Searching for the best beaches with kids in Orange County can be a challenge. Everyone has a different opinion, a different set of criteria, and a unique set of youngsters looking for a wide variety of opportunities and amenities. To help aid in the search, we turned to Trekaroo, the trusted name in family travel, to read parent-reviews of some of the best kid-friendly beaches in Orange County. Here are our top five kid-friendly beaches to enjoy in Orange County.
Aliso Creek Beach
31131 S. Pacific Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92652
One of the most popular beaches in Laguna Beach and all of Orange County, Aliso Creek Beach is an especially kid-friendly strip of sand located adjacent to the Montage Resort. Parking at the beach is metered and additional parking across PCH (with access to the beach via underground tunnel) ensures an adequate amount of parking, even on busy days. Numerous public restrooms, a snack bar, and a small tide pool area complement the water based activities, and access to the beach is easy with a zero-grade walk from the parking lot steps away to the sand.
Main Street & Ocean Ave
Seal Beach, CA 90740
One of the big draws of Seal Beach is their playground which is perfect for younger kids. Older kids will have fun checking out the fishermen on the pier too and there are shops and restaurants along Main St. and a Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier. Beachgoers love that this beach is rarely crowded and parking is inexpensive too.
Huntington City Beach
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Known as Surf City, USA, Huntington City Beach is one of the best to take budding surfers to as there is always a large lineup of friendly surfers ready to catch the next wave. Numerous parking lots line PCH around the pier, but you can also park in pay lots down Main Street with a stroll through the shops and restaurants before hitting the sand. Grassy areas allow for great people and ocean-watching without getting sandy, and the pier affords fantastic sunset views.
33971 Selva Rd.
Dana Point, CA 92629
This local favorite sits just south of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and offers families a quiet and hardly ever crowded piece of sand to enjoy an afternoon in the surf. A hard-to-find-bonus, parking is free and plentiful at Strands Beach! You will have to descend the Cliffside to access the sand, but kids will love the chance to take the funicular (seasonal) up and down (stairs are also available). Bathrooms are available bot at the top and bottom of the stairs.
1 West Balboa Pier
Newport Beach, CA 92661
Tucked at the end of the Balboa Peninsula past Newport Beach, Balboa Beach offers large stretches of sand, plentiful restroom, immersive playground equipment in the sand, and easy access to Balboa’s shops, restaurants, and family-friendly fun. Parking can be hard-to-find late in the day on weekends, but if your littles can walk, you can always park in front of the free residential areas further away from the pier. If your kids tire of the beach, head to the harbor side to ride the old-fashioned carousel.
Little Corona del Mar
3100 Ocean Blvd.
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Routinely named one of the best beaches for families in Orange County, Little Corona del Mar offers a great spot for families to enjoy a (mostly) secluded beach, pristine sand, stunning views, tide pool access, and a well-protected surf that has very little undercurrent. The return hike uphill is step-free, but can be tiresome; try to pack light.