As Northern California natives, we have a special place in our heart for the beaches here. As the weather gets warmer, we are always ready to pack a bag and escape after a busy week so we can relax at some of our favorite spots. Here are four little known beaches in Northern California we love.

1. Black Sand Beach, Sausalito

This is a local favorite and the ideal retreat after a long week. Amazing views, beautiful black sand, and a short hike down some wooden steps make this a breathtaking option. Super scenic, the beach is surrounded by green hills and a view of the Golden Gate. It is clothing optional so keep that in mind!

2. Marshall’s Beach, San Francisco

This will quickly become your own little gem of peaceful serenity. It’s quiet, less crowded and the perfect place to see the Golden Gate at sunset. Considering the private location, it’s still somewhat easy to get to...Just a short hike down the stairs will take you from the cliff down to the beach.

3. Shell Beach, Jenner

Located in Sonoma County just south of the Russian River, this is a narrow, rocky beach that is known for fantastic tide pools. You can also hike nearby making for a great weekend day trip.

4. San Quentin Beach, Marin County

This little known, smaller beach is tucked beneath the San Rafael Bridge and is not only beautiful, but dog friendly!