Orange County's coastline epitomizes the world famous California beach lifestyle. Stretching from Long Beach down to San Diego County to the south, there is plenty of surf and sand for everyone. Married to a native Southern California Surfer Guy, I have learned my way around our beaches. Now that I have kids, I've grown to appreciate amenities and kid friendly aspects at some of the beaches in the OC. Here are my top picks for families:
1725 Avenida Estacion
San Clemente, CA 92672
North Beach's parking allows you to pull right up to the sand, unload and have everyone settled on the sand in mere minutes. The occasional trains running on the nearby tracks add an additional piece of entertainment for the youngsters. Amenities include: playground, nice restrooms, showers, fire rings, picnic tables and snack bars during the summer months.
31131 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Metered public parking convenient to the beach, clean restrooms, showers, fire rings and a playground make Aliso Beach a family favorite. There is a café that sells a wide variety of food and beverages. You are also conveniently located close to downtown Laguna Beach's restaurants and shops.
Main Street & Ocean Ave
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Aim for the pier at Seal Beach where you'll find a walled in playground that is perfect to contain the younger kids. Older kids will have fun checking out the fishermen on the pier. There are shops and restaurants along Main St. and a Ruby's Diner at the end of the pier. Beachgoers love that this beach is rarely crowded and parking is only $5.
Huntington City Beach
400 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
When you envision the California "Surf City" beach experience, Huntington Beach is where it's at. City Beach covers 3.5 miles on either side of the pier and provides easy access to the heart of downtown right across Pacific Coast Highway. Plenty of metered parking, food, restrooms and showers make this a family friendly stretch of sand. Canine family members are welcome at the adjacent "Dog Beach" one of the few dog friendly beaches in California.
Little Corona del Mar Beach
Pacific Coast Highway & Poppy Ave.
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
For the future marine biologists, consider a visit to this beach famous for its tidepools. Kids can spend hours checking out ocean life such as anemones, starfish and hermit crabs. Make sure you have appropriate footwear for sharp rocks. There is plenty of free parking on the residential streets, otherwise it's $15 in the lot.
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