Steps, Sand, Sea, Sunset

Black Sands is a remote mile-long stretch of shore in the Marin Headlands. The secluded oasis has a…

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Black Sands is a remote mile-long stretch of shore in the Marin Headlands. The secluded oasis has a lot to see. Rocky coastline, thrashing waves, nudists, fishermen, nudist fishermen … okay, so full moons are common here, but they’re not nearly as captivating as the epic sunsets! It’s a steep but relatively easy ramble down wooden steps (250 of them!) and dirt paths.

When you reach the south-facing beach you can walk with your feet in the sand, wade in the ocean, or boulder on the rocky cliffs. The seashore faces San Francisco, with Sutro Tower looming in the distance and Point Bonita Lighthouse to the west.

Pack a picnic and a blanket—this is a great place to watch day turn into night. Just make sure to leave yourself enough time to climb back up the stairs while there’s still some light.

From San Francisco, take Alexander Ave. to Conzelman Rd. The road is winding and steep. After the roundabout, the road becomes one-way; keep going till you see a parking lot on the left side of the road. No dogs.

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