Your Crissy Field adventure begins at East Beach, an expanse of shoreline that's like a "Where's Waldo" beach scene brought to life. Against the stunning backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, come fog or shine locals flock here to indulge in outdoor fun.
During the week, you'll find jogging moms with strollers, shirtless runners, bootcampers, and cyclists zipping back and forth along the Golden Gate Promenade. Come weekends, East Beach transforms into an epic family destination with dads practicing catch with their Buster Posey-obsessed kids, tots splashing at the water's edge, and kite flyers sharing the air space. On a sunny day, it's best to pack up a picnic and join the folks who pitch their beach shelters – wise to the knowledge that the winds can pick up without a moment's notice – and settle in for a day of stellar people-watching.
If you don't want to get sand in your sandwiches, picnic tables – and the ever-important restrooms – are available on site. And should an impromptu visit leave you sans picnic, East Beach has you covered – head over to the Beach Hut Café for delicious, healthy snacks and drinks. The cafe's super-comfortable Adirondack chairs make its terrace a perfect hangout on balmy days and, when the temperature drops, you can find a perch inside to enjoy the view with a hot cup of joe.
On almost any day of the week, you'll spot kitesurfers ripping it up on San Francisco Bay. Within the community, East Beach is known as one of the best places to surf in the world – thanks in no small part to the thermal winds and storm fronts that roll through the area. Watch in awe as they launch themselves out into the ocean before moving off at lightning speed towards the shadows of the bridge.
If you feel the need to stretch your legs, you'll find plenty of great places to explore nearby. Just to the east of the beach is a must-see spot for birdwatchers, Crissy Marsh. Or if you continue from East Beach on the Golden Gate Promenade towards the Golden Gate Bridge, you can reward yourself with refreshments from the Warming Hut Café.
The PresidiGo Shuttle stops nearby on Mason Street. Limited parking (very limited on the weekends) is also available.