Stinson is bigger. Limantour is wilder. Drakes is more dramatic. But Muir is the beach we are honoring this year. Just a quick jaunt over the hill from Tam Junction (or via the local route through Four Corners), Muir Beach is at once rugged and welcoming, 1,000 feet of sand perfect for picnicking wedged between rocky outcrops that shelter those who prefer privacy (or eschew bathing suits). Plus, there’s parking. The $4 million makeover of Muir that closed the beach last summer is done. There are new bathrooms, a wooden walkway through the dunes and, most important, sustaining improvements to the adjoining wetlands. parksconservancy.org
This year, we’ve organized our picks around the cities and areas where you live, eat, shop, play or just hang out, making for a virtual road map of the best the county has to offer.