Living in southern California, you can never get bored of beaches. Orange County (OC) is known for its beautiful coastline and no matter how many beaches you go and how many times you have been there; you can never get bored of beaches.
Having lived inland most of my life while growing up, beaches has always fascinated me. I went on a beach trip in OC yesterday. Basically, I drove on Pacific Coast Hwy (CA 1) starting from one of the beaches in southern part of Orange County and moved up till the northern most beaches in Orange County.
I visited around 6 beaches and it is amazing that no two beaches are similar. Although there are lots of more beaches in Orange County but here are the ones that I visited yesterday as part of my beach trip.
1. Dana Point Harbor – This is one of my favorite outing spots. Although, I do not visit the beach part, I prefer going through the harbor drive all the way across to the Island Way. There is a small park overlooking the man made dykes which holds the water where people go boating, kayaking, fishing etc.
2. Salt Creek Beach – This beach is best when watched from the top. The access to this beach is through a fleet of stairs from the Salt Creek Beach Park. There are also beautiful houses and landscapes around that makes this beach very beautiful.
3. Laguna Beach – For those who know Laguna Beach, know it very well that Laguna and art goes hand in hand. This is a beautiful little city which hosts the art festival (Sawdust Festival) every year. This city also has a large number of art galleries. The beach as such is very beautiful although it tends to get crowded at times due to its popularity and the art festival.
4. Crystal Cove – This is a small beach just before Newport Beach if you are coming from the south. Again access to this beach is from the top. There are a fleet of stairs that you need to take to get there. The best part of this beach is the amazing water animals that you get to see. I was fortunate to see a starfish as well. You need to be careful not to stamp them.
5. Balboa Island – Next stop was at Balboa Island. Although Corona Del Mar and Newport Beach which are just adjacent to this island are the beaches to go if you are here but the island itself is very beautiful. There is a small establishment with lots of beautiful houses (which you can rent to stay over the weekend) and shops. There is also lot of Italian food here especially gelatos. Do not forget to try one of those. Also there is a Ferry Ride which drives you to the mainland (Newport Beach) which is kind of interesting.
6. Newport Beach – None of the other beaches that I visited yesterday had a pier, so this is unique in that aspect. Although the pier can be dirty at times due to the people fishing there on it. This is fairly a large beach and there are nice biking trails as well. There is also a fresh sea food market near the pier early morning. I once went on a full moon night and the moonlight view from the pier was awesome. There are also plenty of whale watching tours and harbor boat rentals available in this beach.
Again, it’s all Pacific Ocean and the water is the same but the landscape, the city built around it and the various harbor, pier and beach built around it that makes the beach different than the other. Not to mention parking. Few beaches have very large free parking space while some have very few parking. Overall I love hanging out in the beach. Although I had company this time but I do not mind going alone. It gives me amazing peace of mind and refreshes my mind and body.