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The Campanile

The best (relatively local) beaches

Photo by Celia Frahn

What does warm weather, summer right around the corner and a friend willing to drive route 92 (or 17) make? The recipe for a perfect beach day. Whether you surf regularly, want to pack a picnic with friends or just want to escape the stress of school, who doesn’t love to go to the beach? But before you start to drive in the wrong direction, here’s a list of the best beaches in the Bay and what to do once you’re there.


Montara State Beach

Forty minutes away and perfect for a picturesque sunset picnic, Montara is an excellent spot to spend a day with friends. I’d recommend stopping by downtown Half Moon Bay and picking up snacks before  continuing on. 


Miramar/Mirada Surf Beach 

Miramar beach is a 30-minute drive from Paly, and possibly the most convenient beach on this list to get to. Right across from a skate park Miramar is usually packed with surfers, but if you manage to find parking, you’re sure to be able to watch or catch a few waves. 


Pleasure Point 

Pleasure Point is a 50-minute drive from Paly and according to junior Olivia Milne, it’s the best nearby place to go surfing. If you’re going to the point for pleasure (pun intended) rather than sport, you can still enjoy the water from the lookout above or sit by the water below and watch the surfers. 


Poplar Beach 

A 30 minute drive away, Poplar Beach is a consistent standby beach. Usually packed with families on weekends, Poplar is a great spot to hang out at. Make sure to pack a spikeball net or a good book, and enjoy the views.  


Ocean Beach

Almost an hour drive, Ocean Beach has a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge, classic San Francisco fog and more than enough space to stretch your legs. Everything about Ocean Beach is perfect — save the time commitment. Attempting a trip to Ocean Beach is a full-day endeavor, but, if you give it a chance, you can create a lovely beach day there. 


A classic drive up highway one

The last, and possibly the most quintessential beach trip, is a spontaneous one. I leave you with one more idea — just get in the car and go. Grab your snacks and drive over to Half Moon Bay or up Highway One until you find the perfect spot for the day. 

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