Long before the Golden Gate Bridge connected city-dwellers to Marin County, determined beach-lovers traveled by ferry to the foot of Mount Tamalpais, rode a train up to the peak, and trekked down through redwood forests and long grass in order to enjoy the wide white sands of the shoreline now known as Stinson Beach. The sheltered little town that emerged to entertain and feed visitors first came into existence in the late nineteenth century as “Willow Camp.” As the ease of transportation increased in the early 20th century, word spread about the beauties of this area that looked up at the foothills of Mount Tamalpais and out across the Pacific. Luckily, first Marin County in 1939 and then the National Park Service in 1950 recognized the need to protect this natural gem, and the three-mile beach and much of the surrounding area have been preserved as public space ever since.
Today you can hike down into Stinson like tourists did for decades, or you can drive into town and park right at the beach! More information on how to get to Stinson Beach is available at Directions . Stinson Beach is more than just a gorgeous stretch of sand where you can enjoy hours of surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Our quirky little beach town also has that great vibe that comes from being a vacation spot people have loved for generations. It has kept its out-of-the-way charm while also carefully improving amenities for visitors. The tiny main street of Stinson is dotted with locally-owned shops where you can find cool new surf gear to ride the local waves. Park your car in Stinson for the day, and everything is within walking distance. You can hike up into the wooded foothills, or you can stay in town and visit the local gallery and sculpture garden the cute independent bookstore, or Al’s Alleged Antiques. In any case, you’ll want to make sure you start your day at the Stinson Beach Breakers Café , right in the center of town. Come hang out with the whole family on our deck or in our cozy indoor seating area, and you’ll get great views of the mountains behind town while you enjoy delicious, filling New American Classics with a Latin twist.