The northern California region has some of the best beaches in the country.

Here’s the best beaches in Northern California. There are a lot of options and beaches for every type of person: long sandy beaches, family beaches, whale watching and water sports beaches.

Check out our post on the best sunglasses for the beach.

Here is the list of some of the best beaches in Northern California

1. Marshall’s Beach

This beach gives a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco. This secluded beach in Northern California is also one of the major beaches, here. This beach is good for sunbathing and hiking. There are several trails near the beach which can be hiked.

Best beaches in northern California, USA
Marshall beach in northern California

2. Glass Beach

This beach is located near the Fort Bragg. The beach has colorful glass pieces that were dumped by people in the past. The glass pieces were the remnants of the glass bottles which got smoothed by the ocean waves. This beach is famous for the colorful glass pebbles and visitors come here to capture the beauty of the beach.

3. Heart’s Desire Beach – A good place for swimming

This beach is located in Tomales Bay State Park and is known for being a family-friendly beach. Swimming, kayaking, boating and bird watching are common activities at this beach. This beach is also popular for hiking trails. The hiking trails are located on the north and south of the beach.

4. Rodeo Beach

Rodeo Beach is located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The beach has pebbles of red, brown, green and blue color which makes the sand appear dark in color.

5. College Cove Beach

College Cove Beach is located in the town of Trinidad. This is one of the best beaches in northern California for surfing and swimming. This beach is also having a good marine life. On some occasions people have spotted whales between Baja California and Alaska. There are also good options for hiking, sunbathing here. The sunsets on this beach are quite stunning and worth some brilliant pictures.

College Cove beach in northern California
College Cove beach in northern California

We hope you enjoy exploring the best beaches in northern California!

See also: Where to Stop Along a California Coast Road Trip

Explore more things to do in California here.


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.