Secret Beach

Hidden Perles Beach on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay

Perles Beach Angel Island San Francisco Bay

A hidden beach and a killer view? Those are hard to come by, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Perles Beach on Angel Island. This pocket cove on the south side of the island is worth the 1.5-mile trek (or bike ride) from the ferry dropoff at Ayala Cove. Walking or biking counterclockwise on the Perimeter Road, you’ll pass the old Camp Reynolds and views across Richardson Bay.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

All of a sudden you get the first panorama of downtown San Francisco, greeting you like an IMAX film. There are benches and binoculars at the lookout, and this is also how you find the trail to Perles Beach. At the eastern end of the wooden fence is a little sign saying “Beach.” Blink and you might miss it, but you won’t! Follow the trail down for about 5 minutes. The final section is a metal stairway dropping you right onto the beach and your ta-dah moment—the view of the Golden Gate from here is top three in the Bay Area, a photo-must.

Angel Island Secret Perles Beach views San Francisco

Bring a picnic and hang out on giant driftwood or a blanket, and soak in the scenery, including the Bay Bridge, San Francisco’s waterfront and skyline, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Four icons, one hidden beach … wait, is that an angel on your shoulder? 😇

BONUS: After your visit to Angel Island, and upon returning to Tiburon, see if you can get a patio spot at the classic Sam’s Anchor Cafe. Famous for its lively atmosphere, the outdoor setting is glorious, overlooking Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the San Francisco skyline. We think it should be equally famous for its pineapple margaritas and cup of clam chowder.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Outdoors, You Complete Me” Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss their explorations of Angel Island and “discovering” Perles Beach.

Gallery image 1 of 2
Gallery image 2 of 2

The Angel Island Tiburon Ferry is currently running on an online reservation system. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for children. It’s an extra $1 to bring a bicycle.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Get Outdoors In Sonoma County This Fall

    Sonoma County's great outdoors includes hike-in beaches, hidden redwoods, and a new zipline-to-treehouse stay. Here are 5 of the best ways to explore outdoors in Sonoma County.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Ride and Seek

    Oceanside breezes, beautiful beaches, a car-free pathway for biking, and beer at the end: You’re on a roll! The San Mateo Coast was made for beach hopping and beer tasting …

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Redwoods, Beach, Banner View!

    Explore among the redwoods in Henry Cowell State Park on this magical 5-mile hike featuring the big trees, a beach, and a beautiful view from an observation deck.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    GOAT Coastal Hike + Sunset

    GOAT (greatest of all time) Sonoma Coast experience? Hike the Kortum Trail, wine taste on a patio overlooking the Russian River, and catch a sensational sunset at, yep, Goat Rock Beach.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Shakespeare Bridge + Secret Garden

    Romeo, Romeo, we all know how this goes, but do you know how to go to the Shakespeare Bridge and secret gardens? We’ve got the online do-it-yourself hiking route for you.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Malibu Hike, Canyon, Beach

    Get a highlight reel of the Malibu coastline on a 2.25-mile hike through Leo Carrillo State Park, featuring a canyon climb, Pacific panorama, and a beautiful beach.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    The Highway of Waterfalls

    Ready for a totally refreshing road trip? Hit the Highway of Waterfalls! This stretch of road in Southern Oregon travels alongside the wild and scenic section of the North Umpqua River—and more than a dozen waterfalls.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Suspension Bridge Surprise

    This urban hike in San Diego connects two gardens by way of two spectacular bridges, including the awesome Spruce Street Suspension Bridge built in 1912.

    View