September 14, 2016

Best Beaches: Top beaches for families in and around Orange County

California travel guide top beaches for families in and around Orange County California

Hello Beachside blog readers! Whether you are new to our blog posts, or always come this way for the best California vacation advice, we want you to have access to the best tips for the sunniest vacation or beach trip! We also love our local beaches, and love sharing them with people! With those things in mind, we are bringing you a new Best Beaches series, where we will cover some of the best Orange County beaches for families, surfers, dates, and more! So stay tuned for four Best Beaches posts coming your way!

First up, we’ve rounded up the best beaches for families with kids! It can be intimidating to try to find the perfect fit amidst so many Southern California beach towns, but when it comes to finding a beach that accommodates people of all ages, these five never fail.

1. Crystal Cove State Park
Best for: nature loving families, education, scenic hikes
If you plan to travel to the Newport Beach or Laguna Beach areas, don’t neglect to check out Crystal Cove State Park ! Crystal Cove is one of the largest remaining stretches of natural coast in Southern California, so it's a great place so soak up the natural beauty of the West Coast, and view local wildlife. With it’s ethereal coves and soft sand, it is the perfect place to settle down and play with the kids, and since this beach is located in a cove, the waves are usually more gentle. Watch for dolphins, relax on the sand, and explore the tide pools.

Since this is a state park,you can also participate in guided hikes and tide pool walks that are fun for the whole family. You'll have to pay for parking, but the cost is worth it. Don’t forget to watch for the tides and leave no trash behind as well to keep our California beaches clean!

2. Mother’s Beach
Best for: very young swimmers
Perhaps the most kid-friendly beach of them all, Mother’s Beach is located in the Long Beach area, and is conveniently located just half a mile from our Long Beach Marina vacation rental . If you are in the neighborhood for a Long Beach vacation and are planning to bring children with you, be sure to stop by this one! This family-friendly beach earns its well-deserving name with its large playground, protected swimming area, picnic facilities and more, and since it's located on the Alamitos Bay, this beach doesn't experience the rough surf that you'll find at other beaches, making it safe for even the smallest swimmers. Young children scatter its shores while mothers and fathers alike settle on beach blankets with snacks and cameras.

If you are looking for a safe and mellow beach, this one is for you! The parking lot can fill up early on sunny days, so plan to arrive early!

3. Aliso Creek Beach
Best for: older kids, boogie boarding, fun around a fire pit
For the family looking for adventure, Aliso Creek Beach in Laguna Beach may be a good fit. It’s tide pools provide a fun interactive environment for the family, while the crashing waves make for fun vacation photography moments. This beach tends to be popular among families for its accessible restrooms, kids play area, snack bar, fire rings, and number of parking options. Unlike other scenic beaches, Aliso maintains an accessible walking area from parking to its shores, making it an easy and convenient option for family visits.

The surf can be a little more rough at Aliso beach, so it may not be the best choice for families with very young kids unless they can be persuaded to stay on shore and build sand castles. For older children who want to ride the waves on their boogie boards, this beach will be a great pick!

4. Seal Beach
Best for: a quiet beach day, local beach town vibes
Seal Beach is an easy choice for families looking to spend a day at the beach. Since Seal Beach isn't as well knows it tends to be quieter and less crowded than some other local beaches. Seal Beach's playground for kids, grassy park, volleyball nets, and variety of shops and restaurants in the surrounding beach town, offers everything families need for an easy, fun, beach day in a quaint local town. The beach itself is a wide sandy beach that surrounds the historic Seal Beach Pier. The pier offers the perfect vantage point for watching sunsets and keeping an eye out for dolphins, while Ruby's Diner at the end of the pier offers a memorable, family-friendly dining experience. For more active families, Seal Beach is also a fun neighborhood to hike and bike.

Seal Beach features two parking lots near the pier. On weekdays, free parking is often readily available, but even on more crowded days, finding a spot to fit a family car is manageable and never too far from Seal Beach’s iconic pier.

5. Little Corona Del Mar
Best for: scenic views, snorkeling and diving, swimming
Like many other family friendly beaches, Little Corona Beach offers a small space of land that feels nearly private, making for a great quiet picnic day overlooking the waves. Rocky reefs at either end of the cove protect this beach from large swells and strong currents, making it a safe place for children to swim. The smaller waves and the reefs also make Little Corona a good place for exploring tide pools as well as snorkeling and diving. Little Corona and the surrounding area also offer stunning views from the beach cliffs -  keep your eyes peeled for occasional dolphin and whale watching opportunities as well!

The only challenge when visiting Little Corona is the street parking and the steep downhill walk to the beach itself. There aren't any stairs, so you can still bring a wagon or stroller, but because of the long walk from parking to the sand, make sure to pack light and carry plenty of water. The walk is well worth it to experience this local gem!

Have another favorite family beach in Southern California?
Contact us and let us know! We would love to hear about your experience and add your favorite beaches to our list!

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