Beaches and Parks

Beaches and Parks

Aliso Creek County Beach
Steep shore creates powerful waves. All amenities and fire pits. Pay-and-display parking $1/hour. 31131 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.923.2280 Map I16

Balboa Beach
Pristine sunning and swimming beach. All amenities. Metered parking. Along Balboa Boulevard at Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, 949.673.3371 Map N14

Bolsa Chica State Beach
Good for grunion hunting! All amenities and fire pits. Fee for parking. Along Pacific Coast Highway between Main Street and Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach, 714.846.3460 Map N9

Capistrano Beach
Wide, unblemished. All amenities. Pay-and-display parking $1/hour. 35005 Beach Road, Capo Beach, 949.923.2280 Map F6

Corona del Mar State Beach
Large, sandy beach—with volleyball—below beautiful homes. Lifeguards, all amenities, fire pits. Waveless cove adjacent. Fee for parking. At Ocean Boulevard and Marguerite Avenue, Corona del Mar, 949.644.3151 Map M16

Crystal Cove State Park
Hiking and mountain biking trails, sandy coves and steep cliffs. Historic district with beach cottages and Beachcomber café. Irvine Coast Marine Life Refuge offshore. Lifeguards, restrooms. Fee for parking. East Coast Highway between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar, 949.494.3539 Map E4

Doheny State Beach
Popular swimming beach, interpretive center. All amenities, fire pits. Fee for parking. Dana Point Harbor, along Del Obispo and Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 949.496.6172 Map K17

Huntington City Beach
Wide, sandy beach; amenities include fire pits. Fee for parking. Along Pacific Coast Highway between Beach Boulevard and Main Street, Huntington Beach, 714.536.5281 Map N9

Huntington State Beach
Expansive, sandy beach; amenities include fire pits. Bolsa Chica Wetlands are across the highway. Fee for parking. Along Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Ana River and Main Street, Huntington Beach, 714.536.1454 Map N10

Little Corona del Mar Beach
Steep paved path to picturesque cove; tide pools filled with anemones and starfish are great for kids. Ocean Boulevard and Poppy Avenue, Corona del Mar, 949.644.3151 Map M16

Main Beach
Large beach close to shops and restaurants offers great people-watching, basketball, volleyball, chess. All amenities. Metered parking. At Broadway and Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 714.834.2400 Map F5

Newport Beach Municipal Beach
Popular golden strand with many fine surfing spots. All amenities, including fire pits. Metered parking. Along Oceanfront at Newport Pier, Newport Beach, 949.673.3371 Map N13

Newport Dunes Resort
Beach at RV park on the Back Bay has full-time lifeguards, giant inflatable in-water novelties (including teeter-totter and climbing apparatus) and various water vessels for rent. 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.729.DUNE Map M14

Picnic Beach
Known for picnics and panoramas. Lifeguard and, picnic tables. Metered parking. Myrtle Street and Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.494.6573 Map H15

Pirates Cove
Secluded beach with harbor views; few to no waves make it perfect for little ones. Bouldering spot for local climbers. Paid parking at Corona del Mar State Beach; free street parking. At Ocean Boulevard and Harbor Channel, Corona del Mar, 949.644.3309 Map F6

Poche Beach
Small, sandy surfing beach. Free street parking. Camino Capistrano at Pacific Coast Highway, San Clemente, 949.361.8261 Map J17

Rockpile Beach
Rocky surfing beach. Metered parking. At Myrtle Street and Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.494.6573 Map H15

Salt Creek County Beach
Long, pristine stretch below the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Beautiful, grassy Bluff Park with basketball court. All amenities. Pay-and-display parking $1/hour. Off Ritz-Carlton Drive, 33333 S. Coast Hwy., Dana Point, 949.923.2280 Map J16

San Clemente City Beach
San Clemente City Beach 1,200-foot pier (1920s), wide beach, good surf. All amenities. Metered parking. The train goes right by the beach. 620 Avenida del Mar, San Clemente, 949.361.8219 Map K17

San Clemente State Beach
Popular mile-long beach below sandstone bluffs offers all amenities, a nature trail and butterfly trail. Fee for parking. 225 Avenida Califia, San Clemente, 949.492.3156 Map K17

Seal Beach
Popular surfing beach has a lifeguard and showers. Metered parking. Main Street and Seal Beach Pier, Seal Beach, 562.430.2613 Map C1

Shaw’s Cove
Picturesque cove has tide pools; popular diving destination. Metered parking. At Fairview Street and Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach Map H15

Table Rock Beach
144 wooden steps lead to a dramatic cove with dangerous currents at the base of a cliff. Free street parking. First Avenue and South Coast Highway, South Laguna, 714.834.2400 Map I16

Thousand Steps Beach
Two-hundred-something concrete steps lead to a small beach at the base of a cliff. Free street parking. Ninth Avenue and South Coast Highway, South Laguna, 714.834.2400 Map I16

Victoria Beach
Laguna’s prettiest beach has a tower fit for Rapunzel and a man-made, high-tide swimming pool circa 1920. Metered parking. Victoria Street off Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, 714.834.2400 Map H15

The Wedge
The Wedge World-renowned bodysurfing and bodyboarding spot. The break is dangerous; watch unless you’re an expert. Free parking lot. West Jetty View Park, tip of Balboa Peninsula, end of Channel Road, Newport Beach, 949.644.3309 Map N16

West Street Beach
Small cove beach; volleyball courts, bodyboarding. Metered parking. West Street and South Coast Highway, South Laguna, 714.834.2400 Map I16

Regional Parks

Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Wild and rugged canyon terrain good for hiking and horseback riding. 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea, 714.973.3160 Map A4

Clark Regional Park
Ideal for picnicking, fishing and tennis. Interpretive center houses fossils of local prehistoric plants and animals. 8800 Rosecrans Ave., Buena Park, 714.973.3170 Map A3

Irvine Regional Park
On land donated by James Irvine in 1897, California’s oldest regional park houses the Orange County Zoo and Irvine Park Railroad. Old-growth oak and sycamore trees. Families have picnicked at the park for more than 100 years. 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, 714.973.6835 Map B5

Laguna Niguel Regional Park
Wide selection of outdoor activities, including tennis, volleyball, jogging and bicycling in well-landscaped setting. There’s fishing on a 44-acre lake. 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, 949.923.2240 Map F6

Mason Regional Park
Large grassy areas, picnic shelters, hundreds of acres of protected land with three miles of paved trails for hikers and bikers.Many native animal species; lake and lush shade trees. 18712 University Drive, Irvine, 949.923.2220 Map D4

Mile Square Regional Park
Reservable sports fields, walking and biking paths and fishing on two ponds. Yes, it’s one mile square. 16801 Euclid St., Fountain Valley, 714.973.6600 Map B1

O’Neill Regional Park
Expansive 3,300-acre park is a distinctive spot for both day use and camping. Includes the Arroyo Trabuco area, 935 acres of relatively pristine land maintained as a wilderness preserve. 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, 949.923.2256 Map east of D6

Peters Canyon Regional Park
Blend of native vegetation and scenic trails. Lush groves of willows and black cottonwoods intertwine with a rambling creek and encase a 50-acre lake. Variety of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. 8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange, 714.973.6611 Map B5

Santiago Oaks Regional Park
Secluded 1,750-acre refuge has trails, native oak trees and historic dam. Nature Center open on weekends. Garden area is popular for small weekend weddings. 2145 N. Windes Drive, Orange, 714.973.6620 Map B4

Wilderness Parks

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park
3,350-acre park is home to world-class mountain-biking terrain and superb hiking; its canyons have an idyllic feel unmatched in Orange County. 28373 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Niguel, 949.923.2200 Map H16

Caspers Wilderness Park
8,000 acres for day use, hiking and camping. Nature center; interpretive programs. 33401 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.923.2210 Map east of F6

Richard and Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy
1,200-acre reserve; public access during special events. Call for schedule. Rancho Mission Viejo, 28672 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.9778 Map east of F6

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Sycamore-shaded canyons and high ridges offering spectacular ocean views and hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Nature center serves as a gateway to 7,000-acre natural habitat. 18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.923.2235 Map G15

Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park
Docent-led hikes, bike rides and equestrian tours of 5,000 acres of forested canyons, rock formations, rolling hills, streams and trails. Natural history interpretive center. Portola Parkway and Market Place, Foothill Ranch, 949.923.2245 Map east of D6

Modjeska Canyon Nature Preserve
At base of Santa Ana Mountains, bordered by Cleveland National Forest on three sides. Accessible only by ranger-led tours with advance reservations. Modjeska Canyon, 949.923.2245 Map east of D6

Riley Wilderness Park
Oak groves, grasslands and deer. Native plant garden attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. 30952 Oso Parkway, Coto De Caza, 949.923.2265 Map east of E6

Talbert Nature Preserve 
A variety of hiking and interpretive trails situated within an “ecological staircase” of a salt marsh, freshwater wetlands, grasslands and woodlands. 1298 Victoria Ave. at Santa Ana River, Costa Mesa, 949.923.2290 Map M11

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
At Newport Back Bay with vistas of the coastal wetlands. One of the finest birding sites in North America; several endangered species make this home. Interpretive center is open Tu-Su, 10 am-4 pm. overlooks the shimmering estuary, offering visitors a portage to bay life. 2301 University Drive (corner of University Drive and Irvine Avenue), Newport Beach, 949.923.2290 Map K13

Historical Parks

Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens
Home of renowned 19th-century actress Madame Helena Modjeska. National historic landmark named for the Forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. By appointment through Heritage Hill Historical Park. 29042 Modjeska Canyon Road, Modjeska Canyon, 949.923.2230 Map east of D6

George Key Ranch Historic Park
1898 building, botanical garden and citrus grove present a view of life in the early days of the county’s citrus farming. National Register of Historic Places. 625 W. Bastanchury Road, Placentia, 714.973.3190 Map A4

Heritage Hill Historic Park
Park preserves Orange County’s cultural heritage through four historic buildings representing distinct eras in the area’s development. 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, 949.923.2230 Map D6

Irvine Ranch Historic Park
Once the heart of the Irvine agricultural empire, the park preserves the ranch operations headquarters, as well as the site of the original Irvine family home. O.C. Parks headquarters. 13042 Old Myford Road, Irvine, 714.973.6609 Map C5

Old Orange County Courthouse
Site of the local governmental transactions and court proceedings that shaped the county’s early history. Restored in 1989; houses historical exhibits, archives, special events and a marriage license office. 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, 714.973.6605 Map H13

Peralta Adobe Historic Site
One of the last remaining structures of the Peralta settlement, home to pioneering families in the 1800s. By reservation through George Key Ranch (listing above). 6398 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim, 714.973.3190 Map A4

Yorba Cemetery
Dates to 1858. Final resting place for many O.C. pioneers. Visits by reservation through George Key Ranch historic Ranch, 714.973.3190. 6749 Parkwood Court, Yorba Linda Map A5