This half-mile stretch of chocolate-colored coastline just northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge is roughly the size of Baker Beach—with only a fraction of the crowds. Walk ten minutes down the 253 wooden steps from the dirt parking lot, then spread a blanket behind one of the several rock outcroppings (a great windbreak on gusty days).
Be prepared for a short (less than a mile) but steep hike down some stairs to the beach. As with many secluded beaches, Black Sand Beach is popular with nudists. There are often dogs frolicking about here, but the dogs are not technically allowed.