Golden Gate Bridge Beach

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Rating: A

On the hottest days, Golden Gate Bridge Beach becomes so packed with people that one visitor describes it as a "gay mob scene." But the rocky shore, which connects three picturesque coves, also gets its share of straight men and women. Prime, non-cruising activities include sunbathing, enjoying breathtaking views of the Bridge, and even taking some dips in the water. "You can sometimes go out over 100 feet during low tide," says a woman.

Legal status: 

Part of the GGNRA.

How to find it:

Directions: from the toll booth area of Highway 101/1, take Lincoln Boulevard west about a half mile to Langdon Court. Turn right (west) on Langdon and look for space in the parking lots, across Lincoln from Fort Winfield Scott. Park and then take the beach trail, starting just west of the end of Langdon, down its more than 200 steps to Golden Gate Bridge Beach, also known as Marshall's Beach.

The beach:

A trio of adjacent coves located below Fort Scott provide an easy view of San Francisco's most famous landmark and the beach's namesake: the Golden Gate Bridge. Despite recent improvements, the trail to the beach can still be slippery, especially in the spring and winter.

The crowd:

"On weekends, you feel like a piece of meat on display," a male visitor told us. Most users take their suits off, while joining up to 100 or more other naked people, including small but growing numbers of heterosexuals. It can get even more crowded: several times a year, as many as 300 bare bodies try to find space on the sand. Suggestion: visit during the week, when you may encounter only a few dozen beachgoers.

Problems:

Too many people jammed into too little space; not enough sand; garbage; wind and fog; cold water; unsafe swimming conditions; muddy cliff trails; and sex on the beach.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (15 votes)

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