21 Best Beaches in Orange County, CA

Orange County is a dream destination for those who love the beach and the sun.

The Orange County coastline stretches for 42 miles, and it’s packed with breathtaking sights.


We’re spotlighting Orange County’s finest beaches so you may have a luxurious and unforgettable seaside vacation.

  1. Main Beach In Laguna Beach

This iconic thoroughfare is the hub of Laguna Beach’s bustling beach culture, as it is situated in the city’s center.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Everything happens on Main Beach. It has a great stretch of sand and many facilities like a playground and volleyball courts.

In addition, it has several famous landmarks, such as the iconic lifeguard tower seen in countless films and television shows.

Expert Tip

You may add adventure to your beach trip by checking out Heisler Park.

Stunning sculptures, open lawns, and towering trees are just some of the attractions of this seaside park.

  1. Huntington City Beach

This stretch of beach is 3.5 miles long and has everything from surf lessons to sightseeing opportunities.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Thousands of surfers flock to Huntington City Beach daily to take advantage of the world-class waves.

Not everything on this beach is centered around the surfing subculture, in any case.

The beach offers various activities thanks to its long pier (1,850 feet long) and other amenities.

And it’s one of Orange County’s most well-known beaches, too.

Expert Tip

Walking down Main Street is a worthy break from playing in the sand and sea.

If you need some shopping therapy, here is the place to go, with all the trendy restaurants and cool shops.

  1. Trestles Beach

This spot between San Clemente and San Onofre State Beach is known for its excellent waves and draws surfers from all over.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Those in pursuit of top-notch surfing conditions flock to Trestles Beach.

This beach is great for more than just surfing; it’s also great for hiking, camping, and spotting animals.

Expert Tip

Take a trip down the San Clemente Pier and keep an eye out for surfers and marine life.

Then, head to Fisherman’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar for mouthwatering food and breathtaking scenery.

  1. Bolsa Chica State Beach

This sandy stretch of coastline is three miles long and has been open to the public since 1960.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Bolsa Chica’s cool air and easygoing vibe might help you unwind after a hectic schedule.

Fewer people visit here, so you may relax, see wildlife, and surf fish in peaceā€¦

Expert Tip

Visit Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and participate in various outdoor pursuits, such as biking, hiking, and wildlife-watching.

  1. Dana Point Harbor Beach

Baby Beach is a popular family-friendly beach destination known for its calm waves and abundant fun activities throughout the year.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Seeking Orange County beaches that are suitable for families with young children?

Then, when thinking about what to do in Orange County, be sure to put a beautiful beachfront on your agenda.

It is the safest beach in the area, especially for children, because of the presence of lifeguards and the designated swimming area.

Expert Tip

Unfortunately, free on-street parking is scarce.

As a result, if you want a good seat, you should get there early. You can also find parking in a lot located behind the beach and close to the park.

  1. Newport Municipal Beach

Balboa Boulevard is home to Newport’s Municipal Beach, which stretches for a glorious five miles of sparkling sunbathing bliss.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Surfing and skateboarding are just two of the many sports tourists may enjoy at Newport Municipal Beach.

More importantly, the 920-foot-long Balboa Pier is located here and is an excellent spot to reel in fresh ocean bounty-like flounder.

Expert Tip

Don’t leave the pier without stopping at the renowned Rudy’s Diner for some delicious cuisine.

  1. West Jetty View Park

Located on the southwestern tip of Balboa Peninsula, this park is a haven for surfers and other adventurers.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Its little stature belies its formidable power.

Despite its diminutive size, the park boasts a wide, sandy beach with excellent surfing waves.

Huge swells of up to 30 feet make this a fantastic location for bodyboarding, kneeboarding, and surfing.

Expert Tip

Not in the mood for some action? Why not take a walk along its promenade and admire the scenery?

You can rent skates or bikes if you don’t feel like getting wet.

  1. North Star Beach

Just outside the Newport Aquatic Center is this expansive stretch of sand.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Feeling brave?

Then you may rent a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or kayak and have a great day exploring Newport Beach’s Back Bay.

The Newport Harbor and Upper Newport Bay Ecological Preserve is accessible by canoe or kayak from Back Bay.

Expert Tip

Looking for a learning experience with a twist?

Well, what do you know?

North Star Beach is the starting point for tours of the Newport Bay Conservatory’s ecological preserve.

  1. Seal Beach

The northernmost beach in Orange County serves as an entry point to the whole 42-mile coastline.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The Seal is one of the most attractive beaches in Orange County due to its small-town feel and expansive sandy shoreline.

In addition to being a renowned spot for water sports such as windsurfing and kiteboarding, sandcastle building, and other beach activities, this location is also a local favorite.

Expert Tip

Explore the beautiful pier by the shore.

This landmark provides a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding Long Beach and Seal Beach mountains.

There are surfers, seals, dolphins, and jetties for the taking.

  1. San Clemente Pier City Beach

The main beach in San Clemente is renowned for its 1,296-foot pier, which makes for a fantastic sandy retreat.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The stunning waves make this beach paradise ideal for a wide variety of time-honored beach pursuits.

And, naturally, there’s a pier where you can fish, dine, and take in the breathtaking sunset.

Expert Tip

It would be best if you stopped by the Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar after a long day of sunbathing and sightseeing.

After that, relax on the patio and enjoy your freshly caught meal while enjoying the breathtaking sunset.

  1. Victoria Beach

This peaceful section of Laguna Beach is striking for its white sand and notable landmark, yet locals or tourists rarely visit it.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Victoria Beach is unparalleled in its uniqueness.

The tranquil cove has several unique characteristics, such as a natural pool on the sand, tide pools, and sea caves.

The highlight is the pirate tower that stands at a lofty sixty feet above the rest.

Expert Tip

When exploring the rocky areas around the beach and the tower, it’s best to wear sturdy hiking shoes to protect your feet.

  1. Little Corona Del Mar Beach

This Newport Beach rocky cove may be found at the end of the Buck Gully ravine and is just waiting for some exploration.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Despite its diminutive size, the beach is a popular destination for adventurous locals and vacationers.

At this beach, you may observe marine life like sea lions and dolphins up close and personal or spend time exploring the rock formations and tide pools.

Expert Tip

If you want to explore the tide pools and rocks, make sure you have some sturdy footwear.

  1. San Clemente State Beach

This mile-long stretch of sand on the southern end of San Clemente is one of California’s most visited state beaches.

Why We Recommend This Beach

If you’re looking for a beautiful and high-quality setting for some traditional beach fun, go no farther than San Clemente State Beach.

This beach’s stunning scenery, including sandstone bluffs, cliffs, and dazzling sunsets, captivates visitors.

Expert Tip

From this stretch of sand, beachgoers in the spring and winter may be able to see orcas and California gray whales.

  1. Aliso Beach

Aliso is Laguna Beach’s only beachside amusement place that offers onsite parking.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Aliso Beach has a ton of great features for families.

Lots of space to park, play structures for the kids, picnic tables, fire pits, and rocky outcrops to climb on.

Did we also mention that it’s a popular spot for skimboarding?

Expert Tip

Are you thinking about taking a dip in this pool?

The water is safer and cleaner towards the northern end of Treasure Island’s beach, where you should go.

  1. Table Rock Beach

In the shadows on the south end of Laguna Beach is a hidden gem that visitors to Southern California must visit.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Finding Table Rock can be challenging.

Once you do, however, you’ll find yourself on a sandy beach in a deep cove surrounded by impressive rock formations.

Furthermore, a large cave is just waiting to be discovered near the beach’s rear end.

Expert Tip

As a result of the dangerous rip currents, swimming at Table Rock Beach is not recommended.

The good news is that experienced skimboarders will find the waves tempting.

  1. North Beach

The San Clemente Metrolink station is within walking distance of North Beach, roughly one thousand feet away.

Why We Recommend This Beach

North Beach is great for families as a fun stop along the way.

Adventurers can find numerous kid-friendly facilities like swing sets, fire pits, picnic tables, and volleyball nets in this section.

Expert Tip

Hiking the San Clemente Coastal Trail is a great way to inject excitement into your beach vacation.

  1. Doheny State Beach

This state beach, which opened to the public in 1931, spans 254 acres and is sure to enthrall you in many ways.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Doheny State Beach has all the essentials for a fantastic Southern California beach vacation.

In recent years, surfing and stand-up paddleboarding have become increasingly common at the beach.

It has the clearest water and the calmest surf of any Orange County beach, making it ideal for swimming.

A volleyball court, a beautiful beach, and picnic tables may all be found in the park’s gorgeous grassy setting.

Expert Tip

Visit the visitor center and take in the indoor tide pools, aquarium, and educational displays.

  1. Huntington Dog Beach

Located near the Pacific Coast Highway, this dog-friendly beach has surf for canines and water fountains for their canine companions.

Why We Recommend This Beach

If you’re looking for a secluded area on an Orange County beach where your dog will enjoy themselves, your quest is over.

This off-leash dog beach is one of the most popular in Southern California.

Best of all, it’s spotless and brimming with amenities for both canines and their human companions.

Expert Tip

Huntington Beach also features a bike trail that allows leashed dogs to join their owners on runs, bike rides, and walks.

  1. San Onofre State Beach

This park’s 3,000 acres and convenient location have made it a popular destination since it opened in 1971.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The park includes wonderful beaches that may satisfy anyone’s wanderlust, whether for a quiet retreat or an action-packed adventure.

With its many hiking trails, surfing spots, and camping areas, this park offers many possibilities for recreation.

Expert Tip

The Panhe Nature Trail is a great way to mix learning and pleasure into your trip to the beach.

The route isn’t very long, but it’s packed with informative markers describing the flora and fauna you’ll find in the park.

  1. Crystal Cove State Park

This state park, located near Newport Beach, covers over three miles of the Pacific shoreline.

Why We Recommend This Beach

With 3.2 miles of shoreline and 2,400 acres of forest, this park is ripe with opportunities for exploration.

Activities including horseback riding, trekking, camping, swimming, and surfing are all possible.

Plus, beaches and stunning tide pools are waiting to be discovered.

Expert Tip

Get some exercise and stunning seaside views by hiking the three miles of Moro Canyon Trail.

  1. Huntington State Beach

A long beach covering more than 120 acres is perfect for adventurous vacationers.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Regarding Orange County beaches, Huntington State Beach is among the finest for energetic visitors.

Due to its world-class waves, it is a popular destination for surfers, boogie boarders, and bodyboarders.

Not to mention, the sunsets at this beach are world-famous and breathtaking.

Expert Tip

Nighttime beach trips are perfect for staking your claim to a fire ring.

After that, watch the sun go down while you have a s’more around the fire.