Four beautiful Orange County beaches are the most popular for sun seekers, summer vacationers and year round locals. Find out why Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach are among the counties favorite sandy destinations.
Named one of the cleanest beaches in the United States, Newport Beach is a paradise for beach-going visitors. With over 10 miles of beaches ideal for families, surfing, body boarding or just sunbathing, Newport is the ideal OC beach destination. Within our coastline find stellar views, waves and soft sands at Corona del Mar State Beach, Crystal Cove State Beach and Park, or in Newport Beach itself, along Balboa Peninsula or further north along Pacific Coast Highway. And if hiking trails and bird watching are part of your vacation plans, look no further than Newport's Upper Newport Bay ecological preserve and reserve and Crystal Cove State Park, with its picturesque Los Trancos and El Moro Canyons are coastal hiking trails that will not disappoint.
Along each stretch of sand along Newport Beach, you'll find a different subculture that has developed over the years, giving each section of the beach a unique persona. The 10 miles of the coast are broken up into neighborhood-like areas that are vastly different from one another, but like children in a family are all special in their own ways.
Stop just north of the Newport Pier, and you'll find some of the best long boarders around mixing with old timers and beginners at Blackies, a mellow longboard spot that can turn on for short boarders during winter months as swells come in from the northwest region. The crowd closer to the Balboa Pier is often made up of visitors, and just south of the pilings you'll find a subculture of skim boarders who are running into the waves from the sand. Head south from there and you can't miss the Wedge just north of the Newport Harbor jetty – one of the biggest and baddest waves around. The Wedge is known around the world and is a historic bodysurfing break, hitting in the 20-foot range on a big south swell during the summer. The Wedge – which bounces off the jetty to double in size – draws people to the sand to watch the insane riders take on and get slammed by the massive waves
On the other side of the jetty is Corona del Mar, which draws visitors from inland and families who like the mellow waves and fire pits. There are rocky outcroppings along the beach, and it's a great spot to watch boats come in and out of the harbor. Then you reach the end of Newport, at the beautiful Crystal Cove State Beach. This unique stretch of sand has historic cottages lining the sand, with crystal clear waters and a laid-back vibe that will take you back to the '50s. No matter what your reason for hitting the beach – Newport Beach will have something for you!
Learn more about the many Newport Beach Parks and Facilities by clicking here.
Find all the hidden and famous Newport Beach Walking Trails by clicking here.
Laguna Beach is the most photographed It’s easy to understand why Laguna's Main Beach is perhaps the most photographed and painted beach scene in the entire country.
How to get around Laguna Beach There is a free shuttle from parking lots on Broadway near the Laguna Beach Playhouse, with parking ranging from $10-$15. Perhaps the best parking solution is a city lot behind the PCH storefronts on the inland side. You can buy three hours of parking there for $2, and it isn't a long walk to refill the meter.
Laguna's claim to fame Walking around Main Beach can give you a false sense of superiority over those who are poking their way through Pacific Coast Highway traffic – even if you were one of those exasperated motorists yourself, just a minute or two ago. You won't see the surfers during the summer because the rocky coast is considered too dangerous. But you will see two elderly fellows playing chess on a table, when they leave, the pieces will be left there for the next two players. Main Beach is closer to more landlubber delights than any other major beach in the county. Restaurants, bars, galleries and other shops are absolutely right there.
Sport Watching When you see some of the county's best basketball players waiting around to "get next," and you see beach volleyball players, street musicians, mimes and surfers within an arm's length, you know you've reached the heart of Laguna.Find Laguna Beach sandy beaches and coves... by clicking here.
Why is Huntington Beach Famous? Huntington Beach has one-size-fits-all beaches in the truest sense. The two Huntington beaches employ 100 lifeguards, and this is also the training facility for lifeguards throughout the state. Runners have all the room they need on the trails and the sand, and the paved path that runs from Bolsa Chica to the end of the city beach is ideal for bikers. Still, it might be difficult to pedal or jog indefinitely with so many delectable smells in the air. With families cooking out on the fire rings that are provided through the beaches, and with a collection of restaurants on both sides of the PCH, replenishment is readily available.Huntington's claim to fame "Surf City" backs up its name every summer with the U.S. Open of Surfing and throughout the year with the kind of waves that keep many locals in the waves. The vast nature of the property makes it the best place in America to stage major surfing competitions. Granted, that makes for slow going on Pacific Coast Highway on late Sunday afternoons, but that's the nature of the beach anyway. Surfing is prohibited at the state beach in the summer months, to provide room for non-surfing families, but it is clearly alive and well at the city beach. On a July morning, hordes of Huntington Beach junior lifeguard candidates were on the pier, watching their colleagues handle the surf. There are over 1,000 junior lifeguards in the program.