Marin Boating / Water Activities

Marin County, California

 Marin is a pennisula surrounded by the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  Connected via the famous Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco, Marin visitors can expect to see water.  Because of the San Francisco Bay, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, and the Pacific Ocean influence, loads of water activites can be found here, to do, all year round.  Learning about the San Francisco Bay is important as well, it influences so much of what we do and see here.  Swells and currents attract surfers and boaters, awe visitors.  Boating and yachting is a favorite on the SF Bay, currently it is the site of Sailings America's Cup!  But the fun doesn't have to be so serious.   Locals enjoy many different water diversions, from Surfing, to Fishing, or tide exploring.  Lets take a look at the things you can do here by the water!  

Boating under the Golden Gate Bridge towards Marin County, California

Quck Link Menu (or just scroll down for information):

San Francisco Bay Tide Information:  Its important to get tide info before setting out on the water!

Water parks:

These 2 water parks are HUGE, not in Marin County, but worth mentioning and nearby:

  • Six Flags, Vallejo (20mins from Marin Vista House!).
  • Water World, Concord (40mins).

Museums that feature Water:

  • Bay Area Discovery Museum

    557 McReynolds Road,  Sausalito, CA 94965   #415.339.3900

At Fort Baker, between Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge. "The Bay Area Discovery Museum uses the concept of 'home' for exploring the natural and cultural environments of the Bay Area - from distinctive landscape elements and natural habitats to artistic traditions. The curriculum encourages environmental stewardship, which is threaded throughout the Museum through its interactive exhibitions and programs."

  • Bay Model Visitor's Center

2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965  #415.332.3871

The Bay Model is an amazing scale model of the bay, complete with flowing water. It was built to study the effects of proposed changes to the bay, and it continues to be used occasional for this purpose.

Beaches of Marin:

Marina's on the Bay:  For full boating list/ resource:

  • Marin County:
    • Sausalito Marina's: (15 minutes from Marin Retreat Vacation Home)
      • Schoonmaker Point Marina, 85 Liberty Ship Way # 205,  Sausalito (415) 331-5550 , fun sandy beach on the bay with cafe, Kayak rental!
  •  Richardson Bay Marina, 100 Gate 6 Road, Sausalito - (415) 332-5510  boat launch
  • Marina Plaza Harbor, 2320 Marinship Way # 160, Sausalito (415) 332-4723
  • Clipper Yacht Harbor-Pintail, Harbor Dr,  Sausalito, California (415) 332-3500  
  • San Rafael Marina: (7 minutes from Marin Vista House)
    • Loch Lomond Marina , 110 Loch Lomond Drive, San Rafael  (415) 454-7228 - Sail camp, lessons, etc...
  • Marina's of San Francisco: (20 min's from Marin Vista House)
    • St Francisc Yacht Club, 700 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123  (415) 563-6363; Great for weddings/large celebrations - great views!
    • Golden Gate Yacht Club, 1 Yacht Rd, San Francisco, California 94123  (415) 346-2628


Ayala Cove


Ayala Cove is not really a marina, but it offers marina-like docks for day use. Moorings may be used overnight.

Access: Ayala Cove is on the north side of Angel Island. Enter between the ferry dock and the moorings.

Guest Berths: $10/day; must vacate by sunset. Moorings are $20/night from May 15 to September 15 and $15/night the rest of the year


Windsurfing / Kayaking / Stand-up paddle:


  • Stinson Beach (Skimming/Surfing):  Fantastic beach for skimming.  Great long stretches available.  Surfing is nice, great for beginners. Current is mostly on the mild side.
  • Sausalito (Skimming/Surfing):  Nice beach on the bay.  Great for canoing, kayaking, and sailing.  Skimming is possible as well.  :)
  • Rodeo/Cronkite Beach (Surfing):  Great surfing.  Waves can be awesome.
  • Bolinas (Surfing):  Great surfing.  Waves can be awesome.

Marin's Public Swimming Pools : * Though update at time of posting (2014), please call before you go to verify times/hours!

These pools are open to the public and offer drop-in recreational swim hours for families.

San Rafael

  • Terra Linda Community Pool  (6mins from home!) (Serene setting- toddler fountain area-seemless great pool. Picnic.)
    670 Del Ganado Road, San Rafael  (415) 485-3344
    Open April 6–October 9 (times vary in spring and fall)
    Spring hours (April 6-June 14): Monday–Friday 1:30–6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am–6 pm
    Summer hours (after June 14): Monday–Friday noon–6:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am–7 pm
    Drop-in fees:
    Adult San Rafael residents 16 and older $5, 15 years and under $4
    Non-residents $9 and $7


  • Marinwood Community Center Pool  (7mins from home - Fun waterslides!)
    775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael
    (415) 479-2335
    Open March 24–October 10
    Spring schedule (March 23–June 14): Monday–Friday 1:30–4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am–5 pm
    Summer schedule (June 14-July 12): Monday–Friday 1 to 5:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am–6 pm
    Drop-in fees:
    Marinwood residents: youths 18 and under and seniors 60+ $5, adults $6
    Non-residents: youths 18 and under and seniors $6, adults $7


  • McNear’s Beach Pool (8 min drive from Marin Vacation Home) (huge grass fields/Picnic&BBQ) 
    201 Cantera Way, San Rafael  (415) 446-4424
    Open May 29–September  10 am–6 pm daily
    Drop-in fee:  Swimming pool fee is $4.00 per person


  • College of Marin:

    • Kentfield Campus Pool

Mill Valley

  • Mill Valley Community Center Pool (12mins from home) (Fun!  Indoor Pool.  Hot tub.  Huge waterslide!!)
    180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley  (415) 383-1370
    Open June 22–August 16  Monday–Friday 1:30–4:30 pm, Saturday andSunday 12:30–4:45 pm
    Drop-in Fees:
    Mill Valley residents: youth (2–18) $5, adults (19–59) $7, seniors (60+) $6
    Non-residents: Youth $6, adult $8, seniors $7


  • College of Marin: Indian Valley Campus  - Very Nice/ great setting!
    1800 Ignacio Boulevard  (415) 892-2269
    Open June 16–August 7,  Monday–Thursday 11:30 am–3:30 pm
    Drop-in fee:
    $5 for adults, $4 for children and students and $3 for seniors and disabled students.
    Purchase tickets at Room 100, Bldg. 9