Contributor: Brittany Hopkins
How are those Memorial Day plans coming? Still looking a little bare? Before you go into panic mode, here's an idea: Montara State Beach. This is hands down one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever visited, and I think you'll agree.
South of Pacifica and north of Half Moon Bay along Highway 1 , you'll find a tidy beach surrounded by mountains and hiking trails. It's the perfect place to play fetch with your dog, explore tide pools or simply sit on a cliff and watch surfers off in the distance.
Once you're done soaking in the beauty there, hike a leisurely trail along the ocean over to Gray Whale Cove. Here you'll find a secluded white-sand beach hidden among towering cliffs. Be warned, however: according to the Chronicle, locals call the area Edun Cove, which spells nude backwards.
Knowing the Bay Area's testy weather, you're bound to get a little chilly down on the beach. In that case, it's time to warm up by tackling the nearby Mount Montara. During the 2000 climb you're bound to find some much needed Vitamin-D. Everytrail lays out four different trails to the peak, ranging in difficulty and distance from 3.5 to 4.8 miles. If you plan your hike right, you'll begin your descent as the sun begins to set over the ocean. I can't think of a better way to spend a Memorial Day here in the Bay.