Orange County Beaches
The best beach spots in Orange County, home of Southern California's best beaches, told by a knowledgeable local.
Orange County, California is home to some of the world's best beaches. But unfamiliarity with the area can make choosing the right Orange County beach for you a daunting task. The following are some of the best Orange County beaches to frequent, complete with suggestions about what beach to choose depending on your desired activities.
If you're going to the beach to surf, several Orange County spots could be your best bet depending upon daily conditions. The Huntington Beach pier is almost always at least decent, and is often very good. The same goes for the San Clemente Pier. Salt Creek and Strands often have bigger waves relative to other nearby beaches, but the waves are harder to surf, though better surfers can often get great rides at Salt Creek on big days. Harder to get to, but by far the best breaks in Orange County, are Tresltles and San Onofre. Both are in Southern Orange County, near the border to San Diego County.
If you are learning to surf, the two best beaches to do so at are Doheny, which is best for long boards, and Blackies Beach by the Newport Pier (and really the entire Balboa Peninsula North of the Newport Pier.
The best family beaches in Orange County are Big Carona, Doheny, and Salt Creek. All have a marked family atmosphere, plenty of lifeguards, and snack bars. The drawback are the crowds. Less crowded alternatives are South of the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach well South of the pier.
Laguna Beach offers the best secluded beaches in Orange County. The best ones are Victoria Beach and Table Rock. Both can be accessed by stair cases just off Coast Highway in South Laguna. Just look carefully for the street signs (Victoria Street and Table Rock Street) and park and descend the stairs. Parking can be tough to find, but the breathtaking, quiet beaches are well worth any hike you have to make.
Salt Creek and T Street (1/2 mile South of San Clemente Pier) along with Huntington Beach Pier are the best body boarding spots in Orange County. All have separate body boarding areas during the crowded season so conflicts don't develop with the surfers.
Main Beach in Laguna and the Balboa Pier both offer good beaches and entertainment zones within walking distance. Balboa has a carnival like "Fun Zone" and is geared toward snacks, rides, and renting equipment for transportation down the boardwalk. Laguna is more geared to upscale shopping, art galleries, and a ton of restaurants.
Volleyball players should check out the Balboa Bay Club's private beach, the Huntington Pier, and Victoria Beach (which has occasional but high quality players).
Enjoy Your Trips To The Beach.