Although Stinson Beach and Ocean Beach are the most popular beaches in the greater San Francisco Bay area, Sharp Beach Park at Mori Point is a hidden jewel. Just a twenty minutes from the city in the surfer community of Pacifica, Mori Point and Sharp Park offer the same ocean without the crowds. Sharp Beach at Pacifica — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
If you're in more of a SoCal mood, you can head straight to the ocean and follow the promenade north to Sharp Beach Park. The highlight is the Pacifica Pier, where you can buy fishing permits and catch your own Dungeness crab during crabbing season. Sharp Beach Park has picnic facilities and a cafe, plus occasional live music that gives the area that classic SoCal vibe.
Sharp Beach — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
If summer fog and high winds have rolled in, then it's time to release your inner NorCal. Mori Point has what many beaches don't: miles of hiking through a recently renovated recreational area. Besides new trails and staircases, walkways over ponds have been added to protect the endangered red-legged frog and San Francisco garter snake. Mori Point walkway — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
You can heat up quick in the fog with a hike up Drunkard's Steps. At the top, you'll find spectacular views. And Mori Point proper is a fantastic place in the late afternoon for spotting grey whales during their migration times.
View from top of Mori Point, south — Photo courtesy of Tom MolanphyBeach view from top of Mori Point, east — Photo courtesy of Tom Molanphy
Whether you want to saunter on a pier in the sun or clamber up rugged steps through chilly fog, Sharp Beach Park and Mori Point offer the best of both California worlds.