Stinson Beach and its 3.5 miles of sandy oceanfront are very popular during summer. Part of the beach is maintained by the National Park Service, which provides volleyball equipment free of charge, runs a snack bar (open in summer) through a concessionaire, and staffs several lifeguard towers between late May and mid-September. A wooden path with a large...
Stinson Beach and its 3.5 miles of sandy oceanfront are very popular during summer. Part of the beach is maintained by the National Park Service, which provides volleyball equipment free of charge, runs a snack bar (open in summer) through a concessionaire, and staffs several lifeguard towers between late May and mid-September. A wooden path with a large viewing deck leads over 100 feet to the high tide line. A beach wheelchair is available if you call ahead.
For a great view of the beach in a partially enclosed deck head over to the Siren Canteen at the base of the main lifeguard tower. The path up to the café is steeper than 1:12 (the ratio of a ramp that meets accessibility codes) but it is easily manageable in a motorized wheelchair; there is very limited accessible seating at the tables.
Across the entrance road from the central parking lot, a short path and bridge over a creek (cracked asphalt can make this difficult to negotiate) lead to a nearby snack bar and restaurant, and, one block east, to the town's shops, restaurants, galleries, and small grocery store. There are no sidewalks and many of the businesses have steps.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Two beach wheelchairs (not self-operated) are available to loan but you must make prior arrangements to get the code to the locker where it is stored by the accessible parking spaces in the center parking lot. Reserve calling the accessibility program manager at 415-561-4958 or emailing via the NPS website: http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/beach-wheelchairs.htm
If you haven’t made a reservation and a lifeguard is on duty (May to mid-September), they may be able to retrieve it.
The park has three paved lots that all have designated accessible spaces. The center lot is the closest to the beach access pathway.
Accessible restrooms and changing rooms are by the northernmost and central parking lots; the turnaround space may be tight in the stalls near the central lot because of a bench inside the stall.
Accessible tables are at the center parking lot, between the northern and center lot and at the southernmost end; there is one table that has several wheelchair spaces .
Other Things of Interest
If you're planning to drive to Stinson Beach, consider taking the Panoramic Highway as an alternative to Highway 1. This is an exhilarating ride: The road climbs and winds along the side of Mount Tamalpais, through rolling meadows and forest, then descends steeply into Stinson Beach. The views are so breathtaking it's hard to keep your eyes on the road.