San Francisco Bay is a mecca for sailors (as well as windsurfers and kitesurfers), due to consistent strong westerly/northwesterly thermally-generated winds (Beaufort force 6 (15-25 knots) is common on summer afternoons) and protection from large open ocean swells. Yachting and yacht racing are popular pastimes and the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many of the world’s top sailors. A shoreline bicycle and pedestrian trail known as the San Francisco Bay Trail encircles the edge of the bay. The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail offers a growing network of launching and landing sites around the Bay for non-motorized small boat users (such as kayakers). Parks and protected areas around the bay include Eden Landing Ecological Reserve,Hayward Regional Shoreline, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, Crown Memorial State Beach, Eastshore State Park, Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Brooks Island Regional Shoreline, and César Chávez Park.
The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail is a planned system of designated trailheads designed to improve non-motorized small boat access to the bay. The California Coastal Conservancy approved funding in March 2011 to begin implementation of the water trail.