Stinson Beach

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Reviews of Stinson Beach

Re: Reasonable Family Summer Vacation 2-3 weeks (March 2006)
Last summer I went to Stinson Beach for a week with my 14 year old daughter. We live in Berkeley and wanted a different kind of vacation. Not expensive and easy to get to. We were there at the begining of August and the weather was fantastic! We stayed at a place right in town called Ocean Court Motel. It had two Queen beds in a large room but they were in nooks and felt very seperate, a living and dining area and a KITCHEN with a full sized refrigerator. It was about $650 for the week (more if you stay over the weekend). The website is It's a small place. The people who run it are very nice. It's very kid-friendly. They have videos and games that you can borrow (a good selection too!), a cat, the daily newspaper, and good art on the walls! We brought all of our food which worked out really well. We ended up eating out once or twice. It's about two blocks from the main beach. You can rent boogie boards and wet suits (the water is cold-to adults-all year round) in town as well as get ice cream and oysters. There are short driving trips you can take from Stinson, but we never got back into the car until we had to leave! We had such a relaxing time, walks on the beach everyday, I gave my daughter art classes, watch the sun set in the evening, walks on the beach at night, and we even had a relative visit us there! There are a few shops in town, including a small food store for things you forgot or ran out of. There is also a Shakespeare theater company that puts on productions in the summer that you could check out. I would definetly go back, though my daughter now would probably like to bring a friend. If you like the beach, Stinson is the real thing. wishing I was there now!
Re: A quiet couple days away with kids (Nov 2005)
Try Stinson Beach in Marin. Small town, and quiet especially this time of year. Rent a house (we like Highway One Properties - or there's a few motels (which I can't vouch for, we always rent.) There's great hiking, a cute *little* playground in town, and of course, the beach, the biggest playground of all. A great place to go to unwind. Only an hour away.
-Loves the beach
Re: Beach on Peninsula for families (June 2005)
We love Stinson Beach in Marin! The drive is curvy up Highway One, but once your at the National Park (free parking), the parking is easy but go early on weekends, the walk is short, the waves are gentle and my kids 5, 7 can walk out a pretty long way without getting higher than their hips so we feel it's comfortable. The fog often goes north and south of Stinson so it will often be sunny when other beaches aren't. If it gets foggy, they have a cute kids park in town (just through the pathway at the National Park) that the kids love with a snack bar. About an hour to and hour and 15 minutes. We often rent out there through Highway One Properties 415-868-0288 or Ask for a kid friendly house. Good Luck! bmaurer
Re: Family Getaway within 2hr of SF (Feb 2005)
Have you looked at Stinson Beach? It's in West Marin, I would say about an hour total drive time from SF, and a great small beach town. There's several rental agencies that work in town, including Highway One Properties ( who we've had luck with in the past. It's a small town (1,000 residents) with a beautiful beach, some good restaurants, close to Muir Woods, Point Reyes, etc. Good Luck anon
Re: Family Getaway within 2hr of SF (Feb 2005)
Hi, Try Stinson Beach-only about an hour from the East Bay. We went twice last summer with family, had a blast (perfect weather both times, which I think may be unusual). I would particularly recommend any time after Labor Day, although we went Labor Day weekend, and also mid-June last year. There is a rental agency right in town, next to the surf shop, that has virtually any size or shape house you need. Amazingly, once you get over that hill to the Beach it feels like you are hours from any major happenings. Very relaxing! Janice

Beach house rentals

April 2005

It's my 40th birthday and I'd love to have a houseful of friends at a beach (river, ocean, lake) setting within an hour of Berkeley. Am I asking too much? Ideally this house (or cabins?) would have space for a dozen out of town adults w/their kids as our guests for the weekend, and space that would allow for a group of locals to come for the big bash, too. If this doesn't sound like a great way to go do you have any other suggestions? Before kids we would have camped, but with one child still napping sometimes twice a day we can't risk his sleep mix-ups and the ripple effect on us adults. Unless of course you know of a group campsite that is removed enough from the sounds of other campers...Any and all suggestions welcome! Oh, and of course cost is a factor, too. Thanks!

Stinson Beach has rentals. Also along the beach is a development called ''Seadrift'' with larger, fancier (and more expensive) places to rent. Pajaro Dunes halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey is worth a look, although it's closer to 2 hours from the East Bay.
Stinson Beach in west Marin is great, look at to get an idea, there are also links to rental agencies/rental houses in town. With that many people you're probably looking at renting two houses. There's a community center in Stinson that you could rent for a big party (also on the website.)
Re: Weekend getaways near water (March 2003)
Our family rents houses at Stinson Beach at Sea Drift. You can log onto their website You can rent a more affordable house on the lagoon side. Some have 2-3 day rentals and weekly. Ali
Jan 2003

For a weekend getaway with my gal pals, I'd like to rent a large house in Pt. Reyes, Stinson Beach, Muir Beach or another similarly picturesque (and relatively nearby) spot. I'm seeking recommendions for rental agencies dealing with that area. Margaret

To rent a house at Stinson in last June I used Highway One Properties. I found them on the web. The website is very informative w/ photos of the offered properties. They are courteous and helpful. The A frame cottage I rented had 2 bedrooms and a full pull out couch plus a guest cottage out back. That might work for you. It was close to the beach but no view. I think it was One Alameda. There was fresh fruit and baked goods waiting when we arrived. Jessica
We have used Seadrift Realty in Stinson the past two years and have been very happy with their Stinson Beach home rentals. They are pricey, but the locations can't be beat. Here is the link: Beach Lovers
From: Sarah (2/99)

Rental properties at Stinson Beach are handled by Oceanic Realty in Stinson. They can be reached at (415) 868-0717. Good luck!

Rental for Wedding

April 2003

Re: Intimate Wedding Home Rental
I highly recommend looking at Stinson Beach for homes there for your situation. Stinson is a beautiful one-hour drive north of SF, just close enough for local folks to go home but affordable enough to stay over at a local hotel if desired. We rented 3 houses for family & guests, of a variety of sizes and locations (but had the wedding itself on the beach and the party at the community center.) One house we got was right off the beach and definitely big enough that you could fit 25 indoors: it had a deck, large living room/dining area where we had the rehearsal dinner with 40 people sitting on various sofas, small and large tables. Another was on the lagoon side of things and also beautiful. If you can go a bit farther afield, there are also a great variety of vacation rentals at Bodega Bay, Sea Ranch or Mt. Helena, Calistoga/Napa, 2+ hours north. You can usually get referrals to appropriate vacation rentals through the local Chamber of Commerce (Marin county, Sonoma County, Napa County, etc.) Have fun and good luck! Margi

Daytrip to Stinson Beach with Teens

From: Ginger
Date: August 14, 1997

Here is a fun day trip to do with older kids. One day last week I played hooky from work and took my two sons, 12 and 14, to Stinson Beach for the day. We all had a great time. I highly recommend doing this on a summer weekday: being at the beach instead of at work just adds to the pleasure!

Stinson is about 1.5 hours from Berkeley, via 80, 101, and 1. If you haven't visited, it is one of the most popular beaches around. It's a long, broad sandy beach with plenty of restrooms, changing rooms, and a snack bar. We avoided it when the kids were younger because it gets so crowded, and it is not as picturesque as some of the other beaches like Muir, Limentour and Pt. Reyes. However, to a kid, the fun ratio just goes up as the number of people increases on the beach. So my kids like Stinson best now.

We set out at 9:30am - we wanted to get an an early start but also avoid the morning rush hour. (We caught the deadly afternoon traffic on the way home though, between 101 and the Richmond bridge). We brought a cooler with drinks and a bag of cookies but did not go to the trouble of packing a lunch - you can buy a hamburger or hotdog at the snack bar for under $4.

What to bring for the kids: dry clothes, a boogie board & a wetsuit. We have our own but you can rent them at Marin Surf Shop right on the way, as we did for a friend. The boogie board is $8 and wetsuit $10 for the day. That's all you really need for the kids. You can bring them a towel and a chair and books & toys and so on but they will be in the water all day except when they are woofing down hamburgers from the snack bar, and they can sit directly on the sand for that!

What to bring for yourself: a chair, an umbrella, a good book, and some snacks. Just sit back and enjoy yourself - hours of uninterrupted reading in a lovely setting is yours except for the occasional MOM!!! DID YOU SEE THAT WAVE I JUST CAUGHT??!!! but the waves crashing on the shore are loud so you can pretend you didn't hear them. Every once in a while, just look up from your book and smile and give them the thumbs up. Another feature: the ongoing sibling feud disappears at the beach - as soon as their feet hit the sand they love each other and have a great time together. Hmm...

Don't forget to bring sunscreen - even on a foggy day (which we had) they can get burned. The wetsuit will keep them warm though and they will have a great time no matter what the weather is like. Also, as usual around here, come prepared for any kind of weather - a hooded sweatshirt over a T-shirt and shorts over a swimsuit is about right for this time of year.