A dark sand beach tucked away in the hills

Muir Beach, CA

A few months back, when it was still nice and sunny in California, we planned to spend an afternoon and evening on one of San Francisco’s beaches. What we didn’t know was that, those were ‘high hopes’ considering it was summer. That was such a bad idea and we learnt that the hard way, going round and round parking lots and not finding a spot to park our car for a couple of miles near the beach. The parking lots were all so full and the cars spilled on to the roads that lead up to the beach and that meant a few miles of walking in the hot sun, if we were to spend some time on the seaside. Now with two little kids, a bag of change of clothes, a diaper bag and a tote of sand toys, it didn’t sound like an inviting thing to do. So we gave up after a little bit of driving around in search of parking space. Before we left, we promised our little sand artist that the following weekend, we would get to the beach much earlier in the day.

Fast forward to the next Sunday, hoping luck would favour us in the mornings, we by-passed San Francisco’s beaches and headed for Shoreline Highway. Now, Shoreline Highway may not sound very familiar, but let me tell you that this is nothing but a part of the famous “Highway 1.” It is that part of the Pacific Coast Highway that lies north of San Francisco and goes all they way up to Leggett where the scenic highway that runs along CA coast, begins.

Some 15 miles north of SF is a lovely beach just off Highway 1.Surrounded by the hills of the Northern Coast Ranges, and blessed with dark sands and remnants of a lagoon, this pretty place is called Muir Beach.

Muir Beach, CA
The lagoon.
Look further and you will see some beach and waters of the Pacific.
Muir Beach, CA
The bridge over the lagoon, the way to the beach from the parking area.
Muir Beach, CA
Muir Beach on a summer day.
Muir Beach, CA
Muir Beach and its rocky surroundings.
Muir Beach, CA
Muir Beach, CA
Muir Beach, CA
Muir Beach, CA
Muir Beach, CA
The lagoon, upclose.



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  1. Yep, people do like to be at the beach on a warm summer day! Too bad we ALL like it. 😉

    • Haha! I guess you are right.
      We usually find ourselves heading to the beaches in and around Santa Cruz. This time it was one in SF and we hadn't expected that big a crowd.

  2. Looks less crowded too.
    Great pics.

  3. Your disappointment in finding a parking space transformed into a breathtaking discovery. Thank you for taking me to Muir beach, my friend! It is idyllic to the core —I can almost write a poem there. But hey, you almost wrote one with this travelogue!

    • 😀 Thank you, USP. I'm flattered.

      We'd heard of this place before. Why we hadn't gone there earlier, I don't know. We used to do a lot of trips to the seaside because our older ones loves playing in the sand. The little one seems to like it too so I see ourselves resuming those trips to the Pacific Coast. 🙂

      Idyllic it is. It just might have been a hidden treasure once upon a time.

      Thank you, USP.

  4. Thats unfortunate but good that you made it in second attempt.

    • Yeah, if we'd made it to the beach that first day, I could have gazed at not just the waves but also the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Maybe we'll try our luck in Spring. 🙂

      Things were definitely quieter here. :)It was such a beautiful place because Muir Beach is a smaller one and it sits in the middle of some hills.

  5. Beautiful clicks! A much picturesque post dear! 🙂

  6. Glad to know about this place. Seems like quite a few activities to do here. Nice photographs, Divya. 🙂

    • Yeah, you noticed the hikers on the hill, didn't you Nomad? 🙂
      That looked like quite a climb. I'm sure the view was great. Next time — maybe. 🙂

      Thank you, Nomad. 🙂

  7. You know what, we had a similar experience – of finding parking spot in summer at Jenkins in New Jersey. In fact, i wrote a whole humorous post on the same here:

    Anyway, nice to see those breathtaking picture of lagoon and surrounding landscape!

  8. I really liked that bridge over the lagoon.
    Wonderful pics. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Not to find parking must have been bad but you guys got to enjoy the beach and I the pictures!

  10. This looks like a really nice place. Wonderful pictures.

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