Not Your First Rodeo

South Rodeo Beach in Marin

Marin’s Rodeo Beach has a lot going on. It’s the starting point for sweeping headland hikes, and it’s home to the world-renowned Marine Mammal Center (a must visit). The main beach is a popular hangout for watching shortboarders, playing with the kids and dogs, or just lying about and enjoying the salt-tinged air.

Head south for more seclusion! An unsigned trail winds over the ice plant–covered hills, spilling out at the less-visited South Rodeo Beach, a Pacific-facing pocket backed by big cliffs. This beach can be breezy, but go when the weather’s nice and it’s an ideal spot for sun-basking. Stroll the shoreline, explore the tidepools, and watch as kayakers nose their way through distant sea stacks.

The old red-and-white buildings at Fort Cronkhite sit to the north. Spread your blanket by a giant piece of driftwood, settle in, and say ahhhhhh. Like many “hidden” beaches, you might be exposed to a full moon in the form of a free-styling sunbather. Hey, this ain’t your first Rodeo!

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