The idyll of Southern California beaches, Crystal Cove State Park is 3.2 miles long, with an undulated oceanfront dotted with tide pools and secret coves. Children can explore the beach, play in the usually friendly surf, fly kites, and see what surf casting fishermen reel in. The park also includes a trail network that heads inland, popular routes for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
At night, families can stay at one of dozens of restored 1930s-era beach cottages in a historic compound. Just plan well ahead; cottages are offered by lottery and rent out months in advance. Or try your hand at beach camping and pitch a tent on bluffs with sweeping ocean views. The Beachcomber Café is right on the water and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner-and cocktails, of course, if you have had a long day of dashing after the children.
Whether it is manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, 'The OC' stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always amazing Disneyland Resort, about one hours’ drive south of Los Angeles and two hours’ north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun metre.
“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.” --actor Dennis Quaid
Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA.
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