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Best Beaches for Bonfires in Orange County

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Beaches, Best of OC, Featured | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of our favorite things to do during the summer is to take our kids to one of our local beaches to roast marshmallows in a fire pit and eat s’mores while watching the sunset over the crystalline ocean waters. Families are encouraged to come early to snag one of these sought after fire pits. Curious about where to find them? We have everything to you need to know on where to find Orange County beaches with fire pits for your next summer beach bonfire. Aliso Creek Beach 31131 S Pacific Coast Highway Laguna Beach, CA 92651 This beach is one of our favorites to have a bonfire because the fire pits are so close to the parking spots. There is also clean bathrooms, a lifeguard, and a playground for the kids to play. If you want to...

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Hidden Dana Point Waterfall

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in Best of OC, Dana Point, Featured | 3 comments

  One of my favorite hidden gems of Orange County is the secret Dana Point waterfall. Ever since I was a teenager, I would always jump into the car on a rainy day to admire the splendor of this natural beauty. Now that I have kids, our favorite thing to do on a rainy day is going to see the Dana Point waterfall. After we are done watching the waterfall in the rain, we warm-up with a cup of hot cocoa and breakfast at The Harbor House Cafe. Runoff from the city of Dana Point is the cause of the waterfall – so do not go near the water. While it is not the kind of waterfall that you can swim in on the islands of Hawaii ~ it is just as beautiful to admire. What to know… You...

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Laguna Beach Sea Cave and Hidden Swimming Pool

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  If I was to tell the exact location of this sea cave..I would probably be lynched by my local friends. Plus, it is not safe for those to explore who are not used to walking on tide pools with bare feet and spent their toddler years on these beaches. As a child, my parents had a house that hung over the cliffs of this sea cave, and I spent most of my childhood exploring it. Yet..I would not allow my children to go into it because it is not safe for younger children or inexperienced swimmers/rock climbers. Why am I sharing? Our past summers were all about exploring and sharing the beaches in Laguna, and this summer we were committed to discovering/sharing local sea caves. This sea cave is my favorites and leads to a hidden swimming pool...

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Dana Point Sea Caves

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Beaches, Best of OC, Dana Point | 2 comments

  This summer is all about discovering the many sea caves along our beautiful coastline, and today we discovered the Dana Point Sea Caves. I have heard of these sea caves and had always wondered where they were located. Since I knew, they were somewhere around The Ocean Institute, the kids and I set out for the day to find out their exact location. Things we learned! The sea caves are only accessible during low tide (check surfline.com). There is a “small” path to the sea caves, but you’ll want to make sure your kids are wearing water shoes or tennis shoes. My kids were in flip flops, and we had a lot of stubbed toes during our adventure. There is also not a lot of shade along the walk so bring a hat and apply plenty of sunscreen....

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From Surf City to Snow City

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Events, Featured, Huntington Beach | 0 comments

  Monday, March 2, 2015 will be go down in history for us Surf City residents! For 20 magical minutes we went from Surf City to Snow City! Snow, Sand, Sun and Waves what more could you ask for? The fact that it melted within hours of falling didn’t disappoint us! Neither did the fact that it was hail and not actual snow if we want to get scientific about it. We had surf and snow for 1 day and for many long time Huntington Beach residents it was amazing and a sight to behold. Word traveled fast around here. Lesson plans stopped momentarily at our school and the kids and teachers headed to the windows and doors to watch this winter wonderland magic. The community came out to watch the pier and sand get layered in a blanket...

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Free Sea Glass Jewelry Making Class at Crystal Cove State Beach

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Beaches, Events, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Crystal Cove is one of my favorite places to take the children to explore the tide pools. We always see something new every time that we visit making it a memorable experience. During our recent trip, I had taken my younger son to have lunch at The Beachcomber. While we were waiting for a table, we noticed a sign directing visitors to a free sea glass jewelry making class. When we walked over the bridge, there was a large table with a sea of colored sea glass for my son to pick out, and turn into a jewelry keepsake from our visit to Crystal Cove. There was a volunteer at the table who helped to walk me and my son through the entire process of turning the piece of sea glass into jewelry. Once we were done, there...

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The Real OC Baby Beach

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Beaches, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Dana Point and Newport Harbor have what most people in Orange County refer to as the “baby beach.” It is located right inside the harbor and has no waves. Parents can feel safer by taking their children to these beaches without the fears of having their kids washed out to sea. What you will not see is many native Orange County locals bringing their babies to this beach. Why? It is a harbor. The water is grey and usually has yucky moss. (As my son would refer to it as ‘The Grinch’ in the water) The channel does not allow the water to come in and out enough that there can sometimes be higher levels of bacteria in harbor waters. I grew-up sailing my boat in and out of these harbors, and I would see what would leak...

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Picnic Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Beaches, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Picnic Beach is one of the most popular beaches to visit in Laguna Beach. It has the large Heisler Park just steps away where families can have picnic meals and features a long sandy beach. It is located right in-between Rockpile Beach and Divers Cove right in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach. One of the best features of this beach is that there are nice clean bathrooms at the top of the ramp leading down to the beach. The waves are moderate at this beach and are perfect for kids who are looking for a beach to go boogie boarding. The only downside to this beach is that it gets crowded, although not as crowded as Main Beach or Aliso Creek Beach. Where is it? It is located at the corner of Cliff Street and Jasmine Street...

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Divers Cove Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Divers Cove is a popular diving destination for locals, and always a prime beach for families to visit in Orange County this summer. It is located right in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach..just steps away from Main Beach – minus the big crowds. Divers Cove has lots of fun rocks for children to climb and explore when the tide is low, and crystal clear waters for swimming. Since Diver’s Cove is located so close to downtown Laguna Beach, parking at this beach is always a challenge on the weekend. When visiting during the summer, we recommend finding convenient parking near a trolley pick-up location, and having the (free) trolley take your family to the beach. (the drop-off trolley location is Heisler Park). The beach is shaped like a cove and is filled with beautiful fish. Bring your...

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Keeping kids active this summer at Pirate Coast Paddle Summer Camp

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 in Camp, Family, Featured, Newport Beach | 6 comments

  Many parents struggle with keeping their kids active during the summer. With the distractions of video games and television shows, many children don’t get the physical exercise that their growing bodies need during the long hot summer days. With the extreme summer heat that we are having in Orange County, sending kids to summer camp that keeps them active and cool is the perfect way to get kids excited about going outside and ….playing! My kids have been attending Pirate Coast Paddle Summer Camp for the past couple of years, and it has always ended up being their favorite summer memories. The camp is set-up as the traditional summer camps that I attended in the 80’s with cool counselors, and good old fashioned fun. When the kids first arrive in the morning, they help get set-up for the...

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Newport Dunes Beach Playground

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Beaches, Newport Beach, Newport Beach, Parks | 1 comment

  When thinking about visiting Newport Dunes, many of us always automatically think about camping and swimming. Newport Dunes is so much more than just a camping destination including their incredible beach playground. The park is located just steps away from the parking lot, and is open all-year long..not just the summer! There are two-play structures, multiple small play equipment, swings and picnic tables. Did I mention there is also a giant whale sculpture for climbing? Oh yeah…there is! Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the multiple tables shaded by large trees. There is also a snack bar where kids can cool down with a yummy ice cream cone or enjoy a delicious sweet treat. Did I mention bathrooms? There are nice “clean” bathrooms located just steps away from the park. After...

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Rockpile Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Just when we thought that we had covered all of the beaches in Laguna, we discovered one that we had missed – Rockpile Beach. While we had been here a hundred times, we always thought it was part of Heisler Park (aka. Picnic Beach). This hidden gem of Orange County is often overlooked because many of the tourists will head over to Main Beach or Picnic Beach – skipping this beach. The water is crystal clear with beautiful turquoise hues. The only downside to this beach is that swimming is not allowed. While my kids freaked out when they saw a giant red sign telling them that no swimming was allowed in the beautiful waters below, they discovered that they were perfectly content with just “playing” in the water. The beach is a giant tide pool. The kids...

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Riviera Beach in San Clemente

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in San Clemente | 0 comments

  One of our very favorite beaches in Orange County is Riviera Beach in San Clemente.  Riviera lies South of the pier and North of San Clemente State Beach and Campground, and is a great beach for kids due to it’s sandy bottom and outside break.  It can get swells, too, when conditions are right, so it’s popular with the surf crowd as well. Access to the beach is through the Riviera residential district.  Parking, found only on neighborhood streets, can be in short supply on busy summer days and the weekends, so it can be a bit of a walk from the car, but completely worth it. There is a turn around in the cul de sac directly above the access point, so dropping kids and beach gear and then parking is possible. Beach access is to the...

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Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Beaches, San Clemente | 0 comments

  Linda Lane Beach in San Clemente may be one of the perfect – if not the perfect – kid beach in Orange County.  With it’s sandy bottom, outside break, and long shoreline, it is a great place for young kids to play in the water as well as older kids to boogie board (all with supervision, of course). Add to that it’s relatively close parking and stroller accessibility and it’s a beach-going Mama’s dream come true. It’s adventure waiting to happen, I tell you, all within a toddler’s walk from the car.  Hooray! Parking is readily accessible, although it does fill up quickly on busier summer days. Meters, which accept cash or credit card, are available in the parking lot. Once parked, it’s a short, albeit steep, walk down a ramp to a tunnel under the railroad tracks...

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Orange County’s Coastal Gem: Shaw’s Cove

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Sun-glistening waves amongst a setting of beautiful rugged cliffs and swaying palm trees remind you of the reason we live in Southern California. Shaw’s Cove in Laguna Beach is a California travel brochure brought to life. Our family loves this beach because it has something for everyone. The coastline creates a natural barrier to the large swells. The smaller waves help to lessen anxiety we may have felt at other beaches with our young children. We are able to relax and enjoy the fun, rather than anxiously anticipating the large sets coming in. This protection from the swells also lends it to be an environment perfect for diving and snorkeling, so don’t forget your snorkel gear. Scuba-diving instructors use the reef as their classroom and many lessons are taught here. Low-tide is a great time to explore the...

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Aliso Creek Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 22, 2014 in Beaches, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Aliso Creek Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Laguna next to Main Beach. It is also one of the last beaches in Orange County where families can still have a nighttime bonfire. Why is it so popular? Parking is a breeze, they have a snack bar and a fun playground. Aliso Creek Beach is located at 31131 S Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. There is a large parking lot (fee based) and overflow parking in a lot across the street. There is also a lot of free street parking, but it is on a busy part of PCH with a lot of blind spots, so I don’t recommend it. The beach has beautiful white sand, and lots of places for your family to spend a summer day. If your family is coming to use...

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Aliso Creek Beach Playground in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Beaches, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, Parks | 0 comments

  It has been a longtime favorite for residents to bring their kids down to the Aliso Creek Beach playground in Laguna Beach throughout the warm summer months. It is a favorite birthday party destination, place for families to enjoy a picnic lunch or just play with beautiful ocean views. Although the park backs the popular PCH, it is nicely protected by trees and large shrubs to help keep the kids safe while playing. Our favorite part of visiting this park is that parking is made easy with their large parking lot (families must pay a fee to park). The park is located right at the corner of Aliso Creek Beach, with a GPS address of 31131 S Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. Planning a birthday party? There are two picnic benches for birthday parties (first come/first serve) and...

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Catch a Wave at Thalia Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 14, 2014 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Have your kids been dreaming of becoming a surfer? The best way to start is to bring them to see Orange County’s top surfers train at the popular Orange County surfing destination – Thalia Street Beach. Thalia Street Beach is located at the corner of Thalia Street and PCH. Parking is limited, so I encourage your family to arrive early to get a parking spot that is close to the beach access. Once your family walks down the steps to Thalia Street Beach, they will be immersed into a surfing wonderland. During the early morning and weekdays, your kids will have a unique opportunity to see some of the best surfers in Orange County train for competitions and show their talents with the world. There will be coaches walking along the edge of the water helping the young...

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Brooks Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 2 comments

  Brooks Street Beach in Laguna Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches along the coastline. It is nestled right in the corner of a long strip of crystalline sand. The beach is often a place where locals will relax on the giant rock formations, swim and just spend a summer day relaxing under the warm sun. Brooks Street Beach is located right next to Oak Street Beach at the corner of Brooks Street and Ocean Front. Just like most of the beaches in this area of Laguna, parking is a challenge, so plan to arrive early – or you’ll find you family walking quite a distance. The highlight of this beach is there is a public outdoor shower! One of the few in Laguna Beach. The shower is located right at the top of the stairs where...

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Ultimate Skimboarding at Oak Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 7, 2014 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Do your kids like to skimboard? Have they wanted to learn how? Then bring them down to Oak Street Beach in Laguna Beach for the best place to learn and enjoy skimboarding in Orange County. Oak Street Beach is right next in-between Brooks Street Beach and Anita Street Beach. This section of the beach is always full with local kids showing off their ultimate skimboarding tricks while encouraging new kids to give it a try. Oak Street Beach can be found at the corner of Oak Street and Gaviota Drive in laguna Beach. (Right across the street from Gina’s Pizza) Parking is not easy – so we recommend arriving early, and there is always metered parking to be found on the surrounding streets (bonus that they accept credit cards..yeah) At the top of the stairs is a beautiful...

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Anita Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Beaches, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Anita Street Beach located in Laguna Beach is a great beach to visit with your family this summer. It is frequented by local teens on the weekdays, and families on the weekends. Our favorite thing about this beach is that it is right across the street from our favorite frozen yogurt shop, Active Cultures, where we enjoy a refreshing frozen yogurt after a day at the beach. The challenge to visiting this beach is the parking. It is located right in the heart of downtown South Laguna Beach where all the popular shops and restaurants are located. It might take your family a little bit of driving around for a parking space, but it will be well worth it. Once your family finds a parking spot and walks down to the beautiful sandy beach, there are plenty of...

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HB Surf School Summer Surfing Lesson Giveaway

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Events, Featured, Giveaways, Huntington Beach | 7 comments

  Have your kids always wanted to learn how to surf? Don’t know where to start? The HB Surf School is a fantastic place where my kids learned how to surf this past Spring. Within less than an hour, my kids were standing on a board while hanging ten on a wave next to the Huntington Beach Pier. The HB Surf School offers classes and summer camps where children can have the experience of a lifetime getting to learn how to surf. If you haven’t found the perfect summer camp for your children, sign-ups are happening now, and filling up quickly. We are thrilled to treat one lucky to kid to a surfing lesson at the HB Surf School this summer! The winner will also receive a gift pack that contains a t-shirt, stickers, hat and sunglasses. (We recommend...

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Family Guide to Orange County Beaches

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Beaches, Corona del Mar, Dana Point, Featured, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Summer | 1 comment

  You wake up one summer morning and tell the kids, “let’s go to the beach!” As you gather the boogie boards, assemble sandwiches and search for sunblock …you begin to question, “wait, what beach should we go to?” Exactly which Orange County beaches are the right for my family? Which has ample parking, life guards on duty …or, do we just want to rent bikes and go easily into town for lunch and ice-cream? If you can’t decide which beach to pick, here is a guide to help you choose your ideal beach day that meets your expectations. Here are my picks for the coolest family- friendly beaches: For a full guides to the best beaches in Orange County, visit our beaches category, and guide to the OC tide pools. Seal Beach Seal Beach offers a quaint town...

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Guide to the Best Tide Pools in Orange County

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Beaches, Best of OC, Corona del Mar, Dana Point, Featured, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Summer | 4 comments

  With so many beautiful, rocky shorelines in Orange County, tide pools are abundant. Our family loves spending summer days exploring these little ecosystems. The children are always fascinated by the spiny sea urchins, keyhole limpets, hermit crabs, small fish, mussels, sea stars, and colorful anemones. The diversity of life in these marine protected areas vary based on the amount of time they are covered by water. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, you take a step further and realize there’s a whole new world to explore. This creates hours of fun for all ages. Safety tips: Be sure you are aware of the tides at all times. Try to go as the tides are going out rather than coming in. Even at low tide, waves can come in quickly. Feel free to ask lifeguards and docents about...

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Pirates Cove Beach in Corona del Mar

Posted by on May 3, 2014 in Beaches, Corona del Mar, Featured | 1 comment

  Pirates Cove Beach in Corona del Mar was one of my favorite beaches to hang-out when I was a teenager. Over the years, Big Corona became more popular, and more families frequent this beach on the weekends. It might be busy on the weekends, but this premiere beach is almost always empty on a weekday afternoon, giving families an entire beach to themselves. The only downside to this beach is that it is *not* easy to get to with little children. Families can park on the streets above the beach (Ocean Blvd), or pay to park in the Big Corona parking lot. Then your family will need to climb a large rock formation to reach the stairs that lead down to this beautiful cove. Once inside of the cove, your family can explore the many caves or wade...

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Huntington Beach Surf School

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Beaches, Events, Family, Featured, Fitness, Huntington Beach | 1 comment

  Have your kids ever wanted to learn how to surf? Don’t know where to go? We have found the best place for your kids to learn how to surf in Orange County at the HB Surf School. My older son has been wanting to learn how to surf, but is deathly afraid of going out far in the ocean. My husband and I have a love for the ocean, and want to share it with our kids. When my son was just a toddler he got spooked when a squid came up to his mask while snorkeling with us in Hawaii. Ever since that day, we had no luck in getting him past “where he could touch” in the ocean. Now that he is in Junior High, a lot of his friends are surfing. He keeps telling us...

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Tidepools at Tablerock Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Nov 2, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  It might be starting to cool down in Orange County, but weather never keeps our family away from the beautiful beaches in Laguna Beach. Visiting the Tidepools in Laguna Beach is another one of those fun things to do in Orange County with your children. Last week, we ended the weekend with a walk on Tablerock Beach, and enjoyed the beautiful sea life that lives in the Tidepools. When the tide is low, Tablerock Beach has some of the most incredible tidepools for your children to explore. A large rock formation allows children to climb, explore and learn about sea life at this exclusive beach. Finding Tablerock Beach is not that difficult, but finding parking is a significant challenge. Instead of having to worry about parking in the narrow parking places along PCH, I have found it easier...

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El Moro Canyon Beach in Crystal Cove State Park Laguna Beach

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

 The weather has been so wonderful this week that it feels just like Summer again. A group of our friends camped out at the El Moro Canyon campgrounds during the week, and we came down to enjoy a day at the beach with them. This was the first time that I had been at the El Moro Canyon Beach in Crystal Cove since I was a young child. Until recently, this beach was private, and only the residents of the trailer park had access. After the trailer park had been removed, it was converted into a campground, and the public gained beach access. Since not many people realize that you don’t have to be a camper to visit this beach, there is hardly anyone in the turquoise waters of this beach. Accessing this beach can be a little tricky....

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Camel Point Beach in Laguna Beach is Best of Beaches in California

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Where is Camel Point Beach in Laguna Beach? While driving along PCH yesterday with my kids, they shouted out that they spotted a “hidden” beach access sign along PCH. I immediately pulled over, to check out this beach that we had yet to discover in Laguna Beach..just to find that it was Camel Point beach. We had read so many inaccurate stories about its location, and that was why we were always so unsuccessful in locating it over the Summer. It was truly one of the best beaches in California for us yet to discover. Finding this beach is not easy, and they did that on purpose. For a long time, this beach had no local access signs. Although, it was always a public beach, the locals wanted the public to think it was private. I am not...

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Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 2 comments

  Victoria Beach was one of the last beaches that we visited this Summer, and ended up being one of our favorite beaches in Laguna Beach. The only downside to spending a day at this beach is the parking issue. There is extremely limited parking around this beach, and it is quite a trek getting down. For a special occasion, I recommend bringing your family down at least once before the cold weather strikes to enjoy a day at this beautiful beach. Since parking is such a challenge for getting your family to this beach, I always recommend coming with two adults. Then one adult can unload the kids and gear at the top of the stairs while the other adult makes the walk to the nearest parking space. The beach is located right at the corner of South...

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Guide to Visiting Newport Elementary Beach Playground

Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Newport Beach, Newport Beach, Parks | 0 comments

  There is nothing better than to load up the back of the car with the family bikes and head to the Balboa Peninsula to bike ride along the boardwalk. There are so many delicious beachside restaurants, parks to enjoy and of course – the ever famous fun zone. Every time that my family goes down to the Balboa Peninsula for a family bike ride, the kids always love making a stop at the Newport Elementary Beach Playground for some fun after an ice cream cone at the Stuft Surfer Cafe. During the weekdays this playground is used for the kids who attend Newport Elementary School, but during the weekends, families are encouraged to enjoy the premiere playground equipment right on the beach. There are two large playground structures, swings, basketball courts, and lots of small climbers. My kids...

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Guide to Agate Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 1 comment

  Agate Street Beach in Laguna Beach is the neighboring beach to Pearl Street Beach and Bluebird Street Beach. Actually, if you look close enough, it kinda is still the same beach. What is the different between the two? Just about 10-15 feet. Agate Street is just the next beach access over from Pearl Street, so the city gave the beach its own name. What I love about this beach is the large rock formations. When we spend the day at this beach, we will set-up our beach blankets right next to the giant rock formations. If you squint your eyes enough, you can often get the feel of being on your own private beach. Agate Street Beach is located right at the end of Agate Street and PCH in Laguna. Parking is super easy at this beach since...

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Guide to Visiting Mother’s Beach in Dana Point

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Beaches, Dana Point, Featured | 1 comment

  Mother’s Beach in Dana Point has been a popular beach destination for mom’s with young children for many years. Why? Because there are no waves. Children can play in the still, calm harbor water they can sit and relax on the beach. I have to be honest that I have never brought my children to Mother’s Beach out of fear of the pollution in the water, but many of my friends have found it to be completely safe for their children. Where is it located? Mother’s Beach is located right inside of the Dana Point Harbor next to the Ocean Institute. Parking can be very tricky when visiting during the weekends, but on the weekdays there is always plenty of metered parking available. The beach is very calm with absolutely no waves. There is a small section of...

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Guide to Mountain Road Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Mountain Road Beach in Laguna Beach is part of a long strip of beaches in Laguna. It is a small section of the beach located right in front of resort, Capri Laguna on the Beach. It is most known for its historic memorial, the Garden of Peace and Love, at the top of the stairs that was built for those who have lost their lives to AIDS. More than 50 people have their ashes scattered at this oceanfront memorial. There are porcelain cherubs located throughout the brush to see while walking down the large flight of stairs to the beach. The beach is just a small strip of the main strip of sand, but is very peaceful, and relaxing. There is a lifeguard tower located right at the bottom of the stairs, and the surf on this section...

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Guide to Bluebird Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Bluebird Street Beach in Laguna Beach is part of a long strip of connecting beaches. It is located right in front of the Surf & Sand Resort, and is often filled with vacationers playing a game of frisbee in the water. Beach access is challenging unless staying at the resort, but there is public parking along PCH for those who are interested in visiting. My family will often walk down to this beach when visiting Cress Street Beach or Pearl Street Beach. This is the true center of a long strip of Laguna Beaches, and it often has the best surf for younger kids. There are not a lot of rocks, and there is a nice dividing line for surfers vs. swimmers. Where is Bluebird Street Beach? It is located right at Bluebird Street and PCH right in...

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Guide to Cress Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 2 comments

  Cress Street Beach in Laguna Beach has been a popular local beach destination since I can remember. The beach is often located by its historic Cress Street clock at the top of the beach access stairs. The beach has huge rock formations for kids to explore and climb, and the beach makes a slight curve creating a partial cove on the long strip of beach. My husband and I, will often sit on the bench at the top of the Cress Street Beach stairs after a cocktail at the rooftop in Laguna. Where is it located? It is located at the end of Cress Street and Pacific Coast Highway. It is the end of a long strip of connecting beaches, but this is one of the favorite places for families to spend the day. The only downside to...

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Beach Dining Options with Maro Wood Grill

Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in Beaches, Dining, Featured | 0 comments

  It is Labor Day weekend, and time to visit our local beaches. Woods Cove has become one of our favorite beaches this summer because of the great features, crystal clear water and the convenient dining options from Maro Wood Grill. Let’s be honest, the only downside to planning a beach day with the family is having to pack a giant cooler filled with food feed the family for the day. Not only do we have to pack all the food, but the lug the heavy cooler down to the beach. Maro Wood Grill has simplified the beach experience for families by offering their beach dining options. When my family visited the beach a couple of weeks ago, we ordered a gourmet lunch from Maro Wood Grill on our way to the beach. When the kids started to get...

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Beachside Bungalow Daycations at Pacific Edge Hotel

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Staycation, Travel | 0 comments

  Traveling with a family does not always have to mean large expenses and a ton of travel arrangements.  It truly is possible to escape for a bit with daycations; it is amazing what just even a few hours can do for your mind and spirit.  We discovered truly beautiful beachside bungalows that make for the perfect daycation at Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach. Valet parking is available for guests at Pacific Edge Hotel which is a comfort in the congested beach areas.  After you park, you walk down a few steps to find a beautiful long private deck available to the guests staying in the bungalows for the day.  We immediately fell in love with how spacious each bungalow’s patio seating area is. The bungalows at Pacific Edge Hotel are each individually decorated to offer their own...

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Guide to Goff Cove Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 2 comments

  My friend Karen and I have raised our kids along the calm shores of Goff Cove Beach in Laguna Beach. There was one summer that we spent everyday at this beach. We officially called this the true “baby beach” in Orange County because of it’s calm waves that are hardly ever over 6 inches tall. Why did we love raising our kids on this beach the most? It is a small cove beach that on a weekday hardly has more than 10-15 families (with a lifeguard). Did I mention that it is the only beach along the coast that has *never* had an attempted drowning either? Yet another plus for Mother’s feeling safe bringing their kids to this beach without bringing another parent or guardian to help. Once the beach of a trailer park on the cliffs along...

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Guide to Strands Beach in Dana Point

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Beaches, Dana Point, Featured | 0 comments

  Strands Beach is one of our top three favorite beaches in Orange County.  The view is spectacular at this Dana Point beach, it is clean, and we love watching the surf action!   Strands Beach is located in Dana Point but it can be hard to find an address for it.  To get to Strands Beach, drive on PCH and head west on Selva Road.  Follow it around a small corner and pull into the parking lot for Strand Vista  Park on the right hand side. The best news? Parking is free!  If the lot is full, parking is available on the street There are a number of steps to walk down to access the beach, but they are wide and easy to navigate.  There are also numerous landing pads where you can take a few steps without stairs...

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Swimming in the Laguna Beach Tide Pools

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Beaches, Laguna Beach | 2 comments

  Why have a swimming pool installed in your home when you can swim in nature’s swimming pool? One of the my favorite things to do with the kids when the tide goes out is to swim in the rock formation swimming pools that the tide left behind. I don’t have to worry about anyone getting swept out to sea, and the kids can swim with the fishes and other various sea life in the Laguna Beach tide pools. Where can I find this? There are multiple different locations for finding the best “rock ocean” swimming pools, but *again* Woods Cove is a favorite. There are multiple places that have nice deep rock formations that are perfect for creating swimming pools for the children to explore. Not only can the kids swim in these natural swimming pools, but they...

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Guide to Newport Dunes Waterpark

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Beaches, Newport Beach, Newport Beach, Parks | 0 comments

  Newport Dunes has grown so much since I was a kid with the expansion of their water park. While the kids were at camp, they got a chance to experience the Newport Dunes water park, and could not wait to stay after camp one day to show me how much they loved it. Where is it located? Inside of Newport Dunes. Newport Dunes is located at 1131 Back Bay Drive in Newport Beach. Parking. You will need to enter Newport Dunes through the gates. Parking can get a little pricey, so plan on staying for the whole day. The first 1/2 hour is free, 30min. to 1 hour is $5, 1-3 hours $10, 3-5 hours $12, 5-7 hours $14, and 7-24 hours is $16. When first entering the gates, park in the parking lot to your first right hand...

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Guide to Visiting Orange County’s Blow Hole

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  A long secret to natives of OC (some might lynch me for sharing..so please don’t abuse this secret) is Orange County’s only blow hole. I have been staring into this blow hole since I was in junior lifeguards in elementary school watching all my friends jump into it. Year after year I have returned, and was always still afraid to make the jump until today. On our summer bucket list was that I was going to show the kids the blow hole, and that I would take the leap for them this year. (Hence our million visits to Woods Cove this summer). It’s not as easy as you would think to get a chance to witness mother nature’s most beautiful creation in Laguna Beach, and there is such limited access to it depending on the tides. Today we...

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Guide to Pearl Street Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Pearl Street Beach in Laguna Beach is another popular local beach hangout in Laguna Beach. What makes this beach special is its beautiful rock formations and great surf. My kids love spending their summer at Woods Cove Beach, but my husband loves spending his time at Pearl Street – what I love about it is that they are both just a short walk away so we can visit both beaches in the same day. Where is it located? If you did not know where to look for Pearl Street Beach, you would probably walk right past it. It is right at the end of a guard rail with super easy access for smaller kids. There is more of a ramp than stairs going to Pearl Street (another reason why my husband loves it). You can find it right...

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Guide to Woods Cove Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 7 comments

  Woods Cove Beach in Laguna Beach is the BEST beach for snorkeling. Whenever I visit this beach with my husband and kids, we always take turns to snorkel around the reef’s in the beautiful turquoise water. Not only is it the best beach for snorkeling, it also has some of the most clearest visibility along the coast. Woods Cove Beach is a great family beach that offers a little bit of something for everyone in your family. Where is it located? Woods Cove Beach is right next to Moss Point Beach and Ruby Street Park at the corner of Diamond and PCH (there is a light at this intersection). There is parking along PCH, and also throughout the neighborhood. This beach does not get much more traffic than the houses surrounding it, so parking is usually a breeze. Tell...

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Guide to Tablerock Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Beaches, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Tablerock Beach in Laguna Beach is a little slice of paradise. With its massive rock structures, crashing waves and perfect turquoise water, this beach is the perfect beach for family beach photo sessions. If you were not looking for Tablerock Beach, you would probably drive right past it. The beach is beautiful, intimate and rarely crowded. It is a great beach for your family to enjoy a less crowded beach experience. Where is Tablerock Beach? Like I mentioned before, it is quite hard to find. The beach entrance is tucked away at the corner of PCH and West Street in Laguna Beach.  If another adult is with you I recommend dropping your group and gear at the corner before going to find a parking place on PCH (mostly meter free). Tell me more about the beach. The beach...

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Guide to Moss Point Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  Laguna Beach has some of the most beautiful hidden beaches on our coastline. We are so fortune to live in such a beautiful area, and Moss Point Beach in Laguna Beach is a true local gem. Why do I like it? Not many people know about it, so parking is much easier than most beaches. It also has a great nearby park, and if the kids get board we can just walk a block to the neighboring Woods Cove for a different style of beach. How do you find it? The beach is right at the end of Moss Street at Pacific Coast Highway. Parking We normally park right on PCH next to the Moss Point sign (no meters..yeah!). There is also a summer trolley stop right at the corner to help make the beach more accessible during...

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Catch a Wave on the Laguna Beach Summer Trolley

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  One of my favorite things to do during the summer in Orange County is to catch a wave on the Laguna Beach Summer Trolley. The free trolley will take guests all around Laguna Beach creating an unforgettable experience for everyone who visits Laguna Beach. Why do locals like to use the trolley? To help get us to our favorite beach destinations in Laguna. Oh how I wish there was the trolley when I was in High School having to walk for miles along a busy PCH to start surfing on that perfect swell. With the trolley, we can park just about anywhere in Laguna, and get exactly where we want to go without the headache of having to spend hours in search of a close parking place. Did I mention that the trolley is free? I know..it keeps...

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Family Guide to Thousand Steps Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  My family cannot get enough of the beach in the summer. We do after-all live in paradise, and I can’t help but want to soak up every ounce of the summer sun. As a native to Orange County, I grew-up in a little house on the side of the cliff, in Laguna Beach. I would run down the wooden steps every morning to start digging in the sand in search of sand crabs. Growing up on this special beach in Laguna, has made it one of my favorites to bring my children to visit in the summer so that we can share these same memories together. This is our guide to Thousand Steps Beach in Laguna Beach. (btw..that is the house I grew-up in on the side of that hill in the picture). The entrance to this beach...

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Family Guide to the Beach Park in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Beaches, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, Parks | 0 comments

 There are a couple of beach parks located in Orange County, but this park has always been my favorite. The beach park in Laguna Beach has just undergone a full renovation with more fun for your children to enjoy. I have been bringing my kids to this park since they were just babies, and we have created many memorable memories on this playground. Nestled right in downtown Laguna Beach on Main Beach is this playground where children can play right along side the beautiful crashing ocean waves. I often find myself mesmerized by the beauty while watching my children play at this beach park. I have found that this park is truly calming for my children and myself. Tips for visiting this beach: Do not bring along your purse. There are often homeless people walking around this part of...

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Family Guide to Main Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 29, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 1 comment

  This past week, we made a visit to Main Beach in Laguna. Now, this is one of my “go-to” beaches in the winter but in the summer – ack! I recommend visiting this beach if you want to do some people watching, visit some of the local shops after your swim, or want to play on a park beach. Main Beach in Laguna Beach is a tourist beach but it does have some pros in our guide to Main Beach in Laguna Beach. Parking This what can be a nightmare. Even while trying to navigate my friend via text/phone calls, she still had trouble finding parking that was convenient. During the winter months, you can easily find parking right along the boardwalk but the summer months are a different story. There is a large brick parking structure right...

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Guide to St. Ann’s Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  St. Ann’s Beach in Laguna Beach is one of the best local beaches to visit when looking for a less crowded beach on a hot summer day. St. Ann’s is located in between Thalia and Cleo Street Beach, so families can easily visit all three beaches in one afternoon. Before visiting St. Ann’s Beach in Laguna, read our family guide to help plan your day. Location/Parking St. Ann’s beach is located at South Coast Highway and St. Anns Drive. Parking is a challenge. You need to arrive early, and find parking along PCH. These meters do not accept ATM cards, so bring plenty of quarters. You might have to park farther away than most beaches, so keep that in mind before visiting. Restrooms If your kiddos need to use the restroom, there is a lot of local businesses...

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Guide to Salt Creek Beach

Posted by on Jun 23, 2013 in Beaches, Dana Point, Featured | 1 comment

  Looking for the perfect beach in Orange County that has food service, surfing and swimming all in one place? Our guide to Salt Creek Beach will tell you everything you need to know before bringing your family for a summer beach day. Salt Creek Beach is located right next to The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. The address is 1 Ritz drive in Dana Point with the public parking lot right across from the hotel. There is a large parking lot that does get full on a warm summer day, so we recommend arriving early. There are parking meters that accept Visa and Mastercard for parking. (Don’t forget to put the parking ticket on the inside of your car windshield.) After parking, begin your decent down the hill toward the beach. There is a large painted tunnel that will...

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Guide to Fisherman’s Cove Laguna Beach

Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 0 comments

  It’s Memorial Day weekend, and time to hit the beach! We started our weekend off at one of our favorite small beaches – Fisherman’s Cove in Laguna Beach. Multiple private ocean front properties have private staircases that lead down to this intimate cove, and we are happy to share a guide to visiting with your family. Location Like most intimate beaches in Laguna, it is not easy to find Fisherman’s Cove. It is just one beach over from Crescent Bay Beach along Cliff Drive. Here is an image of the intersection off of PCH that will help guide you down to this beach. Just turn down this intersection, make a quick left, and when you see the small section of parking spaces – you have found it! When you park the car, don’t go down the staircase right...

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Sunset At Dana Point Harbor Jetty

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Beaches, Dana Point, Featured, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  I get asked this question a lot. Where is a good place to watch the sunset with my children? Sure we have lavish resorts with sprawling grounds to enjoy panoramic ocean views, but they are not always the best places to enjoy a sunset with children. While most adults will stand in each other’s arms while watching the sky burst with colors, children enjoy it in a much different way. They like to see it happening while playing or exploring. One of my favorite places to take the kids to see the sunset is at the Dana Point Harbor Jetty. Why do I like it? We not only get a gorgeous view of the San Clemente coastline, but also the sunset. There are often fishermen sitting along the jetty that the kids will ask fifty questions about what...

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Guide to Crescent Bay Beach in Laguna Beach

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 in Beaches, Featured, Laguna Beach | 3 comments

  Crescent Bay Beach is one of Laguna’s hardest to find beaches, and one of the city’s most treasured gems. It has been a favorite for locals since I was just a baby and is never overcrowded with too many vacationers. Finding Crescent Bay beach is a little tricky, but we are here to share a guide to finding this amazing beach that you will not want to leave. Where is it? It is at the corner of North Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive. This is where it gets tricky. There are multiple intersections along PCH that have the same intersection PCH/Cliff. Many people get confused that the beach located at Cliff/PCH next to the Laguna Art Museum is Crescent Bay, but it is not. It is the PCH/Cliff intersection right next to an abdonded field, Midas and...

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