North of San Francisco just across the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito is a small city with great views of the Bay and plenty of opportunities for pool and ocean swimming. Whether you want to check out a nude beach or swim laps at the local swimming and tennis club, Sausalito and neighboring Mill Valley offer plenty of wet and wild summer fun.
A great place for Sausalito locals and vacationers alike, Rodeo Beach is part of Fort Cronkhite National Park (no website; Bunker Road/Mitchell Road, Sausalito; 415-331-1540). Part of the Marin Headlands, the scenic Rodeo Beach offers surfing, swimming, beachcombing for seafloor-shaped green and dark-red pebbles, or just relaxing by the sea. The park also offers beachside cliff trails, a Marine Mammal Center, camping sites and World War II and Korean War bunker relics.
Mill Valley Aquatics and Fitness Center
If you have been craving a lap swim or just want to play on the water slides, the Mill Valley Aquatics and Fitness Center (no website; 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley; 415-383-1370) is just a 10-minute drive northwest of Sausalito. The pool is open daily and offers swim lessons, private pool parties, exercise classes such as water aerobics and splashball, and even water slides. Pool features include a retractable roof, 15-person spa area, a three-lane main pool and a swimming cove and ADA access.
Scott Valley Swimming & Tennis Club
If competitive swimming or water polo floats your boat, the Scott Valley Swimming & Tennis Club (svstc.com) is located just 15 minutes north of Sausalito in Mill Valley. Scott Valley's competition-sized swimming pool is open daily and offers year-round swim and water polo teams, swim lessons, private pool parties, a kiddie pool, diving area and spa. To use the Scott Valley aquatics complex or adjacent tennis club and fitness center, you will need to apply for club membership.
For the nude swimmers out there, Sausalito offers three nude (or nude-friendly) beaches within the city limits: West Bonita Beach, South Rodeo Beach and Black Sound Beach, which are all off-the-beaten-trail beaches off Conzelman Road. West Bonita is a small beach that disappears when the tide goes out, but will accommodate a 50/50 mix of around 20 or so nude and non-nude swimmers. Black Sand is a 12-to-15-foott-wide cove with plenty of rocky alcove shelters for shyer swimmers. South Rodeo Beach is also frequented by nudists, but not for the swimming, as the water in the west-facing cove is generally too cold. Beach trails to all three beaches can be treacherous, and watch for heavy winds and undertow in the water
- Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy: Fort Cronkhite
- City of Mill Valley: Aquatics and Fitness Center
- Scott Valley Swimming and Tennis Club: Membership
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: Nude Beaches - West Bonita Beach
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: Nude Beaches - Black Sand Beach
- San Francisco Bay Guardian: Nude Beaches - South Rodeo Beach
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