty to see and do. When the tide is low, beautiful tidepools appear ready for exploration.

Even better, tidepools aren’t the only beautiful things to explore at Agate Beach Park. Expect to see birdwatchers looking for up to 73 different bird species, from the ring neck pheasant to the sharp-tailed grouse. The secluded nature of Agate Beach Park also means you might even catch a glimpse of a sea lion or two sunning itself on one of the many rocky outcroppings dotting the shoreline.

3. Kiteboard Beach

After taking you away from our local area to some lesser-known beaches, we wanted to bring it home and introduce you to a beach for SFBU students who are looking for an adrenaline rush. Welcome to Kiteboard Beach. While Kiteboard Beach is approximately 18 miles away in San Mateo, for those looking for good wind and surf, Kiteboard Beach is an excellent option. We know there are plenty of San Francisco area university students out there who are avid thrill-seekers.

For those who want to test their skills, summer is the perfect time for kiting, whether on land or water, in Santa Cruz and San Francisco’s Bay Area. While Kiteboard Beach is the closest, there are excellent kiteboarding spots all up and down the coastline. But if you also want to just chill and enjoy the sounds of the surf, that is also an option. Just always be careful of the rough ocean currents and riptides that swirl around Kiteboard Beach.

We understand these beaches are a bit of a trek, but we wanted to introduce SFBU students to something more off the beaten path. But if you’re looking for something a little closer to home, here are some other top beaches in the Bay Area:

  • Ocean Beach
  • Baker Beach
  • China Beach
  • Davenport Beach
  • Mile Rock Beach
  • Marshall’s Beach
  • … and more!

The beauty of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that we’ve got a lot to choose from. There’s no shortage of beautiful beaches for SFBU students to choose from. All you need to do is pick one, pack up, and head out. And speaking of packing up…

San Francisco Area University Students’ Beach Checklist

Before you make your way to one of these beautiful beaches, make sure to set a checklist for yourself. The last thing you want is to head to the beach unprepared. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you have a great time on the beach.

  • Find Shade: One of the first rules of beachgoing is to get there early so you can get a shady spot. Or you can bring a beach umbrella or shade tent. Whatever works to keep the sun’s rays from cooking you.
  • Bring a Mesh Bag: You may be tempted to bring a tote or dry bag for all your goodies, whether towels, speakers, flotation devices, or otherwise, but consider the humidity. Mesh bags prevent mold and allow for proper airflow.
  • Bring Bug Spray: For those visiting any of these beaches early in the morning, bug spray is a must. Whether it be mosquitoes, sand flies, beach hoppers, or other insects, swarms of them can cast a serious pall on your otherwise calm and serene beach day.
  • Follow the Rules: Remember that it is against the law to consume alcohol in California state parks. Also, make sure to pay attention to where lifeguards are and look for guidance if you are unsure of whether or not the water is safe.
  • Watch for Rip Tides: The one thing Southern California beaches have on their neighbors to the north is calmer waters. Beaches around the Bay Area tend to be rougher and a bit more dangerous, with more rip tides and strong currents.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this romp through some of the best and most notable beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. Are you a student from out of state or overseas reading this and wishing you could be attaining a world-class education and lounging on some of Northern California’s most beautiful beaches? If so, contact our admissions office today!