Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cheap Saturday in the Sun: Day trip to McNear's Beach!

Nic and I stayed in San Francisco for labor day weekend but we were determined to get out of the fog and lay out in the sun on Saturday. Luckily San Francisco's bizarre fog patches generally extend to city limits so we had to drive only 30 minutes across the Golden Gate to sunny Marin for 75 degrees and blue skies.

I had spent a little time on Yelp looking for free/cheap/sunny places to go and had come across McNear's Beach --- a public park in San Rafael with a $10 parking fee. McNear's beach park extends along the water with a small sandy beach, spacious and clean green lawns, lots of picnic areas, a pretty clean pool with lifeguards, plenty of bathrooms and two nice tennis courts. There is also a small snackbar where you can buy the essentials. You know, like ice cream pops, soda and redvines :)

We brought a huge towel to lie on, our crazy creek chairs, some cold ice tea, the world's best sandwich for Nic and a salad version of it for me.

If you haven't made this sandwich yet, try it and you can simplify it as I did this time by subbing the dressing mixture with pre-made pesto + olive oil, capers and a little anchovie paste. You can make it a "salad version" by just baking all the ingredients and cheese in a pot or pyrex sans bread :)

The park was full of families and groups of friends BBQ-ing and enjoying the weather but it did not feel overly crowded or loud. We even saw some people drive in with their kayaks on their car and then paddle off from the beach.

We would definitely go back to this park for a chill day in the sun - maybe try it sometime with a few friends, a football and a cooler full of beer :) We will also bring our tennis racquets since no one was using the great looking courts! It's a great place to escape the SF fog for a while, take a good nap or bring little kids.

One note - No dogs! We have been dogsitting this awesome guy all weekend --- and we had to leave him home for the afternoon!

For all the details, directions and reviews on McNear's Beach click here.

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