Kid Friendly Orange County Beaches
There's plenty to see by the sea in The OC
The beach cities of The OC offer a plethora of fun for kids of all ages. With sand beaches, boat marinas, tidepools and amazing seaside attractions, Orange County is home to affordable and accessible destinations the whole family can enjoy.
So read on, and start planning a Koastal Kids Tour weekend that takes you through some of the great kid friendly Orange County beach communities.
Crystal Cove Beach, Laguna Beach
Start your day at Crystal Cove State Park, located off of Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Laguna Beach. The park has a monthly calendar full of kid-friendly activities including tidepool guided tours, historic walks, sunset hikes, and arts and crafts. The park has 3.2 miles of sandy beaches and 2,400 acres of land for an all day adventure.
Park Hours/Contact Info
The park is usually open from 6:00 am to Sunset, but hours should be confirmed prior to scheduling a day at the park, as hours are subject to change. Call 949-494-3539, or visit www.parks.ca.gov.
Evening Fun & Accommodations
If you didn’t get enough of Crystal Cove State Park in one day, head North on Highway 1 toward The Resort at Pelican Hill. The sprawling 5-star resort has something for everyone, incredible bungalows and villas, and youth activities and camps for all ages. Complimentary coach service is available to and from Crystal Cove, and an on-site concierge will ensure that you don’t miss the most beautiful and engaging areas and activities. The resort is located at 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Coast, CA. Call 1-888-5-7-6427 to make reservations.
Head South to the Surf and Sand Resort to book your next overnight stay. Voted into the Top 20 best resorts in Southern California, the resort will enable you to continue your kid friendly Orange County beach tour in style! Call the Surf & Sand Resort at 877-741-5908 to learn about Family Fun Packages, beach front pool, and more.
While you’re exploring the beauty and scenery of Laguna Beach, be sure to visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The center is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, and can be contacted at 949-494-3050. From downtown Laguna, drive inland down Laguna Canyon Road to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (20612 Laguna Canyon Rd.). A non-profit organization, the center rescues, rehabilitates and releases distressed marine mammals back into the wild. Visitors may view California sea lions, elephant seals, harbor seals and even an occasional fur seal. The center is located next to the dog park, and is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
Laguna Beach is filled with aquariums, rental shops for stand-up paddle boarding and bikes, and shops that offer surf and kayak lessons.
Kid Friendly Dining & Oceanfront Dining
Gain access to Laguna Beach activities and deals on our Orange County Beach Activities page, end your day with a fabulous dinner at the Mosaic Bar and Grille inside the Montage Hotel. Space at the restaurant is limited, but you can reserve a cabana by calling 949-715-6000.
The Pacific Edge Hotel also offers ocean front dining and hotel activities for families. They offer a bed, breakfast and parking package, along with extended stay packages for those who want to experience Laguna Beach for a few more days.
Further down Highway 1 lies The City of Dana Point, home to 28 beautiful public parks, many with ocean views. A park directory can be found on the DanaPoint.org website.
The Dana Point Harbor is home to wharf whale watching, along with dolphins, seals, and sea lions. The Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching adventure center offers a complete event guide and whale watching calendar on their website. Located at 34675 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, public parking is available with a 4 hour limit.
Next, head over to the Ocean Institute, just one mile away. Known as one of the best kid-friendly destinations in Orange County, adults and kids alike will enjoy exploring the California seas with the experts at the Institute. More whale watching, cruises, and events are available such as music festivals, film screenings, and more. Kid camps and single day adventures can be scheduled in advance. Open seven days a week, children under 2 are free. From Golden Lantern Street, head west on Dana Point Harbor, the parking lot is located on the right.
If you are craving one more overnight experience, check out the Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel location. A variety of Ritz-Kids activities await, and adults can enjoy Five Diamond resort amenities.
A complete listing of family friendly Laguna Beach activities and destinations can be found on our Laguna Beach Listings page.
Not ready to say good-bye to Orange County? No problem, there’s still more to see! Visit our Arts & Culture itinerary page to start your next adventure!