Orange County Beaches Map and Orange County California Beach Information

Orange County Beach Information - Questions & Answers

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How big are the Orange County beaches? The Orange County (California) beaches span an approx. 40 mile (64 km) distance from the northern border touching Los Angeles County to the southern border touching San Diego County.

How many beaches are there in Orange County, California? That's a tough question to answer since Laguna Beach alone has over 20 neighborhood beaches. A rough estimate would include over 40 named beaches. For specifics, there are six incorporated cities with beaches--Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente. Unincorporated communities with beaches include Sunset Beach and Surfside. Communities within incorporated cities with beaches include Capistrano Beach, South Laguna Beach, Newport Coast and Corona del Mar. State operated beaches within cities include Crystal Cove State Beach, San Clemente State Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington State Beach.

What is the water temperature of the ocean at these beaches?  The water temperature ranges from mid-50's degrees F. in winter to mid 70's degrees in summer.

How far are the Orange County beaches from the original Disneyland? 12 to 40 minutes drive (approx.) Read more

How far are the beaches from the airport?   12 to 35 minutes (approx.)  Read more

How do I park at the beach? Most beaches offer public parking for a fee. Be sure to take approx. $10 for a one day admission to the beach parking lots.

Is the water safe for swimming?  Orange County beaches do experience rip currents occasionally. Rip currents pull you out to sea, but are not known to pull you under water, generally. Always check with the lifeguard at the beach, swim with partners, and watch kids carefully. Jellyfish are occasionally known to sting, though they are not considered poisonous for most people. Water quality is normally good, but never swim in the ocean for at least a day after it rains. Fortunately, it seldom rains in Orange County.

What is the best beach to visit? If you have time, see all of them on a coastal drive, which will take about a day as you stop along the way. If you have to pick one spot, we need to know what you're looking for. For sunbathing, any beach is ideal. For tidepools and scuba, definitely choose Laguna Beach. For boating in the bay, pick Newport Beach. For hotels on the beach, Newport Beach offers several--Balboa Inn or Balboa Bay Club. Sunset Beach offers Ramada Limited or Econolodge. Laguna Beach features a handful such as Surf & Sand, Montage and more.  Dana Point has one on the harbor, Ritz Carlton on the hill and San Clemente has several.

Where can I camp at the beach? Tent camping and RV camping is available at Doheny Beach in Dana Point; RV camping is available at Newport Dunes in Newport Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach and seasonally (winter months) at Huntington City Beach.


Where can I have a beach bonfire? You will find beach fire rings for bonfires are available free of charge at Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Dana Point's Doheny Beach and San Clemente. See chart

Which beaches have piers in Orange County? There are five major Orange County piers, and each pier includes a restaurant.  San Clemente has one pier, Newport Beach has two piers, Huntington Beach has one pier and Seal Beach has one pier. At all these public piers, you can fish without a license, free of charge. In addition to two large piers in Newport Beach, there are other smaller fishing piers.

What are some great beach restaurants?  San Clemente Pier features a fantastic bar and restaurant; Laguna Beach is known for its ocean view restaurants ranging from Las Brisas, Mosaic Bar & Grille at Montage Resort, The Beach House, Terrace Cafe or Claes at Hotel Laguna; both Newport Beach piers have restaurants,  including a 50's style Rubys Diner, and Newport Habor features Harborside Restaurant, The Cannery, Rusty Pelican and many more; Huntington Beach offers three great choices at the beach; Ruby's Diner on the Pier, Chimayo at the Beach and Dukes Huntington Beach; Seal Beach features two great cafes, Ruby's Diner on the Seal Beach Pier and Riverfront Cafe on the beach.

Where can I see filming or movie stars at the beach? In reality, your best bet for seeing celebrities is in places such as Santa Monica in Los Angeles. On nearly every trip there, we have seen stars. The star power may exist in Orange County, but there are no guarantees you'll see a star at a beach on any given day. Technically, Orange County is out of the zone that filmmakers seek for wage considerations.

What are some things to do at the beach?  Activities include sunbathing, swimming, basketball courts, volleyball courts, sand playgrounds, dining, beach skate & bike paths, dog beaches, free concerts during the summer months, special surfing and sports competitions, fishing, boating, take a gondola ride, shopping, bonfires, picnics, skim boarding, body boarding, surfing, kite surfing, kite flying, scuba diving, studying the tide pools, hiking, walking, plein air painting, farmer's markets and art fairs and more!

Where can I drink at the beach? We are sorry to say there is no beach in Orange County that permits liquor. (go to San Diego beaches for that).

What hours are Orange County beaches open? The beach curfews when the public is not allowed generally run from around 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. For more generous beach hours, head south to San Diego County where some beaches never close and others offer a 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

Where are the Orange County nude beaches? There are no official, nude beaches in Orange County. Each city has laws about how much of your body can show in a swimsuit, generally prohibiting topless suits for women unless breastfeeding up to a two year old baby. One beach that many like to trek to near San Onofre (station 10), does often have nudity...but here's the deal. You can get a ticket for stripping down your clothes, so locals say they have a system of watching out for each other in order to enjoy this tucked away beach requiring a hike to get to. 

Where are the dog beaches?  Pets are permitted on Newport Beach beaches from 5:01 p.m. to 8:59 a.m. They are also permitted on Laguna Beach beaches during posted hours similar to Newport's.  One dedicated (daylight) Dog Beach is located in Huntington Beach at Pacific Coast Highway between Golden West Street and Seapoint Street.

beaches in oc pictures
Orange County Beach pictures

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