Sunnyvale is a fun place to live and visit. It’s full of sunshine and interesting people. It’s also very close to San Diego so there is always something to do. Unfortunately, though, this part of the San Francisco bay is not a good place for beaches. So what are your best options when it comes to beaches near Sunnyvale, CA?
Your best bet is simply driving to the coast. There are some truly amazing beaches nearby and we’ve picked out our 7 favorites. Ranging from busy beach havens to secluded spots, there is something for every type of traveler.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to drive if you want to reach these places. Sometimes quite a lot actually. Regardless, we’ve tried to keep everything within 1 hour of driving so you can concentrate on relaxing and swimming and not on the drive itself.
1. San Gregorio State Beach
Distance: 44 miles – 50 mins
San Gregorio State Beach is a great spot to visit. With its great sand and picnic areas, it’s perfect for a day out with friends or family.
The waves crashing against the fine sand always make for a pretty scene, but unfortunately, this beach is not great for swimming. The currents are way too strong and dangerous if you are not careful. We recommend this beach for relaxing and taking in the scenery.
One of the highlights is the dramatic cliffside facing the beach, with plenty of caves to explore and a small hike available for an epic vista. There is plenty of parking available, however, it does cost $8 to park.
We love this beach near Sunnyvale. It’s such a laid-back place.
2. Pomponio State Beach
Distance: 46 miles – 55 mins
Pomponio State Beach is in the same area as the previous beach, but it is not nearly as crowded. It boasts beautiful scenery all around you and the fine sand under your toes is a joy to experience.
This beach is one of the best for walking around, with plenty of hikes available. For those that want to spend some time at the beach, the cost to park is only $8.
It is important to note that the currents in this area are too strong for safe swimming. This beach is ideal for those that want to take in the scenery and enjoy some peacefulness
3. Martin’s Beach
Distance: 40 miles – 45 mins
Martin’s Beach is renowned for its beautiful sand, big beach area, and famous sharkfin-shaped rock. It is a great place to explore tide pools and the beach is usually less crowded than other places in the area.
You’ll often find surfers riding the waves here, adding to the atmosphere. The beach is located pretty far away from big towns so it feels very remote and very rustic. The only downside is that there is a $10 fee to park at the beach.
4. Tunitas Beach
Distance: 40 miles – 45 mins
Tunitas Beach is an amazing beach that is surrounded by hills and cliffs, making it very hard to get down to. Getting down requires the use of a rope to navigate the steep incline, and the same goes for getting back up.
It’s a super remote beach, so you won’t be running into a lot of people here. If you’re looking for a place to have all to yourself, this is the beach to visit. The crystal clear waters, golden sand, and stunning views make Tunitas Beach a truly special place though.
We love this place but the difficulty to access and the remote nature might not be for everyone. This is one of those super secluded beaches near Sunnyvale that you can visit and not meet anyone else at all.
5. Half Moon Bay
Distance: 35 miles – 40 mins
Half Moon Bay is a famous beach spot in this area. There are multiple beaches here but let’s just get them under one point because it’s essentially accessed from the same area.
These beaches are always full of life. Some of them allow for dogs and even horses. If you are looking for a horseriding excursion along the coast then this is also your best place.
You can go fishing, walk in the sand, or take in the views. Half Moon Bay’s town is also a great place to grab a bite when you go hungry. Being one of the more popular places along the coast means there are plenty of restaurants and bars that you can choose from.
6. Mavericks Beach
Distance: 38 miles – 45 mins
Technically part of the Half Moon Bay beaches area but we want to mention Mavericks Beach as on its own as well.
Why? Because Mavericks Beach is one of the most famous surfing spots in the world. It offers some of the biggest waves in the whole world during certain weather conditions. As such this beach attracts visitors from all over the world.
Even if you are not big on surfing this beach is a great visit. You can watch surfers of all kinds attempt to ride the epic waves.
Having such a world-famous beach near Sunnyvale offers a good opportunity for a visit.
7. Gazos Creek State Beach
Distance: 55 miles – 1 hour
Gazos Creek State Beach is a peaceful and quiet place for anyone looking for a great beach experience. It features a big beach with a small parking lot and portable bathrooms. There is free parking though so that’s a big plus.
On the beach, you can find tons of birds, and lots of big rocks and boulders in the sand, creating a unique place to visit.