Crystal Cove, Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach--Crystal Cove is a stretch of coastal cliffs and a beach front cove sandwiched between Pacific Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean just north of Laguna Beach. It contains a state park with paved beach parking and an enclave of mobile homes on the sand. 


Crystal Cove State Park / Beach, located in Newport Beach, California, is best known for its rustic setting that stands in contrast to pristine, new homes and immaculate greens of the Pelican Hills Golf Club overlooking this wilderness oasis.  Three beach areas below the bluffs include Reef Point with access to two coves, Pelican Point which is a 3.25-mile trail and Los Trancos which offers access to an historic district of 1930s style houses. Just off shore is a 1,140 acre underwater park for snorkelers and scuba divers.   On the southern edge of the park is El Moro, a 2,200-acre chaparral canyon with 18 miles of hiking, biking and horse trails. 

Crystal Cove State Park and the undeveloped woodland features rustic, overnight campsites. Camp areas:  Loop 1 & Loop 2 are accessible only by foot. All vehicles must be left at the park office!! No pets are allowed and all sites are a 3-mile hike from parking lot. There is no drinking water available, no trash cans available - everything is pack it in, pack it out. 

New to the Crystal Cove State Beach are the Historic Beach house renovations, The Beachcomber Restaurant and the Date Shack's concessions operations shifted to the Rubys Corporation that now operates the business as the Shake Shack.

camp sites


Fires are restricted to backpack stoves. The park is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. Crystal Cove SP, 8471 PCH,  Laguna Beach, CA 92651. Kiosk Hours:  8am-4pm. Cost is Up on PCH, there's a building which sits off the road. It's something of a landmark, having been around for 45 years or so, according to one shake maker there. You'll see a posted sign, usually some cars parked and joggers and bicyclists gathered for a bit of refreshment. Once known for its date shakes, it is now operated as a concession by Ruby's corporation, serving a variety of shakes, coffee drinks, sodas and snacks. The price of a shake is around $4 when we checked and tried one in 2007.  

Directly across the street is a massive cement facade surrounded by fresh, green lawn with the wording "Newport Coast". In striking contrast to the wild flowers and building across the highway, multimillion dollar estates with ocean views are being built as parked bulldozers indicate. We hope the newest, wealthiest members to the area will learn to coexist with a favorite establishment. The little shack offers the tastiest drink for miles. 



Laguna Beach < Crystal Cove > Corona del Mar

crystal cove state beach
photo of beaches of crystal cove state park
crystal cove state park beach photograph