Beach days are important to me and my wellbeing. I grew up near the Pacific, along the Southern California Bite, and I’ve always found peace gazing into the waves, watching the ebb and flow.
When I moved to the Bay Area in 2012, I realized that I would no longer have the same beach experience, despite still being near the Pacific. The water is colder, the coast windier, and the ocean itself on the other side of the bay (and bay coast and water are even more different).
In an effort to find what I was missing, I went to several beaches along the peninsula, and Ocean Beach in San Francisco, and Stinson Beach, which is always overcrowded and plagued by traffic. I needed a new beach, and I found Limantour, in Inverness, CA.
I came for the first time, last year. I came in the day, and in the night, and when the weather was bad and when it was good.
Though further away from home than Stinson Beach, I enjoyed the drive more. And though you don’t pull up to the beach, I enjoy the walk through the estuary, across the bridge, and over the sand dunes. Not only does it feel like a bit more on an adventure, but it builds anticipation and keeps the crowds low.
A busy day on Limantour is not that busy, which is high on the list of reasons why I love it. But I also love that you can watch whales from the coastline while you picnic; you can see (or ride) horses up and down the beach face; you can sprawl out, or tuck up in the dunes (ideal if it’s windy); you can dig up sand crabs as the waves pull out – this was one of my favorite beach activities when I was a little girl; you can find sand dollars scattered along the edge of the tide, and sometimes even a live one.
When I need the Pacific to restore my being, when I need to take care of myself, I go to Limantour, I bring a blanket and a snack and pad of paper, and I live again.
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
PROS: Low crowds, restrooms, dog and horse friendly
CONS: Limited parking (though it doesn’t often fill up), winding drive (con for those with motion sickness…)