We all love Golden Gate Park and Dolores Park, but did you know San Francisco has over 220 parks and open spaces? Curbed SF wants to bring fame and glory to some of the smaller, lesser-known parks, and we're doing so with our series Park Life. Each week we'll spotlight a different San Francisco park or open space, and bring you all the details you need to plan a visit.
Snuggled between Baker Beach and Lands End in the Seacliff neighborhood, many people are unaware of the tiny yet publicly-accessible China Beach. As part of the National Parks Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, it’s rated as one of the cleanest beaches in the state. Legend has it that Chinese fishermen used to anchor their boats in the cove and camped on the beach (there’s a monument to them at the trailhead near the parking area at the end of Sea Cliff Avenue).
Where it's located: A small parking lot at the end of Sea Cliff Avenue marks the trailhead, and then you have to walk down some 100 stairs or a winding drive.
What it features: There’s spots for picnicking and sunbathing, plus killer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands. If you’re looking to get out of the winds, there’s a small deck on top of the lifeguard equipment pick-up station. Above beach level, grills and a picnic area are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Restrooms and cold water showers are open sunrise to sunset.
How to get there: Take the 1 bus to California & 30th Ave, or the 29 bus to El Camino Del Mar & 25th Ave, and walk a few blocks to the parking lot and trailhead.
Dogs allowed?: No, dogs not allowed.
Don't Miss: At low tide, you can walk along the shore all the way from China Beach to Baker Beach