Local’s Picks for Best Orange County Beaches 

pretty homes on the cliffs at Thousand Steps Beach in Laguna Beach California

Looking for the best Orange County beaches? We got you. Home to some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, these Orange County beaches are an experience unlike any other. Whether you’re looking for oceanfront restaurants, hiking trails, awesome swells, excellent shopping, or anything in between, the best OC beaches have something for everyone.

Most of the public Orange County beaches will have lifeguards on duty during the summer months, but not in the winter. In terms of other amenities, each of these beaches have their own aspects and features that make them all unique. After checking out this complete guide to all the best Orange County beaches, you’ll know which ones you’ll want to add to your Southern California road trip!

Best Beaches in Orange County

Laguna Beach – Main Beach

Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower Main Beach

Laguna Beach is not only one of the best beaches in Orange County, but it’s also one of the most popular beach locations in all of Southern California. As you can imagine, the beach gets pretty busy during the summer months because of the endless shopping, dining, art galleries, entertainment options, and cool things to do in Laguna Beach within steps of Main Beach.

Laguna Beach stands out from other Orange County beaches because of its long list of amenities and activities. Whether traveling with family, a group of friends, or taking a solo beach day, Main Beach offers something for everyone.

Main Beach, which is located in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach offers volleyball and basketball courts, a children’s playground, restrooms, and showers— it’s also easy to walk and enjoy the downtown area from the beach.

Many Laguna Beach-goers enjoy body surfing, body boarding, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. With its wide variety of beach activities, it’s no wonder people deem Laguna as one of the best OC beaches.

Because Laguna Beach can be one of the most visited Orange County beaches, guests can experience some difficulty when trying to park mid-summer. Luckily, there are metered parking lots in the downtown village as well as metered street parking along PCH. Downtown Laguna Beach also has some paid parking lots, or you can try your luck at parking further away in a residential area and walking downtown.

If you strike out finding parking altogether, don’t be afraid to park somewhere that may be further away from the Main Beach. The Laguna Beach Trolley runs up and down the coast and can conveniently drop you off at the Main Beach. For a map, the trolley schedule, or any additional info, the City of Laguna Beach website has it all.

view of Laguna Beach from Heisler Park in Southern California

Just a little further north of Main Beach is Heisler Park, which is a gorgeous oceanfront park that stretches along the bluffs. Equipped with walking trails, picnic tables, barbecues, restrooms, tide pools, and benches, Heisler Park is the perfect spot to soak in one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County and views from atop of the bluffs. This is one of the most dramatic views, there’s something about the rugged coastline that is unrivaled compared to the rest of the Orange County beaches!

Huntington City Beach

aerial view of Huntington Beach and Pier in Huntington Beach California

Another one of the Orange County beaches that is also one of the major Southern California beaches is Huntington City Beach, also known as Surf City USA. Huntington Beach itself stretches across 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline.

Known to be one of the most famous beaches in Orange County, it is also known for its beautiful long pier, incredible downtown shopping and dining on Main Street, and its professional surf events and other shows that attract people from all over the country. Huntington City Beach might take the cake in terms of entertainment amongst these Orange County beaches.

With all its amazing attributes, it’s hard to choose just one attraction that Huntington Beach is known for. You can also find volleyball courts, surfboard/bike rentals, RV camping (available October-May), bonfire pits, and an awesome boardwalk— it’s also not uncommon to stumble upon some great live music. They also offer multiple public restrooms and outdoor showers.

But that’s not all. Some of the most fun things to do at Huntington City Beach don’t even involve being on the sand or in the water. Some of my top recs would be:

Find yourself a Surf City USA souvenir from one of the many surf shops located downtown like Huntington Surf & Sport or Jack’s Surfboards! Two legendary surf shops that are a local mainstay.

Walk around the Farmers Market every Tuesday night from 5 PM-9 PM!

Enjoy a mouth-watering oceanfront meal at Fred’s Mexican Café, try to get an outdoor seat to overlook downtown Huntington Beach and the ocean below!

Join in on the Surf City USA Barrel Trail— a digital pass that allows visitors to discover 12 craft breweries, distilleries, and tasting rooms with access to exclusive offers and discounts!

Take a surf lesson here too! Check out the local companies who offer surf sessions and lessons at no other than Surf City USA!

Also, there are many ‘pay as you wish’ yoga on the beach in the mornings at Huntington Beach! Check Meetup for any free yoga classes on the beach to join, it’s one of our favorite things to do when we go back to visit family.

In terms of parking, Huntington City Beach falls next to a large residential neighborhood where visitors can often find free street parking, but this is difficult in the summer. There are also several paid parking garages if that is more suitable for your trip! Or you can pay for parking at Pacific City.

All in all, a visit to this beautiful beach is a must when considering the best beaches in Orange County. Be sure to also check out all the other amazing things to do in Huntington Beach.

Huntington State Beach

Huntington-State-Beach-one-of-the-best-beaches-in-Orange-County-california

Huntington State Beach itself stretches about two miles from north of Beach Boulevard to the Santa Ana River towards Newport Beach. Huntington State Beach and Huntington City Beach, two of the best beaches in Orange County, together make up a six-mile stretch of beautiful coastline.

Because of the surfing restrictions of the nearby Santa Ana River jetty, Huntington State Beach is known to be one of the best OC beaches for swimming, bodysurfing, and boogie boarding.

While you may not get to surf as much here as you might be able to at other Orange County beaches, there is no lack of amenities. You’ll find public restrooms, outdoor showers, volleyball and basketball courts, barbecue grills, 200 fire rings (which are first-come, first-served), picnic space, a nice paved beach path, as well as prime surf fishing!

Make sure to arrive early during the peak season to snag some real estate in the picnic areas or one of the fire rings. The beach is also known to have some excellent bird watching.

Another reason to visit Huntington State Beach is the fact that there are lifeguards on patrol all year long. While the lifeguard towers are usually staffed from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, there are always lifeguards on the beach to make guests feel safe.

Visitors can pay $15 for all-day parking for standard vehicles but there are no in/out privileges. Some other things to keep in mind is that this is one of the Orange County beaches that does not allow dogs, glass, smoking, or alcohol. There is also no RV or tent camping allowed as it is a day-use only beach.

If you have a beach cruiser or bike, this is a great place to bring it as you can ride along the flat bike and walking trail all along Huntington Beach which stretches 15.7 miles from Bolsa Chica to the north all the way to the end of Huntington State Beach to the south all along the beach.

All that said, adding Huntington State Beach to your list of best OC beaches is a no-brainer.

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Beach and green shack near Newport Beach in Orange County California

One of the prettiest beaches in Orange County, and one of our favorite spots, Crystal Cove State Park is an absolute must when visiting Southern California.

This beach is one of the best Orange County beaches for outdoor enthusiasts, while we all love the beach, Crystal Cove offers an experience beyond the sand. With 3.2 miles of beach, this spot also has 2,400 acres of “backcountry wilderness,” providing guests with the best of both worlds.

For those more interested in inland activities, Crystal Cove is popular amongst mountain bikers, hikers, and even equestrians. The State Park staff even offers guided hikes, tide pool walks, and geology talks. As for the water, this is one of the best OC beaches for aquatic activities— scuba, swimming, and surfing.

Just when you think Crystal Cove can already be deemed the best of the Orange County beaches, we aren’t through yet. What makes Crystal Cove stand out from the other best OC beaches is the 12.3-acre portion dedicated to the Crystal Cove Historic District where visitors can find 46 vintage coastal cottages that were built in the 1930s and 40s.

The cottages have undergone two phases of restoration to be able to best serve the community— bringing visitor services, educational and community programs, a restaurant, and at least 21 cottages for overnight public use. You can even stay in one of them (our dream), but you need to plan well in advance!

One of the best things to do at this OC beach is to eat at the Beachcomber Cafe right on the beach. They offer both lunch and dinner, the dinner menu is slightly different than lunch and everything we’ve ever had here is great! This is actually one place we always return to when we go back to visit California as it’s just one of our favorite places.

Because it is a state beach, it will cost $15/vehicle for all-day parking, or guests can pay $5/hour if they only plan on staying for one or two hours. Luckily, parking can be validated if you dine or drink at The Beachcomber Café, located in the Historic District. There is a shuttle that runs from the parking area to the beach, or you can follow the trail under the PCH which is around a 10 minute and scenic walk.

Lastly, this beach has restrooms adjacent to all parking lots and showers.

Corona Del Mar State Beach

Corona-Del-Mar-State-Beach-at-sunset-in-Orange-County-California

Operated by the City of Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar State Beach is another one of the best OC beaches. This half-mile-long beach is one of our serious contenders for the prettiest beach in Orange County— with cliffs, coves, and the Newport Harbor jetty surrounding this beach, it is a sight like no other.

Proving its film-like beauty, the famous 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island and the 1999 Disney film, The Thirteenth Year featured shots of this beautiful beach.

Corona Del Mar, like most of our Orange County beaches, is popular amongst swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers. Some of the featured amenities include restrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, volleyball courts, as well as fire pits, and picnic tables. There are also lifeguards on duty during daylight hours.

Although this is one of the smaller Orange County beaches, there is still so much to see. One of Corona Del Mar’s most popular attractions is Pirate’s Cove, also known as Rocky Point, which is a little beach at the mouth of Newport Harbor with beautiful rock formations.

The only safe way to access Pirate’s Cove is by the staircase in the middle of the cliff, which leads down to the calm water, which is safe for swimming. Keep in mind there are no facilities at Pirate’s Cove. It’s also located below a small park called Lookout Point Park, a great spot for expansive views of the ocean and harbor. 

In terms of parking, since we are dealing with another state beach, there is a $15 fee. If you’re committed to finding free parking while checking out one of the best OC beaches, visitors can park their cars on the bluff and take one of the several hiking trails down to the sand.

Aliso Beach

Aliso-Beach-in-Laguna-Beach-Orange-County-California

Aliso Beach is one of the most well-known Laguna Beach beaches, as well as one of the most popular Orange County beaches— especially amongst skimboarders. Aliso Beach’s claim to fame is hosting the annual world championship of skimboarding, known as The Vic.

365 days a year, you can catch some of the world’s best skimboarders mastering their craft on the heavy shore break. Even beyond the skimboard, Aliso Beach is easily one of the best OC beaches with a long list of activities and amenities.

While skimboarding is more popular here than any other of the best beaches in Orange County, it is also a great spot for swimming, bodysurfing, body boarding, and stand-up paddle boarding.

If you’re feeling hungry, this is one of the Orange County beaches that offers food concessions. In addition, guests will be able to find access to restrooms, outdoor showers, fire rings, and even a playground if you’re visiting with kids.

There is a parking lot located at this beach and it’s also the only Laguna beach to offer on-site metered parking for $1/hour.

If you’re looking to step away from the crowds that come along with the best OC beaches, check out West Street Beach— located near the south end of Aliso Beach. This is a reserved and less crowded beach (even during peak season) that may be just a little trickier to get to but has a lot to offer, just walk along Aliso Beach to the south and you’ll reach West Street Beach.

West Street Beach has large expanses of sand and a variety of tide pools, it is also known to have an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. It was known to help create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community.

There is a parking lot located at this beach and it’s also the only Laguna beach to offer on-site metered parking for $1/hour.

Victoria Beach

Victoria Beach Pirate Tower in Laguna Beach in Orange County California

Another one of the best beaches in Orange County, Victoria Beach is located just south of downtown Laguna Beach and is widely known for its Pirate Tower, which quickly became a famous spot for photos.

The tower was built back in 1926 as an enclosed staircase down to the beach for Los Angeles Senator William E. Brown. Although the tower can be explored at low tide (but you can still see it from the beach), it has still helped Victoria Beach to be listed as one of the best beaches in Orange County.

And even though this beach has received some degree of fame because of the tower, it is still very reserved and relatively less crowded than other Orange County beaches.

Beyond the Pirate Tower, Victoria Beach has volleyball courts, caves, and some of the best tide pools in Southern California. It’s also another one of the best OC beaches for skimboarding, snorkeling, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, and scuba diving.

When considering parking, it is difficult to come by. There is free and metered parking available along Pacific Coast Highway and there is also access to free parking in nearby neighborhoods. If you happen to strike out with free or metered parking, there is access to the beach via the free trolley.

Upon arriving, be prepared to take multiple flights of stairs down to the sand and also make sure to use the restroom before arrival since there is no access to bathrooms at Victoria Beach.

While Victoria Beach is easily one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County, it’s incredibly important to check the tide before planning a visit. At high tide, this beach could be considered unsafe and you obviously will not be able to take advantage of all the incredible activities here since waves break right on the shore.

It’s also important to note that the City of Laguna Beach prohibits guests from taking or collecting any rocks, shells, or marine life. There are also no lifeguards at this beach.

Thousand Steps Beach

Thousand Steps Beach in South Laguna Beach

One of the largest beaches in South Laguna Beach, Thousand Steps Beach is almost exactly what it sounds like— guests must tackle the 223 steps to get down to the expansive and gorgeous sand. The feat is definitely worth it to experience one of the most open-spaced Orange County beaches.

If you plan on visiting this beach on your best OC beaches tour, plan to pack light to make the grueling steps not so grueling on your way back up.

This beach is known to be one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County for its breathtaking sandstone cliffs that border the sand, as well as its famous caves and tide pools that adventurous visitors can explore. Swimming to these tide pools and checking out the caves can be rather dangerous and they are best experienced when the tide is low.

Also, the giant houses perched on the cliffs are also a sight to behold. Many of them have funiculars from the cliff down to beachside cottages too! 

In addition, Thousand Steps Beach is another popular spot for body surfing and skimboarding because of its intense shore break, waves crashing right on the sand can be incredible but are also best suited for experienced athletes.

Because people are usually scared off by the steps, the sand space is usually very wide and open— leaving plenty of room for you and your group. Thousand Steps also has volleyball courts, public restrooms, and an outdoor shower.

While there is parking available along PCH and in nearby residential areas, like most Orange County beaches, it can be difficult to snag a parking spot here. Also, be sure to double-check the legality of your park job, people have been known to receive parking tickets while down on the beach.

Since parking is limited, you can always take the Laguna Beach trolley (Coastal Route and Long Coastal Route) and get dropped off at 7th Ave and walk the last few steps to the staircase entrance to the beach on 9th Avenue. 

It may sound like a lot of work and caution goes into a visit to Thousand Steps, but we promise it’s worth the trip. This is one of the best beaches where even if there’s a crowd, it’s spread out and easily one of the best Orange County beaches to check out while in Southern California.

Crescent Bay Beach

Crescent-Bay-Beach-in-Laguna-Beach-Orange-County-California

Located in North Laguna Beach, Crescent Bay is known to be one of the most breathtaking and prettiest beaches in Orange County. Only about 1/4 of a mile in length, Crescent Bay has a lot to offer its visitors. With towering rocky cliffs at the north and south ends, pitted caves, a reserved sand area, and numerous beautiful homes atop the bluffs— this beach is just about as gorgeous as it gets amongst the best OC beaches.

While Crescent Bay is great for its long list of activities, most of these are best done at low tide for your safety, this is a common theme amongst these Orange County beaches. There are two scuba diving areas located just offshore of the beach— Seal Rock and Dead Man’s Reef. Don’t let the name scare you off, Crescent Bay is one of the most popular dive spots amongst the best Orange County beaches. Seal Rock is also a great place to catch sight of seals and sea lions.

Another awesome low tide activity is exploring the tide pools, which are located at both ends of the cove. Lastly, Crescent Bay is not known to be a great beach for swimming— it can be considered dangerous because of the intense riptides. If you do choose to swim, scuba, or snorkel at this beach, make sure to wear fins!

There will be those who feel bold enough to engage in some skimboarding or surfing but make sure to use good judgment beforehand. Otherwise, feel free to bask in the sun or check out Crescent Bay Point Park, located above the west side of the beach, this is a perfect spot for whale watching. This beach is easily one of the best Orange County beaches for its wide array of activities at your disposal.

Other things included in this experience would be relatively smaller crowds, public restrooms, showers, and lifeguards.

Parking at this beach may be on the challenging side, but there is metered parking available along PCH. Guests can also find some spots in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Santa Ana River Jetties

Santa Ana River Jetties at Newport Beach in Orange County California

Known as the “River Jetties” to local surfers, the Santa Ana River County Beach is the northernmost beach in Newport, which is also divided by the Santa Ana River Channel.

This is one of the best OC beaches as far as the surfers are concerned due to its reliable conditions all year long. Not only is this a great spot for surfers, but this area has a couple of paved bike paths— attracting bicyclists, runners, skateboarders, and everyone in between.

In comparison to other Orange County beaches, the River Jetties happen to be located in a very residential area— but it is open to the public. Because it is one of the more reserved beaches, amenities are limited. Visitors can expect lifeguards, great surf, and a calm local environment, Other than that, there are no amenities or facilities.

In terms of parking, consider yourself lucky if you find street parking here— it’s practically impossible unless you’re driving a Vespa in the summer or you’re lucky and also great at parallel parking. That being said, be on the lookout for parking lots on Seashore Drive. 

If you’re thinking about dinner and drinks after your day at one of the best Orange County beaches, head towards the pier.

Balboa Beach

Balboa Pier at Balboa Beach in Newport Beach California

Often referred to as “The Peninsula,” Balboa Peninsula Beach is a beautiful 3-mile stretch of coast that is easily among one of the best Orange County beaches. Located in Newport Beach, Balboa has something for everyone.

With its paved path, this beach is especially popular among bicyclists, skateboarders, and runners. Unlike the rest of our Orange County beaches, this particular one is not necessarily known to be a great place to swim. It is most popular for its well-known yet dangerous surfing and skimboarding spot called, ‘The Wedge,’ which can be found at the south end of the peninsula. But the closer you are to the Balboa Pier, the better swimming conditions are.

Other amenities here are lifeguards, public restrooms, and volleyball courts.

For activities beyond the sand, Balboa is one of the best OC beaches. Make sure to check out Balboa Fun Zone, one of Southern California’s oldest coastal amusement parks. Boasting over 7 million annual visitors, Balboa Fun Zone is one of the most incredible attractions amongst our Orange County beaches. If you’re looking for a Ferris Wheel, arcade games, and tons of sweet treats, look no further.

Another historical attraction here is The Balboa Pavilion, one of Newport Beach’s most famous landmarks. From The Pavilion, visitors can partake in whale watching, dine at the Harborside Restaurant, or even get aboard the Catalina Flyer for a day trip to Catalina Island. But this is also one of our all-time favorite places in California, so you may want to consider spending an entire weekend at Catalina Island too!

Free street parking can be found while visiting Balboa Beach. Be sure to check Balboa Boulevard and Ocean Boulevard. There are also additional lots nearby that offer free parking.

You won’t want to miss Balboa Beach if you’re in the area, this is one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County.

Newport Municipal Beach

Newport Beach Pier at Newport Beach in Orange County California

There may not be any other Orange County beaches on this list that offers as much as Newport Municipal Beach. Located around the Newport Beach Pier, there are plenty of places to post up on the sand for the day, a beachside bike and walking path, and tons of great bars and restaurants all along the beach.

While Newport Municipal is another one of the best OC beaches for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing, the possibilities seem endless here. Guests will find a paved bike path for their beach cruisers, along with volleyball courts, public restrooms, showers, picnic tables, a play area for kids, and even a fishing pier. While the pier is popular for fishing, visitors can also catch breathtaking views of the shore.

Even some of the best Orange County beaches don’t have anything like the Dory Fleet Fish Market. Located near the pier, this market was founded in 1891 and has been selling fresh catch to locals ever since. Your best chance to get your hands on some of the best seafood around is to head there before sunrise and bring some cash! Guests can usually find all their favorite seasonal seafood like crab, lobster, mussels, and more!

Just like Balboa, this is one of the best OC beaches for the fun beyond the sand. Check out any of the popular bars and restaurants in the area.

Some popular spots located near the pier:

  • Pipeline— a great spot for some burgers and frozen sweets
  • Rockin’ Baja Lobster— snag a margarita and some excellent seafood
  • Baja Sharkeez— an awesome bar with delicious yet simple Mexican dishes
  • 21 Oceanfront— more of an upscale joint with great steak and seafood
  • Charlie’s Chili Restaurant— Mexican-American cuisine that makes the perfect post-beach meal

Enjoy all of these incredible features at one of the best Orange County beaches for a small price to park. There is a paid lot right near the pier.

San Clemente State Beach 

view-down-to-San-Clemente-State-Beach-in-Orange-County-California

San Clemente State Beach is one of the best OC beaches for all your favorite outdoor activities. This is more of a rocky and rugged beach with a narrow strip of sand and is most popular for camping, hiking, fishing, bonfires, and surfing.

One of the main attractions here is the incredible campgrounds. Located atop the gorgeous bluffs, San Clemente has 159 campsites that attract people from all over to soak in one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County. These campgrounds also have everything you need while camping — BBQ grills, cell service, electric hook-up, hot showers, flush toilets, picnic areas, and even a gift shop. If you’re interested in camping here, make sure to look at reservations far in advance!

If you’re not visiting for the camping, there’s still plenty for you do to while visiting San Clemente. This beach is also one of the best Orange County beaches for surfers, especially with Trestles Beach, which is a collection of popular surfing spots close by.

Guests can also ride their bikes or take a hike on the San Clemente Coastal Trail, which begins at this beach and travels north. Other popular activities that aren’t available at all Orange County beaches are scuba diving and snorkeling.

As far as amenities, you can count on this beach having lifeguards on duty, public restrooms, showers, fire pits, picnic tables, and more. Another one of our favorite things about San Clemente is watching the trains go by— railroad tracks are located right behind the sand.

Because most state Orange County beaches require a fee for parking, guests should anticipate paying to park at San Clemente State Beach. Luckily there is a day-use parking area accessible to this beach.

T-Street Beach

T-Street-Beach-in-San-Clemente-California at sunset

Another San Clemente spot is T-Street Beach. Located near the San Clemente Pier, this spot is one of the Orange County beaches most appreciated for its surfing and bodyboarding. While T-Street is known for its surf break, keep an eye out for designated surf times. T-Street is one of the few Orange County beaches with restrictions prohibiting surfers from the waves at certain hours during the week.

Aside from the surf, T-Street is packed with amenities— making it a must on your list of best OC beaches. During the summer, visitors will find food & concessions, fire/BBQ pits, picnic tables, and practically anything else you’ll need for a perfect beach day. From here, you will also have access to the San Clemente Beach Trail. Because of all its awesome features, T-Street is one of the best Orange County beaches for families.

Guests can find metered parking along the bluffs of the beach as well as free street parking in nearby neighborhoods and along Paseo Cristobal. You definitely won’t want to miss out on a perfect summer day at one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County.

Salt Creek Beach 

aerial-view-of-Salt-Creek-beach-and-Monarch-Beach-in-Dana-Point-Orange-County-California

Located in Dana Point, Salt Creek Beach is easily one of the prettiest beaches in Orange County. One of its main attractions is Salt Creek Beach Park, a gorgeous green park overlooking the ocean. Its expansive grassy areas are perfect for BBQs, yard games, or watching the beautiful sunset at the end of the day. From the park, you can also find access to the Salt Creek Trail as well as a basketball court.

As for the ocean, Salt Creek Beach is known to be an excellent beach for surfing— as most of our Orange County beaches are. Due to an offshore reef creating some incredible swells along the coastline, surfers can expect to have a lot of fun here.

In addition to the surf, people love this beach for swimming, body surfing, fishing, sunbathing, and even checking out the nearby tidepools. What really makes this one of the best OC beaches is the pristine facilities they offer.

With convenience structures offering public restrooms, outside shows, nice parking areas, and even a concession (spring and summer only) where beachgoers can snag some food items and beach supplies or rentals— you’ll have access to just about everything you need.

Nearby, you’ll find exquisite resorts and the Monarch Beach Golf Links all worth checking out during your tour of the best Orange County beaches.

Salt Creek Beach is one of the Orange County beaches you can usually count on to have sufficient parking space. Parking is available in the large public lot off Ritz-Carlton Drive once you get off PCH. From the lot, visitors will be able to get down to the park and beach via a pedestrian underpass and trail. Because it can be a long walk, when the beach is busy there will be a shuttle available that will take you back up the hill for $1. 

If you are traveling with dogs, note that they are not allowed on the beach, only in the park.

Seal Beach

sunset-at-Seal-Beach-Pier-in-Orange-County-California

Finishing off our best Orange County beaches guide is Seal Beach— a small town nestled between Long Beach and Huntington Beach.

One of the best OC beaches for fishermen, surfers, sunbathers, and swimmers alike, Seal Beach has something for everyone. Some other popular activities here include windsurfing, volleyball, bodyboarding, and of course, checking out Eisenhower Park.

One of the few Orange County beaches with a park, Eisenhower offers oceanfront views, picnic facilities, playgrounds, tennis courts, and grassy areas for relaxing and games. This beach also includes access to public restrooms and showers.

Equipped with the Seal Beach Municipal Pier, this allows guests to spot some wonderful sea life. From this vantage point, people can usually catch a glimpse of dolphins and seals as well as some pigmented sunsets at the end of the day— making it a serious contender for the prettiest beach in Orange County.

In addition to the main beach activities, Seal Beach is known to have a wide variety of shops and restaurants in its downtown Main Street area. Whether you’re looking for a cup of coffee, sweet treats, a full course meal, or some trinkets from a gift shop— you’re bound to find whatever you’re in the mood for here.

While visitors may get lucky enough to snag limited free or metered street parking on Main Street or in nearby neighborhoods, it is most common to park in the paid lots, which can be as little as $6 for an entire day. Not such a steep price to enjoy one of the best Orange County beaches.


About our Guest Author

My name is Katie and I am based in the Bay Area, but grew up right here in Southern California and I’m so excited to share my home state with you.


Enjoyed this guide to the best Orange County beaches? Consider also checking out the best beaches in LA if you’re exploring further north or bookmark this post for later.

best-beaches-in-orange-county-cali