A small, sandy cove between Lands End and Baker Beach in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood, China Beach is a public recreation area that offers spectacular views of the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate. Local legend claims that Chinese fishermen camped at the beach and anchored their fishing boats in the harbor in the 1800s.
The State of California bought the beach in 1933 and officially named it James D. Phelan Memorial Beach State Park, after San Francisco’s 25th mayor. In 1974 the beach was turned over to the National Park Service, which changed the name back to China Beach.
Although there is little evidence of Chinese habitation at the cove, a large monument was erected by Chinese Americans in 1982 that commemorates the Chinese fisherman who have worked in and around San Francisco Bay since Gold Rush times. To honor this history, the Park Service officially restored the name of the cove back to China Beach.
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