1. Huntington City Beach
Pacific Coast Highway between Beach Boulevard and Seapoint Street, Huntington Beach
Orange County has 42 miles of coastline from Seal Beach to San Clemente, but few stretches evoke Southern California beach culture the way that the 3 miles surrounding downtown Huntington Beach do. It’s the town square of Surf City, the place where Duke Kahanamoku first taught mainlanders to ride waves in 1912.
The Huntington Beach Pier is City Beach’s centerpiece. It extends 1,850 feet from the end of Main Street and is a popular place to stroll, people-watch, check out surfers shredding waves below or fish. Huntington has a had a pier since 1902, though the current version opened in 1992. Most years, the U.S. Open of Surfing draws throngs to the area just south of the pier in late July and early August to watch the surfers, skaters and BMX riders compete, but the event was canceled by COVID-19 in 2020 and moved to a later date this year.
Heading up Pacific Coast Highway, City Beach begins at Beach Boulevard, right across from the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, which has a pedestrian bridge over the road to enable guests to get to the beach without waiting for traffic signals. The neighboring Waterfront Beach Resort and Paséa Hotel & Spa continue resort row, right across from the lower section of City Beach.
North of the pier, the Huntington Pacific Beach House Apartments are the only housing on the ocean side of PCH in Huntington. After that, Huntington City Beach literally goes to the dogs. Huntington Dog Beach occupies the mile of sand closest to the boundary with Bolsa Chica State Beach, where dogs and their humans frolic in the surf.
2. Main Beach
South Coast Highway and Broadway Street, Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach is a busy place in the summer, with the Pageant of the Masters attracting patrons nightly and three art festivals in full swing. Main Beach, located in the heart of all that action, is a draw year-round.
The actual beach itself is fairly slender, particularly at high tide. There’s room enough for several beach volleyball courts, but a different court sport is the one most associated with Main Beach. Two basketball half-courts are typically in use throughout the day, often with another team waiting for the chance to play the winners.
Parking in Laguna is always a challenge; beach-goers can park in less congested areas and take a free shuttle to Main Beach. A wooden walkway provides an easy way to stroll the beach for those who don’t want to get their feet sandy. Main Beach has no fire pits or grills or even a snack bar, but all of the culinary options of downtown Laguna Beach are literally across the street.
3. Corona del Mar State Beach
Ocean and Jasmine avenues, Newport Beach
Corona del Mar State Beach is bookended by two scenic overlooks along Ocean Avenue. Lookout Point, on the beach’s northwest edge, offers views of adjoining Newport Harbor, while Inspiration Point, less than half a mile down the coast, gives visitors suitably breathtaking vistas of the ocean.
The compact stretch of sand in between manages to squeeze a lot of beach fun into its limited real estate. The jetties that line one side keep the surf relatively tame, which might bum out surfers and bodyboarders, but is a godsend for families with young children. Pirates Cove Beach, located next to the beach’s western parking lot, offers even more tranquil conditions.
The distance between the ample parking lot and the surf is a fraction of what one finds at Huntington State Beach up the road, so visitors don’t have far to lug their coolers and canopies if they want to set up camp by the breakers. The sand boasts nine beach volleyball courts, which receive heavy use daily.h2 data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag"">
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Source : https://www.ocregister.com/2021/09/23/best-of-orange-county-2021-best-beach/797