Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daytripping: Stinson Beach

The boys
My family loves the beach. It's one of the few places we can go where everybody has a good time and everyone is able to relax. Over the weekend we went to Stinson Beach. Stinson Beach is known for sharks and sand dollars, although strangely enough we didn't see either during this trip.

We like this beach for a number of reasons, first and foremost being it has facilities. Yes, folks, it has actual flushing toilets. Granted there are no seats on these toilets, but there is plenty of toilet paper and they are easy to get to. We always find a spot close to the facilities so we don't have to walk two miles over hot sand to reach them.

Beach bum rat dog
We also like this beach because we can bring our rat dog with us. Let me clarify. Dogs are allowed on the county-run section of the beach, in this case, Marin County. Dogs are NOT allowed on the National Recreation Area side. (Stinson Beach is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.) The beach is clearly marked which side is which, so there is no confusion. If you are like me and not really a dog person - although I have no choice since we have a dog - you can go to the no dogs allowed section of the beach.

I wouldn't exactly say that there is adequate parking, but there is a parking lot. We always get there early, between 9:30 - 10:00. The one time we got there close to noon, parking was a nightmare. Going forward, we made a point of getting there well before noon. In my opinion, getting there in the afternoon is a crap shoot as far as parking is concerned. Once you park and get settled and watch the fog burn off, you're in for a lovely day at the beach.

Bourgeois Pig? Oink
This year, we decided to be Mr. and Mrs. Suburban Bourgeois-Pig and purchase a beach tent. Honestly, every beach umbrella we've had just didn't slice the gravy. You see, when we go to the beach we stay all day. Stinson Beach is a couple of hours away from us, so it doesn't make alot of sense to pack up the car and the kids and go to the beach for an hour or two. Screw that. We got there at 10:00am and we didn't leave until 5:00pm. Having the tent gave everyone a chance to take a nap without getting completely fried.

If you've never been to Stinson Beach, then I highly recommend going. The drive is beautiful albeit windy (long i not short i). Muir Woods is on the way so you could make it an all day trip or make a weekend out of it. The beach tent is optional.

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