This year, a picturesque new beach will open on San Mateo County’s stunning coast, welcoming visitors of all kinds. Tunitas Creek Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay, was once the site of an environmentally destructive and unsafe party scene. Soon, it will be open for everyone, spruced up with amenities for all to enjoy! Some big upgrades include off-street parking, easy and safe beach access, accessible viewing areas and gathering spots. Walkers and hikers will explore brand new routes, including a future section of the California Coastal Trail.

Two people smile at the Welcome Center of the future Tunitas Creek Beach
A rendering provided by WRT offers a glimpse of what’s in store at Tunitas Creek Beach

It takes a lot of thoughtful collaboration to set up a new public park. I’ve been lucky enough to see Tunitas Creek Beach’s stunning transformation unfold from start to finish. I’m proud of what POST and our partners have accomplished together. As you can imagine, I’m thrilled for the not-so-distant future when visitors near and far will experience the park’s splendor. You’ll definitely spot me catching some rays on the sand with my own loved ones!


A snowy plover adult and juvenile walk together on the beach
The endangered snowy plover is making a slow but steady recovery, partly thanks to habitat preservation at Tunitas Creek Beach.

In 2017, POST acquired 58 acres of Tunitas Creek Beach after locals raised the alarm about its misuse. The late Don Horsley, former San Mateo County supervisor, was instrumental in bringing the opportunity to POST’s attention and advocating for the beach’s protection. We transferred it to the County of San Mateo in 2020 with an ambitious shared vision. After we rehabilitated the landscape, we would officially open what was once private property to the public as a County park.

A dynamic, years-long collaboration with government agencies, environmental organizations and local communities soon followed. When the park welcomes visitors later this year, it will reflect the public’s input by prioritizing environmental protection, equitable access, education and positive visitor experiences.


Balancing the needs of people and wildlife is central to this project. The new park will reserve ample space for beachgoers while safeguarding the fragile creek habitat. It will also feature protected areas for the threatened western snowy plover to nest.

We want people of all backgrounds and abilities to soak in the park’s beauty. As such, a steep crevasse trail will be converted into a gentle, safe path with an ADA-accessible mid-bluff area, panoramic views, outdoor gathering areas and restrooms.

Visitors can access the beach directly or by taking an easy loop trail with stunning vantage points along the way. In defining the park’s amenities, we considered the diverse needs of the coastside community, including youth and non-English speakers.

Throughout the park, signage and an audio tour will offer an engaging way for visitors to learn about the unique history of Tunitas Creek Beach. In addition to a self-guided experience, an amphitheater-style seating area will provide space for people to hear from experts about topics ranging from the area’s geology to its Indigenous history, and from its important watershed to snowy plovers and other local wildlife.


The opportunities for unforgettable experiences at Tunitas Creek Beach are endless. We know visitors will make their own memories by picnicking with friends, dipping their toes in the ocean, hiking its trails, walking along the water and taking in its awe-inspiring beauty.



Looking to visit this beach now?

We suggest waiting for the park to be complete so that you can safely enjoy it, but if you really can’t wait to visit, please be sure to read this county ordinance first.

About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

Scroll to top