Kirby Cove Beach in Marin
Still haven't cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge yet? We have a twist on this classic tourist outing. It's very simple. Instead of crossing over the bridge and veering right to head down to Sausalito with the Bike and Roll crowd, turn left and go up Conzelman Road toward Hawk Hill. You can do this as a hike, too.
A short (slight huff and puff) third of a mile later, you'll come to a gated fire road—the inconspicuous entrance to one of the best beaches in the Bay Area: Kirby Cove. Bike 0.75 mile down the dirt road to reach this cove to call your own. Well, there probably will be other people there, but not many!
The gated road keeps the crowds blissfully at bay (pun intended). Pull out that blanket from your backpack, spread the goodies you brought for a picnic, and gaze at the all-time classic view: the Golden Gate Bridge is close enough to skip a rock to, San Francisco's downtown skyline rises and glows in the background, and the Pacific splashes and crashes against the dark sand beach.
BONUS CAMP: Kirby Cove has a few reservable campsites. The facilities are simple: BBQ grill, picnic tables, and fire rings. There's no water or wood, so bring both. Earplugs, too, if you're sleeping over; the foghorns can be loud.
Dogs aren't allowed at Kirby Cove.
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