01 Nov, 2009
Top Beaches for Relaxing in Orange County, California
Do you need to unwind? Are you lacking enough time to visit the beach for more than a day? We all feel pressured when we try to do too much on a vacation or drive along the coast.
By picking your activities and spot, you can enjoy the Southern California beaches in increments. Here are some beaches and what we like to do at them in Orange County:
Seal Beach: Like to walk on the pier and stroll on Main Street. There’s a lot of free parking in Seal Beach, which makes it an affordable, friendly place for visitors. Be sure to visit the shops along Main Street, then wander to the beach. If you go in the late afternoon, you can see Captain T. Lee pick up the workers for the offshore oil platforms.
Huntington Beach: Great place to ride a bike on the 8 mile bike trail. You can rent a bike at Zack’s, or bring your own. The paved, cement trail always stays along the coast and never veers out into the highway for its duration. You can jog, skate, walk or bicycle on it. If you really want a workout, head for Brookhurst Street on the trail, turn under the bridge going over Coast Highway, and ride inland along the Santa Ana River Trail for over 20 more miles.
Newport Beach: Fun to walk on the Balboa Pier, then wander across the street to the Balboa Fun Zone for a ferry ride to Balboa Island. Newport Beach’s Balboa Pier has an old-fashioned Ruby’s Diner, the first one opened. Grab a burger and malt, then head out for a Balboa Bar for desert. At the fun zone, ride the Ferris wheel, and play some games in the arcade. The kiddies can ride the carousel, too.
Corona del Mar: This beach is ideal for exploring the coves. We’ve actually seen people bring their rock climbing gear and practice climbs on the rocks down in the cove where Gilligan’s Island show was filmed. You can play volleyball and have a picnic down at Corona del Mar State Beach.
Dana Point: It’s great play a little volleyball or just relax in the sand with a book at Doheny. Dana Point is ideal for hopping on one of the whale watching boats, too.
Laguna Beach: Art lovers, rejoice! There are galleries galore. Laguna has some great localized beaches for tidepool exploring or scuba diving. It’s one of the most scenic spots to grab a lunch. Laguna Beach has over 20 beaches. Some are harder to get to than others because of parking, but don’t let that stop you.
San Clemente: This is a good place to surf, and to stroll the San Clemente Pier. Have a lunch at the Fishermans Restaurant on the Pier. You can also hop aboard a train at the beach and make your way to San Diego or downtown L.A. San Clemente is a great vacation home base.
Oceanside: You have now left Orange County and entered San Diego. Wander the harbor and shop; then head over to the Oceanside Pier for a stroll. Before leaving town, check out the new California Surfing Museum. More to come when we tell you about the beaches of San Diego County, known for its eclectic lifestyle and beach bums.