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ABOUT THE LOCATION | Bay Area Beaches | Bay Area Photographers


Half Moon Bay Beach Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

We LOVE taking beach photos! There's something so calming about being at the beach and getting your photos taken there reflects that! It adds a touch of whimsical/romantic flare to your photos. We're always on the hunt for great beach spots but here are a few that we love so far!


 

SEACLIFF STATE BEACH

Aptos, CA

Seacliff State Beach Santa Cruz Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

PARKING

There is a parking fee to park in the Seacliff Beach Parking lot but we like to park in the Rio Del Mar parking area and walk to the Seacliff Pier. We suggest if you have trouble walking to pay to park inside the Seacliff Parking as it is a bit of a walk from the Rio Del Mar Parking Lot.


FEES

Entrance/ Parking fee is $10 to park at the Seacliff Parking Lot. Travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There are available restrooms next to the Rio Del Mar parking lot or further along the beach.


ACCESSIBILITY

There are stairs that lead to the beach but is generally flat and not too strenuous. There is parking right near the beach which is good for easy access.


PETS

Pets are welcome at this beach!


DOWNSIDES

There are times when the beach can be a bit cluttered as it is a widely used beach. We try to stay near the shoreline as there are less footprints and signs of use.

*Due to the heavy rainfall and storms in 2021-2022, the Seacliff Pier was destroyed and the ship receded.


SPRING AT SEACLIFF


Seacliff State Beach Santa Cruz Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

WINTER AT SEACLIFF


 

SHARK FIN COVE

Davenport, CA

Sharkfin Cove Davenport Santa Cruz Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

PARKING

There is no parking lot for this location, but street parking along the freeway.


FEES

There are no entrance or parking fees, but a required permit fee for weddings. Travel fees apply.


ACCESSIBILITY

To get to the overlooking cliffs is not a trek, but there is a steep cliff to walk down to get to the beach.


PETS

We don't suggest this for your fur babies as there are cliffs, steep inclines and wildlife throughout the area.


DOWNSIDES

It is a trek to get down to the beach and may be difficult for the non-adventurous of spirit. ;)



SUMMER AT SHARK FIN COVE


 

NATURAL BRIDGES

Santa Cruz, CA

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PARKING

We usually park along the street leading up to the beach, but if you prefer the parking lot it is $10 fee.


FEES

Parking costs $10. Travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There are available bathrooms next to the parking lot or at the bottom of the beach.


ACCESSIBILITY

There is a steep sandy hill to trek down in order to get to the beach.


PETS

Pets are not allowed at this beach.


DOWNSIDES

It's a pretty popular beach and can tricky to find street parking as well as clear areas to photograph without distractions. We suggest having a shoot here on a weekday.


FALL AT NATURAL BRIDGES


 

BONNY DUNE BEACH

Santa Cruz, CA

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PARKING

There is parking along the freeway to the beach.


FEES

There are no fees. Travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There are no restrooms at this beach.


ACCESSIBILITY

In order to get to the beach you have to walk down a steep hill, but other than that it is easily accessible.


PETS

This is a pet-friendly beach!


DOWNSIDES

There are no bathrooms for this beach location.

This is considered a nudist beach, so we keep an eye out for that and steer clear if there are any because we don't want them in your photos for obvious reasons. ;)


SUMMER AT BONNY DUNE

Bonny Dune Engagement Couple Photo Session Santa Cruz Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

Half Moon Bay

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PARKING

Parking is free but very limited. If parking lot is full, you can park at the Hyatt Hotel which has limited extra parking down the street.


FEES

Travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There is one portable restroom along the pathway to the beach.


ACCESSIBILITY

There are stairs that lead down to the beach as well as a bit of a walk to get to the beach.

There are porta-potties near the parking lot.


PETS

No pets are allowed


DOWNSIDES

Very limited parking so a weekday shoot would work best for this location.


FALL AT MANHATTAN BEACH


 

COWELL RANCH STATE BEACH

Half Moon Bay

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PARKING

The parking lot has limited space but you can park along the road if it's full.


FEES

Travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There is one unisex bathroom next to the parking lot.


ACCESSIBILITY

It is about a 10min walk to get to the actual beach as well as a very steep set of stairs to go down. Still manageable for kids but may take a lot of time to get to the beach.

There are bathrooms located at the parking lot.


PETS

No dogs are allowed at the beach.


DOWNSIDES

It is a bit of a walk to get to the beach as well as the parking lot can be full during weekends.


WINTER AT COWELL RANCH

Half Moon Bay Cowell Ranch Beach Couple Engagement Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

 

SEABRIGHT BEACH

Santa Cruz

Seabright Beach Santa Cruz Family Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

PARKING

There is street parking, or there is the option of parking in the lot next to the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor,

which costs $1.25 per hour.


FEES

Travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There are available bathrooms along the beach, or at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor parking lot.


ACCESSIBILITY

Parking and beach access is available at the west end of East Cliff Drive near Alhambra Avenue,

Mott Avenue and at the end of 3rd Avenue. There's a set of stairs to walk down to the beach.


PETS

Dogs are allowed on a leash on the north side of the Santa Cruz Harbor.


DOWNSIDES

It may be crowded on weekends so we recommend scheduling your photoshoot on a weekday.


SPRING AT SEABRIGHT

Seabright Beach Santa Cruz Family Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset


 

RODEO BEACH AND LAGOON

Marin Headlands

Rodeo Beach and Lagoon Couple Engagement Photoshoot Bay Area Photographers beach golden hour sunset

PARKING

There is a large parking lot but gets very crowded on weekends.


FEES

There are no entrance or parking fees.

Additional travel and toll fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There are available bathrooms next to the parking lot, but they are far from the beach.


ACCESSIBILITY

Rodeo Beach is located in the Marin Headlands and is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This makes it a stone's throw from the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. There are accessible bathrooms.


PETS

Dogs are welcome and can run off leash on the beach.


DOWNSIDES

It gets very crowded on weekends which causes limited parking and traffic.

We recommend scheduling your photoshoot on a weekday.


WINTER AT RODEO BEACH


 

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA BEACH

Carmel,CA

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At the foot of Ocean Avenue, Carmel Beach is one of the most iconic spots on California's Central Coast and is rated "One of America's Top Beach Towns." It is next to the Pebble Beach golf course, and has an amazing view of the Monterey Bay. It is a perfect location for sunset photos!

PARKING

Look for a parking space at the road's end. On busy days you'll have to search for a parking spot along Scenic Road or one of the other streets near the water.

FEES

There are no entrance or parking fees.

Additional travel fees apply.


RESTROOMS

There are available bathrooms next to the parking lot.

ACCESSIBILITY

There is a set of stairs that allows you to access the beach, or you can walk down the sand hill.

PETS

Dogs are welcome and can run off leash on the beach.

DOWNSIDES

It gets very crowded on weekends which causes limited parking and traffic.

We recommend scheduling your photoshoot on a weekday.


SUMMER AT CARMEL


 

ROCKAWAY BEACH

Pacifica,CA



Rockaway Beach is a small beach located south of the Pacifica Pier along the Pacific Coast Highway. Its narrow strand, crashing surf and dramatic headlands makes it a popular walking, dining, shopping and hotel destination. It is known for it's quaint beachfront hotels, restaurants and shops.

PARKING

Parking is free, but is small and limited. It can be tricky to find the parking lot so keep an eye out for the street to turn on. You can google it by "Rockaway Beach Parking", and it is located behind the Fairmont Hotel.

FEES

There are no entrance or parking fees.

Additional travel fees apply.

RESTROOMS

There are available bathrooms next to the parking lot.


ACCESSIBILITY

There is an accessible pathway to walk down to get to the beach that is not far from the parking lot.

PETS

Dogs are welcome and can run off leash on the beach.

DOWNSIDES

Because it is a popular tourist destination, it may get crowded on weekends. It can be a bit difficult finding the parking lot.


WINTER AT ROCKAWAY



SPRING AT ROCKAWAY


FALL AT ROCKAWAY



MARSHALL'S BEACH COASTAL CLIFFS

San Francisco,CA

Across from the San Francisco Presidio are the Marshall's Beach Coastal Cliffs, which provide a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you're game for hiking and having an adventure for breathtaking photos of the San Francisco Bay, then this location is for you!

PARKING

Parking is free, but small and limited. You can park at the Langdon Court parking lot just off Lincoln Boulevard near the Golden Gate Overlook. Be sure to not leave any valuables in your car.

FEES

There are no entrance or parking fees.

Additional travel fees apply.

RESTROOMS

There are no restrooms.


ACCESSIBILITY

There is an accessible pathway to walk down to get to the beach that is not far from the parking lot, but is very long and taxing. Walking downhill is easier than walking uphill, and it's not a mild trek--but is still well worth it! If you're not wanting to walk down the cliffs, there are still many options for photos that are a mild walk from the parking lot, that also gives a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.

PETS

We don't recommend bringing your pet as it's a steep walk down to the cliffs.


DOWNSIDES

Because it is a popular tourist destination, it may get crowded on weekends. It can also be a hotspot for car theft, so make sure to not leave any valuables in your car. The walk down the cliffs can be taxing and is steep, and is about a 30 minute trek down to the first overlook of the bridge. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing drinking water. There are also no restrooms, which can be challenging for families with young children.

Also, because the weather in San Francisco is unpredictable and is normally foggy and windy, don't have high expectations to have the SF Golden Gate Bridge visible in your photos. ;-)


FALL AT MARSHALL'S BEACH CLIFFS