Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
July 7, 2006
Distance: 51 miles one-way.
I don't know that I've ever been on a bad beach in California. But I've never been on one with as many appealing qualities as Crystal Cove: tide pools, scenic bluffs and a family-friendly vibe. It's roomy too, though development on this stretch of land between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach has amped up the action in recent years. Still, on weekends, you'll have plenty of space for a blanket or a pop-up awning. No snack shops or bike rentals here, just a great rustic and pristine beach. Note that the walk from the parking lot to the beach can be long and steep. Kids have no trouble with it, but unsteady grandparents might.
Between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar; (949) 494-3539, www.parks.ca.gov.