Distance from SF: 19 miles; 40-minute drive and 1.5 mile hike
Yup, you read that right. If you want to indulge in the spoils of this secluded pocket beach, you’re going to have to hike to get there. But, like, only 1.5 miles, which really is more of a light... no, it’s totally a hike. But it's worth it. You’ll start at Muir Beach, where you’ll take the fire road up for three-fourths of a mile until you reach the crest of the trail, where you’ll stop and take a gorgeous pic. From there, you’ll be able to see Pirates Cove, so it’s just a matter of making your way down to the beach via a steep and rocky trail. Fun fact: the beach was a staging area for bootleggers in the 1920s. (However, you’ll need to BYOB.) This is another dog-friendly beach to visit at low tide, when you’ll be able to see starfish and barnacles and sea anemones.