Best Beaches in Orange County

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Best Beaches in Orange County

Nicholas R. and Drew P.

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1. T-Street, San Clemente

We listed T-Street as number 1 on our list because we felt it was the best for all activities at the beach. It is great for surfing (long and short boarding), body boarding, body surfing, and swimming. There are minimal rocks and the beach area is great. Lastly, it has good parking so you don’t need to worry about parking a mile away from the beaches.

2. Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach

We listed Huntington Beach as second on our list for many reasons. For years Huntington Beach has been a prime tourist attraction. Its pleasant shops and Ruby’s diner are a favorite for many tourists to walk and explore. Even with these activities set aside, it still deserves its second place spot on the list. Its steady stream of waves makes it a beloved spot for surfers.

3. Trestles, San Clemente

We listed Trestles as third on our list because it has always been known as a legendary surf spot for professional surfers. Sadly, recently the World Surfing League has removed Trestles from the tour and replaced it with Kelly Slater’s wave pool but nonetheless, it will always be a great surfing spot which keeps San Clemente on the map.

4. The Wedge, Laguna Beach

Like Trestles, The Wedge has always been known as a legendary surf spot. The Wedge has the biggest swell in California with potential 30-foot waves. This spot is not recommended for beginners with mainly pros body surfing and bodyboarding. These waves are like no other beach with the waves going towards the beach and towards the jetty. Then the waves going towards the jetty bounce off and create a wave like the one above.

5. Victoria, Laguna Beach

Victoria undoubtedly deserves the fifth spot. The beach’s closed off area gives it a hidden and private vibe. The wave height there is about four feet, making it a prime spot for beachgoers. It is easily accessible from the road and neighborhood above. It is just large enough to never appear packed and the abundance of space makes it a wonderful spot to have a picnic. Overall it is a great beach for a family excursion or just a day at the beach.

6. Salt Creek, Dana Point

Salt Creek is a great beach which is good for surfing, bodyboarding, and bodysurfing. Even if you’re not the best swimmer, Salt Creek offers a great beach and snack shop for hungry people at the beach. In addition, Salt Creek is right next to the Ritz Carlton resort so if you’re staying at the resort, you’re steps away from this great beach.

7. Strands, Dana Point

Strands is an awesome beach for the people who want to feel secluded from the city.  Although it can be somewhat difficult to get to it because of the steps, once you get down the beach it is beautiful. In addition, if you don’t want to walk the stairs, Strands offers an escalator/ elevator to transport people from the parking lot to the beach.

8. Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach

We listed Shaws Cove as eighth because although Shaws Cove is not the best beach for surfing, skimboarding, and boogie boarding, it still deserves a spot on our list for a very specific reason. Shaws attracts a number of snorkelers and others interested in seeing ocean life in its natural habitat. Shaws Cove’s mellow and relatively shallow beach makes it the perfect spot to go snorkeling. A person can observe all sorts of wildlife from garibaldi hiding in the seaweed, to a friendly seal swimming through the water. Once I even saw a large lobster hiding in the rocks.

9. Crescent, Laguna Beach

Crescent has something for everyone. No other beach can hold the ninth spot. From it’s pleasantly large waves to the vast rocks to explore. If you aren’t the best swimmer you can take advantage of it being low tide and take a walk through the tide pools. If neither of those sound fun to you, there is a hidden beach across the rocks called Shell Beach. This is an extremely mellow beach with no waves. And if you just want to go to the beach to swim in the water, the waves aren’t extreme but still large enough to have a good time.

10. Picnic, Laguna Beach

Although still a great beach, sadly Picnic is last on our list. It does have great waves and not too many rocks. However, it has a large number of tourists and although not a large amount, there are still a few rocks. It is still a great beach though. You are unable to surf there due to all of the rocks.