Crown Beach Ultimate Guide

Crown beach is one of our cities best kept secrets. This is a favorite for lots of local parents. My kids will play on the beach for an entire day and never get tired.  This is our local’s guide to Crown Beach with kids or without.  A 2.5 mile beach with sand dunes and bicycle trail. This is a city favorite.

Cool things to do at Crown Beach

1. Build a sandcastle
2. Eat a picnic lunch
3. Play in the low tide pool
4. Watch the sunset
5. Windsurf
6. Ride bikes
7. Fly a kite
8. Put up a beach tent
9. Paddle board
10. Collect Shells
11. Read a book
12. Wade out in low tide
13. Ride the small waves at high tide (kids need supervision although it is not very deep)


Girls on the beach collecting shells. This photo was taken at 3:30 pm on a summer day.

Crown Beach Map (full pdf)

The beach itself is very long, so there will be lots of options for you to settle in.  Check out this pdf which will show you the beach route and parking.


Great map of Crown Beach photo:

Where should we go?

Toddlers: There is a reason you see lots of toddlers by the Westline street parking below Washington park. The reason is that the water is shallow so little kids can dig and scoop.
Curious Kids: Venture just past Crown Beach on foot to Crab Cove visitors center and tide pools.
Teenagers & Adults: There is more food to buy (Mod Pizza, Chipoltle, Sushi House) and bikes to rent if you park closer to Southshore. We see lots of families camping out for the day in that area. This side is also next to the bird sanctuary for a stroll.
Joggers: Start at Southshore and your jog can go all the way to crab cove. Joggers, strollers and bikes are welcome.
Dogs: You can walk the path along the beach and enjoy the views. Catch the dog park at the top of Washington Park along the way.

What to rent?

Bicycles: Pedal Beach Rentals
Kiteboards: Boardsports California
Paddle Board: Mikes Paddle (Ballena Bay)
Picnic Table for Parties: Parks and Rec

Just a few tips for your beach day

  • Bring your sand toys for little ones (I know that’s pretty obvious!). The water is shallow so many kids love to refill their water and create big castles or pools.
  • Park off Westline or near Southshore center for easy access to Crown Beach.  Sometimes Westline has a cash only parking fee.
  • Bigger kids may love to windsurf or paddle board. Call (415) 385-1224 for information.
  • No boats and no dogs on the beach
  • Pack a picnic lunch!  The kids will want to stay so bring drinks and food to share. Don’t forget a trash bag and hand wipes.
  • There are concerts and the annual sand castle building contest.
  • To reserve a picnic table for a party, you must go through the parks department. If it is free you can use it.
  • Bring your camera to take wildlife and beach photos of the kiddos
  • The mornings are low tide, so it is great for scooping and sand castling. Toddlers are so easy at this time.  Afternoons have a few feet of waves, so it can be more fun if you want to get in.  Check the tides.
  • There is a place to rinse off before hoping in the car to go home if you park in the 8th street lot. It is near the bathrooms.
  • There are snacks and food at Southshore or there is a little market on 8th street
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen, chairs, blankets, towels and a book to read!

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