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About China Beach in San Francisco, California

China Beach is a small locals beach in San Francisco. The cove where China Beach Cove is located is protected by rock walls on both sides creating an area that once was a camp for Chinese fishermen, hence the name.

China Beach faces north toward the Marin Headlands and has a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge too. It’s not a large beach so when the tide is up and the summer sun is out, it can be hard to find a spot that is dry and isn’t already taken. At low tide there are tide pools to discover.

The China Beach parking lot can be found below the intersection of El Camino Del Mar and Sea Cliff Avenue in the Seacliff Neighborhood. From the parking area you can walk down a long ramp or take a more direct stairway which drops down to a building with restrooms and a rooftop deck. From there you can walk around the building to more stairs and ramps to the beach.

Like all the beaches in this area, China Beach is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Swimming isn’t safe at China Beach for many reasons including the lack of lifeguards.

The area just south of the cove is called Lands End and has many hiking trails to explore. At low tide it is possible to walk north around a rocky point to reach Baker Beach.

For about 40 years China Beach was a state park named after a former mayor and proud white nationalist. Here’s more information on the history of China Beach.

340 Sea Cliff Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121
Park Name
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, China Beach Park
Other Names
James D. Phelan Beach State Park
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Free parking
Sunbathing, Picnicking, Tidepooling
Restrooms, Showers, Picnic Tables, Tide Pools, Cave
Map of China Beach
San Francisco County, US
8:44 pm, June 19, 2024
temperature icon 54°F
L: 51° H: 57°
Feels like 53.38 °F broken clouds
Wind gusts: 7 m/s
UV Index: 0
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:48 am
Sunset: 8:34 pm
Humidity 89 %
Pressure1011 mb
Wind 7 m/s

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