Daly City may sit in the shadows of San Francisco, but it rises above the rest with its fantastic beaches and breathtaking views. Thornton State Beach is great for hiking and horseback riding, but it’s not currently open to the public. Only locals have access, due in part to the many landslides. Meanwhile, dramatic bluffs mark one of the area’s hidden gems. Just ten minutes from Downtown San Francisco, Burton Memorial Beach is famous for it’s cool ocean breeze. Read on and take a visit to Daly Cith Californa!
For all the great area beaches, click here.
Daly City Weather (When to Visit)
Average temperatures in Daly City vary little. If you’re looking for the very best (warmest) time to visit Daly City, the hottest months are July thru September. The temperature high is 78.4°F with temperatures rarely dropping below 57.1°F at night. The busiest months for tourism June thru August. Prices for hotels and flights will be at their highest during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance.
Best Daly City Area Beaches
Phillip Burton Memorial Beach
Burton Beach is at the foot of a large open hillside next to the Olympic Club Golf Course which straddles the line between San Francisco and San Mateo County. You can explore the deep cave at Burton Beach. At low tides, many picturesque wooden posts stick up out of the sand which make for stunning sunset photos.
Thornton State Beach
The park is known for the hiking and equestrian trails on the bluff terraces high above the waterline. Thornton Beach is best at low tides as during higher tides the entire beach can be wet. Take a coat if you plan a trip down to this beach, as it can be windy, foggy, and cold.
Mile Rock Beach at Lands End
Mile Rock Beach is in a small cove tucked below the Lands End Viewpoint. Mile Rock Beach is rocky, small, and littered with logs. At high tide the shore will be quite narrow, but when it’s out, you can explore the boulder-covered beach south of here.
Fort Funston Beach
Fort Funston is known for windy conditions and the hang-glider platform at the edge of the bluff. If the forecast calls for high wind, go to another local beach. There are hiking trails along the bluff and two routes down to the beach. Back at the parking lot there is a wooden observation platform that offers stunning views of the beach and the ocean.
Mussel Rock Park Beach
Mussel Rock Park is made up of a lot of trails connecting to paragliding launch points on a hillside in south Daly City. The shoreline below the park has lots of boulders with little sand exposed. There is a sandy beach at the north end of the park. To find sand you’ll have to hike north on the trail above the rocks until it ends and look for a route down to the beach.
Best Daly City Tours & Activities by Viator
Viator.com – Tours, sightseeing tours, activities & things to do
Monterey, Carmel and 17-Mile Drive – Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Drive down one of the most scenic roads in California on this full-day tour from San Francisco. Cruise along the coast-hugging Highway 1, passing the mansions of Pebble Beach on the iconic 17-Mile Drive. Enjoy free time to explore Monterey, where you can stroll down Steinbeck’s Cannery Row or visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Browse the ritzy boutiques of Carmel-by-the-Sea and get a glimpse of Silicon Valley’s tech campuses on the return drive to San Francisco. Learn more about the Monterey, Carmel & 17-Mile Drive.
Napa and Sonoma Wine Country – Full Day Tour from San Francisco
Escape to California’s famous wine country on this full-day tour from San Francisco. Taste regional varietals at multiple wineries in Napa and Sonoma, including both big-name and family-run estates. Learn about the winemaking process during guided tours of vineyards and barrel rooms, and savor the area’s gourmet culture with a stop for lunch in charming Sonoma Square Plaza. Learn more about the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Full-Day Tour.
Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ride a double-decker sightseeing bus to San Francisco’s most famous landmarks with a choice of 3 different passes. Explore the city’s 49 square miles, including stops at big-name attractions like Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square. Go at your own pace, hopping off at any of 24 stops, exploring at your leisure, and then hopping back on when you’re done. Your ticket includes a walking tour of Chinatown. Choose the Premium or Deluxe pass for additional upgrades including a night bus tour or a trolley tour in nearby Sausalito. Learn more about the Big Bus San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.
San Francisco Bay Sunset Catamaran Cruise
What better way to end a day in San Francisco than a sunset catamaran cruise? Sail across San Francisco Bay at twilight to admire the city skyline as it begins to light up for the night. With an experienced captain at the helm, you’ll glide past Alcatraz Island and cruise underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Light hors d’oeuvres and two drinks are included. Learn more about the San Francisco Bay Sunset Catamaran Cruise.
Muir Woods & Wine Country w/ optional Gourmet Lunch
For one of the best wine country tours from San Francisco, combine a visit to Northern California wine country with a Muir Woods experience for a truly fabulous day out. This Super Saver provides two popular tours at one discount price, allowing you to see and taste the delights of Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. You’ll begin with a walk through Muir Woods National Monument with an informative guide to stare up in wonder at the towering redwood trees. Then you’ll visit three wineries, with wine-tasting included. You’ll also cross the Golden Gate Bridge and have free time on Sonoma Plaza to buy lunch if you haven’t opted to upgrade to the lunch option. Learn more about the Muir Woods & Wine Country Tour.
Best Daly City Restaurants
Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant $11 – 30
This is one of the best restaurants in Daly City. If you love Mexican food, this is the place for you. Though it may be small, their food definitely isn’t. With their big portions, this food is sure to fill you up and make you happy. They have a lot of different dishes to choose from, so you could have something different every time you visit. Telephone: 650 756 6289 Web: Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant
Keith’s Chicken N Waffles $11 – 30
Signature fried chicken, specialty waffles, and infused waffles. They are the only chicken and waffle on the peninsula. Experience great fried chicken – hot and crispy and seasoned perfectly. Great waffles – Belgium and Red Velvet. Soul food sides – amazing Mac and cheese, greens, cornbread, baked beans, etc. And with no room left, really good peach cobbler for the road. Telephone: 415-347-7208 Web: Keith’s Chicken N Waffles
California Fish Grill $11 – 30
Savor their open kitchen as vegetables and herbs are chopped, fish is hand battered, and meals are cooked on our signature flame grill. Open a bottle of wine and enjoy an appetizer, while they cook and prepare everything by hand. It’s hard work… but for us, it’s worth it. Telephone: 650-517-5712 Web: California Fish Grill
Boulevard Cafe $11 – 30
Just about everything on their menu is prepared from scratch including soups, dressings, and sauces. They use sustainable raised grass-fed beef and fresh seafood. Their poultry is free of hormones, antibiotics and delivered fresh, never frozen. Paired with their warm and inviting ambiance and friendly service, Boulevard Cafe hopes to make your dining experience a memorable and satisfying one. Telephone: 650-755-3400 Web: Boulevard Cafe
Burma Cafe $11 – 30
Their chefs are very meticulous about food preparation, taste and overall quality to make sure your experience with Burmese delicacies is a pleasant one. Their variety of salads, soups, curries and noodles can be paired perfectly with any of their specialty drinks, including beers and wines. Telephone: 650-992-6363 Web: Burma Cafe
Best Nightlife in Daly City
This is the best dive bar. They serve excellent tiki-tropical cocktails at a great price. Nice backyard patio, great bartenders, and interesting regulars. Warm fireplace for those windy Pacifica nights. A perfect hang-out. Telephone: 650-355-5111 Web: Surf Lounge
Longboard Margarita Bar
They specialize in an array of delicious margaritas using fresh ingredients including fresh squeezed lime juice, agave nectar and our fresh fruit purees made in house. Along with our margaritas, we offer 11 beers on tap as well as a full bar to meet any taste. They provide live entertainment every weekend ranging from 70’s and 80’s rock and popular music to all of today’s favorite hits. Telephone: 650-738-5905 Web: Longboard Margarita Bar
They are a tiki (Hula) themed restaurant supporting Bay Area (Hoops) sports featuring remarkable classic and contemporary exotic cocktails made with fresh juices, and house-made syrups. Telephone: 650-952-3255 Web: Hula Hoops
Brew @ 382
A lot of thought (and tastings!) went into the development of the beer and wine list, which prominently features several Bay Area breweries and wineries and a few highlights from beyond the Bay. Telephone: 650-989-8096 Web: Brew @ 382
This is a cantina and latin bar. Just get a bucket of corona for around $15 and have fun listening to old school latin music. Have fun. This isn’t a place to have high expectations. You literally just go here for beers and conversation. Web: Gino’s Club
Established in 1883 and an Irish tavern this bar has plenty of atmosphere, memorabilia and sits in the middle of the Colma cemetery district and has been the venue for wakes for the past century and more. An experience that has to be gone through to appreciate. Telephone: 650-270-4853 Web: Molloy’s Tavern
Wow! Daly City looks incredible. I will have to check it out. I have been to a lot of places on the California coast, but never there. The Surf Lounge sounds like an excellent place to party. The name is so inviting for me.
I do have a question though. What is the surfing like in Daly City? I surf in Santa Cruz and I would like to check out other places. Since it is up the coast, I imagine the swell is a lot larger.
Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!
Thanks for visiting Alex! Yes, you will find the surfing to be just as great here as in Santa Cruz. Shoot this whole area is great for surfing. You would not be far from the Mavericks!
Hi! I have always received good advice each time I have visited your site. And I have become a regular visitor. And with this post you deliver very useful points, as always.
I like to consider more than one destination, when planning vacations with my family. And although I hadn’t considered Daly City, after reading your post, it has become an option.
I have never been to the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge, nor my family (can you believe that?). I’d also like to visit the hiking and equestrian trails at Thornton State Beach. So, I’ll put Daly City on the table.
Great Henry! Thanks for your visit to my Daly City California post.
Hey there Leahrae,
I’ve truly enjoyed this article as I found it to be very helpful due to its short and informative descriptions of each aspect of Daly city, whether that would be the great weather analysis which You provided here, or detailed representation of places & hotels to visit & book here in Daly City of California. I’ve never visited an USA, however visiting it it is definitely on my bucket list and I can’t wait to have an opportunity to visit it one day! As far as the actual city Daly goes, well I have to say- I am very impressed by the amount of very awesome and captivating activities and places there are to visit and participate in. I would be particularly interested in driving through The Golden Gate Bridge because in my eyes it’s one of the most gorgeous bridges that exists out there, especially during night time, and to be a part of witnessing it in real life would truly mean a lot to me! I would also really admire going to Thornton Beach State Park to do some hiking as I am huge fan of this activity and I always look forward to hike in new and undiscovered territories to seek some inspiration and stress relief! Spending a beautiful sunny day at Marin Headlands would also be fantastic, particularly due to its stunning landscapes, sceneries and views.
Keep up the great work Leahrae and best of luck to You 😉
Sounds like you are ready to go! I am glad you enjoyed your digital visit to Daly City California!
What a great article. I am also from Canada, but have visited San Fran, San Diego and LA. I too love California and its amazing weather. It would be nice to know if you have any or if there are any traffic tips if you rent a car. I had about 1.5hr drive turn into 6 hours from the high desert to Riverside one day.
Boy, that is one thing I can’t give you Braden, is traffic tips. I am not sure what kind of tips you are looking for. I would assume that traveling during rush hours is when you are going to find yourself stuck in it all. If you have been to San Fran, then I assume you have been to Daly City? Wonderful beach community!
Travellers who enjoy the sun and the sea will find very useful information about beaches around the world. I like the short and sweet descriptions of the exotic beaches with their breathtaking views.You have also put together info about several hotels and resorts.
I like the loyalty programs which rewards travelers. The package deals will certainly spare the would-be travelers the hassle of looking for an affordable one. Then there is useful information about water sports and gear for those who love sea sports. Cruise lovers will also find your site very interesting and informative.
Thank you for your kind comments Rubicon and for taking the time to leave them for me. Glad you enjoyed visiting beach travel destinations.
The temperature sounds a lot like Monterey. I lived there for a bit. It was often foggy. When the fog cleared and was sunny, we’d all get sunburned because we were caught unprepared, haha. Places like this with comfortable temperatures are great. I love being able to go outside and not have to worry about being too hot or too cold.
And I didn’t know Alcatraz was originally a defense point. That’s cool.
Yes, very similar to Monterey 🙂 And I do the same thing. But hey, I would rather live in the sunshine than somewhere cold any day. Thanks for stopping by!
I must say that this looks like a very nice destination to visit. I have never been there although I visited many countries in America. I like the weather and I would like to go there in July as I have a job vacancy for one month. I will definitely come back if I decide to go there. Thanks a lot for sharing such nice destination.
You are welcome Daniel. Thanks for visiting my Daly City California post. Please let me know if you need any further information.
At the moment I only can dream of warmer weather being surrounded by amounts of snow 🙂
I love the area of San Francisco and always wanted to see “The Rock” since have seen lots of documentaries about it.
Daly City seems to be a lovely place to just do this and discover all the beauty and myth.
I appreciate the review of all the different Hotels it certainly makes it easier to find the right one and I love the tips of where to go throughout the day or the interesting nightlife.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
You are quite welcome Sylvia. Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Thanks for this beautiful and informative post. With what I have read here, Daly City is a place that I definitely want to visit. A place for me to just go and relax at. You have a lot of wonderful vacation choices here for me to choose from. I love natural habitat. I will also share your wonderful site with others that I know would love it. Thanks.
Thanks for visit my Daly City California review and I hope you get to visit soon!
I was happy to see that September hit within the warmest months in Daly City. I like warm, and we usually travel in September when the kids are back to school so places aren’t so busy and oftentimes expensive. Our kids are grown now and the babies aren’t in school yet, so we’ve focused on September.
I’m not sure I’d venture out to Alcatraz Island. I don’t like to visit negative places, and I can’t imagine it was a very happy place either for the military or the prisoners and guards. It’s cool that it’s still there and people do like those historical places, but I think that’s one I would not be going to.
So the Thornton Beach State Park is closed to the public? Do you need like a pass or something to prove you’re a local? What do they consider a local? Is there a specific geographic circle or a California native? My Uncle lives not far from there.
Great article. Thanks for all the info and the cool video!
Ok, you can visit Thornton Beach State Park. They have closed it due to the erosion of the cliffs and it not being safe. That is why they “say” it is closed. All around the park you will see signs stating that the area is unsafe and not to go beyond. There is still a safe route down. If you step over the cords and walk north to the Mar Vista Stables there are wide trails for horseback riders to make it down to the beach (about 3/4-mile from the parking lot). Hikers can do the same. Just be cautious on your way down 🙂
Daly City will be a very nice and wonderful place to be for my next vacation. I am beginning to realize the fact that California is really where I am headed for my summer vacation. I wonder why the Alcatraz island was converted to prison, do you have a reason for that I’ll really love to know the cause of this. Thanks for this review.
Hi Salim, yes you would love a vacation to California and especially to Daly City. Alcatraz was made into a prison because they considered it impossible to escape being out on an island away from land. However, there are some that actually did escape. So their theory did not work out so well.
Thanks for this informative post, I love California but have never been there despite travelling to the United States multiple times I only read about this place and and the amazing activities as well as major events, and I have come to conclusionof visiting California during my next holidays, I hope it’s worth the visit.
I can guarantee it will be worth the visit. You really can’t go wrong with any part of the California coast. It really just depends on what you are looking for in your vacation. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for the post about Daly City. This is really beautiful. I liked the video, that you pasted to your post.
I was in San Francisco many times and there are many things to see there. Thornton Beach State Park is a beautiful place to hike. We were there for a day and took many photos. Next time I will probably check Daly City too.
Yes, you should check out Daly City next time. Definitely worth a visit to. Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Wow! Daly City is breathtaking especially with the Thornton Beach and Birton Memorial Beach. This is awesome review and its so great that you included the best months to go. I’ve been to San Francisco but never been to the hidden gems that you can recommended. I will bookmark your review since it practically covers all the information i need.
Thank you for an insightful information.
Great Francis, and you are right…. they are hidden gems and a lot less crowded than the big city like San Francisco with a lot more charm and plenty to do. Thank you for taking the time to leave me some comments 🙂
Hi Leahrae and thanks for the great post on Daly City. I am heading to California next summer with some friends, flying into San Fran. This looks like a great little getaway from the big city to enjoy the California Coast. Which hotel would be best for a group of guys?
Hi Kenechi. Really the best choice for a group of guys is going to be the Comfort Inn or the Hilton Inn Express. These are probably geared more toward families and groups of travelers than the other selections. Have fun in Daly City California!
Great and interesting post, you must have put in a lot of energy in writing this. I think I like California, it is blessed with so many tourists attraction such as the Daly city, I like the image of the Golden gate and I will try as much a possible to visit there in my next vacation. Do you have any idea about the price of the available hotels?
Hi Clement and thank you for visiting my Daly City California post. The hotel prices are really going to vary depending on what time of year you go and which hotel you choose. If you click on the hotel links individually, you can plug in a date and get a feel for the price 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I always enjoy your post cos you literally take me on a voyage touring different beach destinations each time you write. And your eye for details is spectacular, must take a lot of time and effort to write such articles.
California is a beautiful city and whenever I visit California, i really hope I would be able to take pictures on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Thanks for sharing.
You are welcome Louis and I am glad you have enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations. Please come back soon when you are ready to plan. I would love to help get your vacation plans together.
California is an amazing place and is on my bucket list. What’s great about San Francisco is the proximity to other beautiful states and Canada.
Probably going to be a while before I can afford a trip like this though. 😀
Thanks for sharing,
You are very welcome Michael. Yes, I agree that it is so close to so many other really beautiful places. Especially flying into northern California. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Daly City California 🙂
This is a great and informative post. I love traveling, and this would be a fantastic trip. My husband is planning a trip outside Japan lately. No doubt I will share this post with him. I’m excited as I am reading your post.
Thank you very much,
I am glad you are looking forward to hopefully visiting California. It is definitely different from Japan, and you would have a great time. Please let me know if you need any further information.
I really enjoyed reading your article. Daly City California looks amazing! I really enjoyed the video you provided. I really appreciate all of this information; things to do, places to eat, places to visit, the weather, motels to stay in. Such an abundance of well written information. I don’t feel a need to do any more research because you have pretty much covered it all.
This looks like a great please to vacation. Do you have any recommendations for getting airplane tickets?
Thanks for sharing this!
Hi Devara and thank you for your visit! On my site I have a great post about airfare and how to get it at the best price. The tips really work. Just go to my airfare post 🙂
Thanks for getting back to me. I should explore your site some more to see what else you have shared that I missed.
I will check out your airfare post. I’m excited about visiting Daly City!
You are very welcome Devara! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Really nice article…and very detailed!!!
I love the interface of your web!!! It looks very professional!!!
Thanks so much Raul and for taking the time to leave me the comments 🙂
You know I have never been in California , by the way I am here in Florida, But now with thsee information you just gave us ,And beatiful beaches out there , I guess we need to plan a trip in future,
I like the restaurants you just mentioned , you make is so easy for us Leahrae.
Thanks a lot.
Glad you enjoyed Omark. I too live in Florida. I would live in California in this area, hands down, if the darn house prices were not so high. I hope you can visit Daly City California soon!
Hi I’m from the UK and interested in visiting here. What’s the best airport do you think to use in California? Thanks.
You will definitely want to fly into San Francisco to get to this area. It would be the closest and a great place to start your vacation. Thanks for visiting Daly City California.
This article makes me hungry for more. I would love to visit this part of the world at some point. Definitly on top of my list. Thank you for all the information. Great tips and recommendations.
All the best
You are most welcome Anna and thank you for visiting my Daly City California post!
WOW! Who needs Trip advisor when there are articles like this? It gives information about everything a visitor might want to know about Daly City. Could you please tell me what means of transportation I could use to get there from San Francisco? Which one is more convenient?
Hi Effie! So Daly City is not far away and the easiest and most economical route would be to take the city bus, or BART. It is about a 15 minute ride 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by Daly City California!