If you want to combine spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge with a beach where your dog is free to frolic off-leash, Baker Beach is a mutts-visit location. Tucked away at the bottom of the rugged cliffs that stretch along the Presidio’s western shoreline, and inside the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this mile-long beach is one of the best dog-friendly locations anywhere in the San Francisco area.
Dogs are allowed on-leash on the beach area south of Lobos Creek, but it's on the beach north of Lobos Creek where your pooch will really get a chance to strut their stuff. Dogs are allowed on this northern section of the beach either on-leash or under voice control, which means well-behaved furry friends can get a little more freedom to explore this spectacular coastline.
However, there are a couple of key points to remember before you visit. Make sure you clean up after your canine companion whenever necessary, which means you should always have clean-up bags on hand. Also bring enough water to share with your thirsty pup. Follow all posted rules about on- and off-leash access for your dogs. Be aware that Baker Beach has been the subject of a heated battle between environmentalists and dog lovers about beach access for dogs, so it's worth checking whether the rules may have changed recently before you visit.
With that little bit of housekeeping out of the way, let's take a closer look at what Baker Beach has to offer for dogs and their humans. For dogs, there's a chance to run and play on the sand, get wet, and meet plenty of other furry friends. Swimming is not recommended for canines or humans on this beach due to the large waves, rip currents and undertow, so do be careful how far in the water your pup ventures.
For people, there are wonderful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands to admire, as well as the chance of glimpsing porpoises frolicking in the surf. Picnic areas, grills and restroom facilities are provided at the east end of the parking lot in the cypress grove. Be warned that Baker Beach can get quite busy on weekends, so you should make sure to get there early. You should also know that the northernmost stretch of Baker Beach is clothing-optional.
With spectacular views, excellent conditions, and plenty of space for you and Fido to run around, you and your furry bestie will likely find a favorite destination at furbulous Baker Beach!