May 13, 2012

Orange County Beaches

The last few days we’ve been lucky enough to be parked about 3 miles from the beach in Orange County, and at no cost! We contacted the Jewish Community Center of Orange County, and they were very nice to let us park in their shady parking lot for Friday and Saturday. Sunday night we’ll be moving to the Mariner’s church across the street. We are located right in the middle of Orange County, with Newport and Huntington Beach just north of us, and Laguna and San Clemente Beach just south, on Pacific Coast Highway 1. We have spent the last few days thoroughly exploring the beaches and soaking in the golden sunshine here on the coast.

Friday was our 5 year wedding anniversary! We scored a much needed shower at the Mariner’s church, then drove down the coast to a Thai restaurant, Thai Brothers, in Laguna Beach (yes, Thai food is another one of our obsessions). Then we walked the streets of Laguna, dropped by a bar for a couple of drinks and people watching, and then walked a bit on the beach.

Saturday we took Sam and Chloe for a hike at Crystal Cove Beach State Park. There is a massive trail system located off of Ridge Drive in Newport Beach, where you can find miles of mountain trails for running, biking and horseback riding. We hiked down into the canyon, almost down to the ocean, then turned back to return to the top, for a total of 5 miles. The dogs were really happy to get a huge drink at the pup fountain after!

Hiking at Crystal Cove State Park
Afterwards, we dropped them off at the trailer, and drove down to Huntington Beach to watch the surfers. It was super windy, so the kite surfers were having a blast out there. We set up camp right by the pier and laid out.

Huntington Beach Pier
Kite surfers on Huntington Beach
Sunday we took our bikes down to Laguna Beach, found free street parking, and took off to explore the beach. We biked along the coast, on the Pacific Coast Highway 1. Near the city beach of Laguna, there is Heisler Park. This is a small portion of beach that has several tide pools that everyone can explore. It was pretty neat to get to see so many types of marine wildlife up close.

Biking around Laguna Beach
Marine wildlife viewing at Heisler Park in Laguna
At Heisler Park in Laguna Beach
The city of Laguna Beach
From there we biked the rest of the way to Laguna Beach, and picked a bench to watch the beach volleyball and enjoy our picnic lunch.

Lunch in Laguna
We spent the rest of the day at Laguna, biking and walking the beach. It is so gorgeous around here, its hard to believe we are actually here.

Walking on the beach in Laguna
This evening we picked up a pizza at Mama D’s in Newport Beach, along with a bubbly peach wine from Trader Joe's and spent the evening watching the sun set over Newport.

Newport Beach
After the sunset, we walked on the Newport Beach pier, and saw lots of folks night fishing. There were also seals swimming around begging for fish scraps. They didn't look like they were starving to me, they all had huge smiles on their faces with long whiskers! :o)

A seal off of Newport Beach Pier
To see more pictures of the OC beaches, go here.

Happy Beach Discovering!


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