Close to the famous Muir Woods is a small sand beach with a steep trail that overlooks the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean on Highway 1. We originally found the beach on a (failed) trip to Muir Woods. Let me tell you, the first day of National Parks Week is not the time to visit Muir Woods, unless you want to park five miles out and hike into the park. So we just kept on driving, eventually stumbling upon a lovely stretch of water near the park.
Coming from Florida, we were surprised to find that the “beaches” out here are not for sun-bathing: lazy, hot, and tropical. Many of the beaches here are rocky, and chilly. (Let’s be honest, they’re downright cold.) The farther south you go, the warmer they get, but for our purposes, beaches here are not for getting a tan.
What I love about Muir Beach instead is the view from the trail. There are a few different trailheads, and one starts directly on the beach and takes you up a steep trail onto plateaus overlooking the water. It’s a stunning hike, and almost private, because the steep walk is a natural deterrent for large crowds. We did enjoy the beach when we brought Penelope. It’s dog-friendly, and Penny was very happy to chase after driftwood sticks and play in the surf.