The Story of The Adventures
Best San Francisco Bay Beach for Families
Our Adventure this week is a quick trip to Novato, Ca. A short 25 minutes from the San Francisco Bay, 30 minutes from the ocean. When we’re in Novato, our favorite jaunt to dip our toes in the salt water is Muir Beach. We like our beaches to be easily accessible (we’re packing in cameras, kids, food, beach toys, shovels, towels & blankets) not too windy (a huge factor on the Northern California Coastline where said blankets end up being wrapped around us for warmth more often than they are laid upon for sun bathing) and last but not least, hubby and I ADORE viewing the ocean from nice and high bluffs. It’s like gazing into crackling fire… the perfect meditation (print one or two of these quick ocean inspired meditations out and have it in your pocket, read them out loud to the beating of the waves, then just breath the wisdom in).
Muir Beach Overlook
Muir has it all. We start at the Muir Beach Overlook , drink in the salt sea air, watch the sea gulls and, if our timing is right we eat our lunch so we don’t have to haul it to the beach. While we’re there we either walk the short trail (perfect length for toddlers) around the park and climb the very photogenic trees, or walk down the peak of the cliffs to the lookout and listen to the crashing of the waves surrounded by sheer drop offs. Heaven.
Once we’ve had our fill of bluffs at the Overlook, down to the beach we go. It’s just a short drive around the Hwy 1 bends. Use of the newly renovated bathrooms and we’re ready for a wonderful time with sand in our toes. During the 2014 renovation they are restoring the wetlands prior to entering the beach and have put in a wonderfully wide open trail to replace the soggy Indiana Jones jungle one there used to be. It’s quite nice, though we do miss that feeling that we would be wrapped tightly by a swinging Anaconda at any moment and the terrifying buzz of mosquitoes sharpening their lips for the feeding upon our arrival.
Down at the beach the sand is divine, the bluffs are lovely to look at, loaded ships can be seen going in and out of the San Francisco Bay, fog horns can be heard, it’s just a short walk to see tons of starfish in the tide pools when the tide is down or walk the other direction and explore the rocks as the beach comes to a close and turns back into cliffs. This beach is not too crowded (especially not on weekdays) and we love spending the last half of the day playing frisbee and building sand castles in between chasing the waves. Before we had little people in toe the Muir Beach/Coastal Trail was a delightful addition to our salty toes where we could drink in miles and miles of ocean views while burning some calories and building some muscles.
Family Portraits at the Beach
This trip we’ll be swapping taking family beach pictures with the friends we’ll be staying with. So, we are all packed up with fresh preppy sweaters and jeans in differing shades of fall colors to pose on the beach. We hope to capture the reds and oranges of the sunset with the blues of the ocean waves to tie all our sweaters together. This will be our Christmas picture (we’ll include it in on this post when it’s ready) and we’ll all be happy to have it done before it’s even November! And, never was there a happier family than the Quandt Family on the beach, so we certainly won’t have to worry about fussy faces or forced smiles!
Family Portrait Misshaps
One of the biggest troubles we have with family photos is that mom always picks out awesome clothes and then the children are cranky for the pictures because they hate anything NEW! Grrrrr… Well, this year, mom has learned. Everyone has already worn their picture clothes and they have been approved! Nothing new or unexpected. We’re good to go.
Joyful trip to the beach with friends for Family Pictures, here we come!
Leave us a comment below about YOUR family’s favorite beach and how you make your trips wonderful.
UPDATE: Well, we had a mishap with a little nephew who had a run in with his forehead and the emergency room and our beach photos got moved into the house due to time constraints. You just can’t plan for everything! Our pictures certainly didn’t suffer though… here are our favorites…