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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 will...

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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 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. First....

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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 close...

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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, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Summer | 5 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 dangerous...

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Guide to Visiting Mother’s Beach in Dana Point

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Beaches, Dana Point, Featured | 2 comments

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 the...

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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 or...

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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 begin...

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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 they...

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