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Posts Tagged ‘Miwok Beach’

Our toddler loved running around these rocks at Miwok Beach

This summer we spent several weekends exploring this beautiful, but often gloomy, coastline. Before we left, we found it hard to get much useful information about the beaches along the way. Which is a shame for two reasons: the beaches are gorgeous and the beaches are very varied.  Some are sandy, some rocky; some have plentiful, free parking while others charge a fee; and some have child-friendly surf and at others the tide patterns make even paddling a little risky. To save you driving along the coastline filled with anxiety that there is a better beach just around the next headland, I thought I would review our two favourite and, in our view, most toddler-friendly spots.

Miwok Beach

Miwok Beach: A great spot for crawling into the surf

This beautiful, sandy expanse lies just North of Bodega Bay.  The official car park is usually full (it seems to be a favorite surfing spot with the locals) but you can park for free along highway 1 and climb down to the beach.  The beach itself is long and usually feels empty, apart from the driftwood, seaweed and jellyfish that litter the tide line (this all makes it an interesting toddler beach).  Unlike some places along this coast, the beach slopes gently into the surf, making it an excellent spot for paddling when the sun comes out.  Plus, at low tide, there are some great clambering rocks for pre-school age kids.

There are  bathrooms in the official parking lot, but the beach has few other amenities — no cliff top picnic tables, BBQ spots etc

 

Goat Rock Beach

Goat Rock and the site of the old quarry

Every time we visit Goat Rock Beach it’s always cloudy and windy, but I assume the weather there is sometimes nice.  It’s a great beach to explore however.  In addition to the sand and driftwood, there is a seal colony that can easily be viewed from the shore and the remains of the old railway that used to take quarried stone from the Goat Rock headland to the southern end of the beach for transportation by sea.  Goat Rock itself used to be part of the headland until the old quarry was built.  Tracks in the sand are all that remain of this sizable industrial project now, and kids can enjoy playing detective on the beach following the old railway line.

Looking North towards the seal colony

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