We think you'll agree, Pacific Coast Highway offers the best glimpses of The OC.
We've created a one-day coastal adventure itinerary that starts at the at one of most beautiful resorts in Orange County. Arrive the night before your road trip adventure begins, and book a stay at the Monarch Beach Resort. The Resort has incredible member/guest-only amenities, including an award-winning spa, a championship 18-hole golf course set upon the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, a Kids Club, and more, incredible dining with views, and access to Monarch Beach amenities, such as body boarding, surf lessons, SUP, and kayaks.
The Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1) spans Orange County from Dana Point to the Seal Beach, the western corner of the OC. Today, you’re going to explore various points of interest in and around Laguna Beach, Newport Beach & the Huntington Beach area along this scenic coastal highway.
After breakfast, head north approximately 3-4 miles and turn off onto 8th or 9th Avenue to find street parking. Virginia Way runs parallel to the Pacific Coast Highway, you may have to drive around to find a spot. It’s worth the effort! When you park, you’re going to head toward 9th Street and look for the opening to the stairs for 1,000 Steps Beach. Enjoy the adventure, it’s one of the best tucked away places in Orange County.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, get back onto the highway and head north to downtown Laguna Beach, which offers many restaurants. Don’t get distracted by all of the shops and art exhibits, you’ve got some Highway exploring to do! If you fall in love with the area and want to check out a special event or place to go, WHERE Magazine can direct you to the right place.
Next up, Crystal Cove State Park. The state park has over three miles of sandy beaches with coves, sea cliffs, reefs, canyons and tide pools, plus land for hiking and biking. Access to Crystal Cove is much easier than 1,000 Steps Beach, but there is a fee for parking. Since it’s a state park, access is restricted when the weather causes safety issues. Call 949-3539 for information.
Continue on Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport Beach, which offers a variety of options to end your day. Newport Beach is famous for whale watching, but it’s a good idea to schedule tours in advance.
If you’re craving more road time, take a detour over to the Balboa Peninsula. You’ll find stunning views at the Newport Pier and biking options along the boardwalk.
If you’re ready to retire for the evening, all of the resort hotels listed below offer unparalleled accommodations. If you’re up for additional adventures, each luxury location offers on-site concierge services to help you find even more activities for your evening.
Island Hotel - Newport Beach - In the heart of Newport Beach with easy access to shopping and tram service to Fashion Island.
Fairmont - Newport Beach - Suite accommodations with balconies.
Marriott Newport Beach Bayview - Located in a natural setting for outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing.
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach - Close to Newport Dunes for water activities, close to shopping & scenic coastline. If the Newport Beach location is full, the Hyatt Regency at Huntington Beach isn’t far and offers an elegant oceanside setting.
Balboa Bay Resort Newport Beach - Close to water and golf courses for endless adventures.
If you’ve fallen in love with the area and would like to explore without the driving, call Best Chauffeured. They have a partnership with many of the resorts and are happy to provide the best transportation to and from your resort location.