Last month we had the opportunity to visit Disneyland and the Anaheim/Orange County area. Did you know that you can do Disneyland and the beaches of Orange County in one vacation? With beautiful beaches only 30 minutes from Disneyland, it makes perfect sense to combine the two! With 42 miles of coastline in Orange County, you’re sure to find the perfect beach experience for your family. There are plenty of beaches to choose from, here I’ll tell you more about three that we visited.
Beaches of Orange County – Huntington Beach:
Our first beach stop was Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA. This is Southern California’s largest beach (8 1/2 miles). There is something for everyone at this beach! There are walking paths with a beach view that can’t be beat, unique shopping experiences, delicious restaurants and snack bars, plenty of beach volleyball nets for an afternoon of play, and a large boardwalk to take a stroll on. Not only do surfers love to come here to catch a wave but it’s also where you’ll find the Surfing Walk of Fame, International Surfing Museum and Surfer’s Hall of Fame.
My little guy couldn’t get enough of the ocean. This was his first time seeing the ocean and he loved it. It’s a good thing I brought along an extra pair of pants because he kept running into the water to feel the waves on his toes.
Here are some pictures of my little guy & husband taking a stroll on the boardwalk. You can get a great view of the surfers from up here!
Right on the beach is a large shop (Zack’s Surf Shop) where you can order food, rent beach equipment, rent bikes to ride down the paths (even an adorable basket on the front for your little ones!), even take surfing lessons. You can even have them cater a party for you on the beach! I’m going to tell my husband that this is where I want my 40th birthday party! I can dream, right?
Beaches of Orange County – Salt Creek Beach:
While in the area, we stayed at the beautiful Ritz-Cartlon, Laguna Niguel (you can read more about our stay here). With direct access to Salt Creek Beach, we enjoyed a morning at the beach with fabulous service from our Beach Butler. The resort has such beautiful views of the beach area and we couldn’t wait for our chance to go down and experience the all it had to offer. For a fun afternoon with the family, you can enjoy a picnic in Bluff Park which has picnic tables, barbeques, a basketball court, restrooms and a snack bar.
Beaches of Orange County – Laguna Beach:
We made a couple of trips to Lagnua Beach during our visit in the Orange County area. On our first night there, I enjoyed a delicious meal at Las Brisas. They serve a delicious combination of authentic Mexican and fresh seafood dishes and they are one of the most popular restaurants in Southern California. Las Brisas serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. It’s also a great place to stop and have a drink on their patio while enjoying the gorgeous view. To finish our meal, the staff brought out a large platter of delicious desserts. I wish you could see the way my eyes lit up when I saw them leave this huge platter of sweets on our table! Seriously, look at this tray and tell me that your jaw wouldn’t drop as well! No…I won’t admit to how many treats I ate off the tray.
The next day, we enjoyed a delicious family picnic overlooking Laguna Beach and then had a couple of hours to enjoy the beach and the local shops. There really is something for everyone in Laguna Beach. Here is a list of just some of the places you can check out or activities you can try during your visit:
- walk along the seven miles of beach
- wine & cheese tasting venues
- antique shopping
- art galleries
- art festivals
- art classes
- live theater
- Heritage Walk & Tours
- Historical Bungalow Tour
- garden tours
- Pacific Marine Mammal Center
- over 20,000 acres of coastal wilderness, parks and marine preserves surrounding Laguna Beach
- and so much more!
With so many things to see & do in Laguna Beach, it may be difficult to know where to start. The Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau wants to make it easy for you by providing an official Laguna Beach Travel Info app. This app will give information on local hotels, restaurants, shopping, an updated events calendar and more.
My son can’t get enough of the ocean. Even though it was still quite chilly, he kept trying to run into the water as my husband chased him. He was soaked by the time we were ready to leave so we had to pop into a local clothing boutique to buy a dry t-shirt to go with the striped pajama pants that I had in the diaper bag. Next time I’ll remember to pack along an extra pair of pants for him!
Have you been to any of the beaches of Orange County? If so, do you have a favourite?
There is so much to see and do in Orange County – so much more than I have room to list here! To learn more about the Anaheim/Orange County area and to stay updates on exciting news, you can follow them on Facebook & Twitter.
You can read more about our Disneyland and Anaheim/Orange County adventures here on our special Disney Fun page.
*Disclosure: My family was invited on a magical vacation to the Disneyland Parks and the beaches of Orange County. My flight, our hotel, park passes, meal vouchers and other various perks were provided to me as part of this adventure. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.