The beaches in Northern California are beautiful but don't be fooled, the water is cold. When the opportunity arises and the coast isn't foggy or freezing you need to seize the moment. That's exactly what we did last Tuesday when temperatures were scheduled inland to be upwards of 90 degrees. We put our work aside and headed to the coast and I'm sure happy we did.
Muir Beach is quite simply beautiful. It's a small oasis just south of the bustling Stinson Beach. Don't get me wrong this beach is still busy but there's something about it that makes you feel like you are in a more secluded cove, an oasis.
We arrived fairly early in the morning so there was parking available in the main lot. It was just a quick short walk down the new path to the beach. There we lounged away listening to the chatter of families playing frisbee and waves crashing on the beach. The cool ocean breeze provided moments of temporary relief for the abnormally warm coastal day. Bring some food, beverages and an umbrella to block out the sun and then simply sit back and take it all in. Life is good.
I spent my time drifting in and out of sleep while listening to the distant chatter of kids laughing and the waves delicately meeting the sand. There is a kiosk sign near the parking lot that lists and dates recent wildlife sightings which included whales, dolphins and a bobcat in the past week. I didn't personally see any wildlife but that's probably because I was busy napping. I hope you spot something on your day trip!
Things to Note
-There is a trail where you can hike down to the beach but it's quite long and uphill the entire way out. If you are a big hiker, this may be the route to go for you (it was too hot for me on this particular day).
-The Muir Beach Overlook is just a short drive North on Highway 1 and is not to be missed, the views are spectacular.
-Muir Woods National Monument is a beautiful redwood forest area famous for hiking and it's only a 10-15 minute drive from the beach. You may be able to squeeze in visiting before or after your stop at the Muir Beach.
-The beach parking lot gets very full in the afternoon, we arrived early so we found parking but when we left people were staked out begging to follow us to secure our parking spot. It was a little aggressive, so get here early to avoid it.
-This is one of the few dog friendly beaches in Northern California. Dog owners were respectful and it was fun to see the pups enjoying the beach but if you are not a dog person this may not be the beach for you.
For more information on Muir Beach click here.