TI Surprise

Clipper Cove Beach on Treasure Island

It's no secret that Treasure Island has one of the best views of San Francisco. The former Naval base was used in World War II primarily as a communications training school and a primary point of departure for Pacific based sailors. Today, its Naval roots remain and visitors often steer toward the western side for the grand vista. But tucked on the east side by the yacht harbor is hidden Clipper Cove Beach, reached by descending 54 wooden steps (yeah, we counted). The crescent-shaped beach backed by eucalyptus trees is only about a quarter of a mile, but its views stretch well beyond that length.

The eastern span of the Bay Bridge looms, appearing close enough to touch, and across the water you can see the UC Berkeley campus and its iconic Sather Tower campanile. Yachts and brown pelicans bob in the cove's water as waves lap gently on the shore. For the most sun exposure, go in the morning. The beach gets shaded over in mid-afternoon, though you can still find patches of sun on the north side. Clipper Cove's eastern location blocks the wind, so you're not likely to feel too chilled. Take a stroll among the driftwood and beach fort before returning the way you came and being treated to that iconic San Francisco vista. East your heart out!

BONUS: For those who want to add some sip and swirl, there are several wine tasting rooms nearby. For food, check to see if Mersea is open. This shipping container kitchen and bar sits on the Grand Lawn with outdoor seating and fabulous Bay views.

Almost immediately upon entering Treasure Island, look for signs on the right for the Treasure Island Bar & Grill on Clipper Cove Way. There's parking in this lot. From the parking area entrance, take the paved sidewalk up the hill heading south. When you reach the end of the path, you'll see a construction site and a chain-link fence. There are two signs indicating Clipper Cove; follow the narrow trail by the chain-link fence until you reach the steep wooden staircase. Dog-friendly!

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