Orange County is one of the top spots in the entire country if you're looking for fun beaches. From surfing spots to relaxing swimming areas, you'll find virtually any kind of beachfront experience you're looking for whether you want adventure or relaxing, family-friendly fun. You can even enjoy opportunities to see marine life like seals and dolphins, or even greater diversity if you scuba dive to the depths off the coast. Learn all about the 10 best beaches in Orange County.


    Huntington City Beach

    Explore Surf City, USA

    • Adventure

    Huntington City Beach is one of the most popular spots in the country for surfing, and you'll also find volleyball courts, bike trails, and a pier. If you're a fan of surfing, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better destination, as Huntington City Beach, nicknamed Surf City, always seems to have the necessary waves for intense surfing opportunities. The pier on the beach also features shops with all the surfing equipment necessary to hit the waves yourself. Of course, the beachfront has plenty of open space to enjoy games like volleyball or some relaxation on the soft sands.

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 10 pm


    Trestles Beach

    Catch some waves in 3 beach areas

    • Adventure

    Trestles Beach is made up of 3 different beaches, and each offers impressive surfing opportunities that are perfect for travelers looking for adventure. It's a bit more isolated than other popular beaches in Orange County, so you won't be sharing the beach with large crowds. Keep in mind that getting to Trestles takes a bit of trekking, as there's a mile-long path you must follow from the parking area to the beach itself. Once you reach the beach, you can ride the waves or simply enjoy the California sun.


    The Wedge

    Surf the legendary wave

    • Adventure

    The Wedge is a spot in Newport Beach that's home to the legendary wave of the same name that draws in surfers from all over the world. The wave itself can grow massive in size thanks to large swells that reach heights of 30 feet. If you want to test your surfing mettle, there's no better place in Orange County. Of course, simply sitting on the warm sands of the beach and observing this beast of a wave from afar can be remarkably relaxing in its own right.

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm


    Seal Beach

    See the seals at this aptly named beach

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Seal Beach is a relatively quiet beach that's home to inviting waters, soft sands, and a population of seals that frequent the area. While visitors can't actually interact with the seals, they are a fascinating sight to behold as they flop around and bask in the sun. Out in the water, you can find more wildlife, as dolphins are often seen here as well. In fact, Seal Beach is a popular spot for dolphin tours that let you get up close to these incredible animals.

    Open: Daily from 4.30 am to 10 pm


    San Onofre Surfing Beach

    Learn to surf at Old Man's Beach

    • Adventure

    San Onofre Surfing Beach, or Old Man's Beach, is a popular spot for beginner surfers that offers relatively small waves useful for those just starting out. The friendly waves on this beach bring in beginner surfers from all over the region to learn how to handle waves before tackling the bigger challenges nearby. In addition to surfing, you can also play volleyball on the beachfront courts or relax by the fire rings. Don't forget to check out the nearby hiking trails as well if you're looking for a scenic stroll.

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 949-492-4872


    Doheny Beach

    Explore a family-friendly beach

    • Families

    Doheny Beach is a premier destination for families looking for some fun in the sun thanks to its calm waters, picnic facilities, and low-tide offerings. The waves at this beach are fairly calm and safe for swimming, the most popular activity here. They can get a bit large too, though, so you can tackle some beginner surf waves if you like. The picnic areas make it easy to enjoy a beachfront lunch, while a whole new world of adventure opens up at low tide. When the tide is low, a boulder field is revealed along with tide pools that are packed full of fascinating marine life to explore.

    Location: 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 949-496-6171


    North Beach San Clemente

    Relax on this spacious beach

    • Families

    North Beach San Clemente is known primarily for its width, so you'll find plenty of room to relax with space to set up a towel or chair on the sand. The beach offers warm, white sands that are welcoming and accommodating to travelers looking to lay out a towel or those who would rather enjoy the ocean views from a picnic area. Don't hesitate to bring the little ones along either, as the water is relatively calm, and they can enjoy swings located right on the beach.

    Location: Avenida Estacion, San Clemente, CA 92672, USA

    Open: Daily from 4 am to midnight

    Phone: +1 949-361-8219


    Victoria Beach

    Find endless adventure with this beach's varied offerings

    • History
    • Adventure

    Victoria Beach is one of the most popular in Laguna Beach thanks to the many activities it offers, including exploring historical landmarks and geological features, and relaxing on the sand. At this beach, you'll find the legendary Pirate Tower, which is a historical lighthouse you can visit. Additionally, this beach is home to caves to explore as well as the comforting sands and waters you'd expect. Just make sure to visit during the summer. The winter months don't leave much sand left on the shore, rendering the beach mostly rocky.


    Dana Point Harbor Beach

    Enjoy fun for the whole family on Baby Beach

    • Families

    Dana Point Harbor Beach, or Baby Beach, is known for its family-friendly environment where you and the kids can splash around in a roped-off swimming area. The designated swimming area has a lifeguard on hand for protection, and it's located near a grassy park where you can enjoy a nice picnic. Be sure to check out the towering bluffs in the area as well if you're up for a short hike and want to see scenic views of the ocean.

    Open: Daily from 5 am to midnight


    Crystal Cove

    Embark on an aquatic adventure

    • Families
    • Adventure

    Crystal Cove is among the best destinations in Orange County for aquatic adventure whether you're looking for a simple swim or a diving excursion. The beach slopes very gradually as you venture out into the water, so it's safe for swimming, but that's just the beginning. You can also scuba dive around the north end of the beach where you'll find diverse marine life waiting for you. If you're looking for additional adventure, the beach offers a paved bike path along the bluff that has some stunning views.

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 949-494-3539


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