The beaches in Orange County are some of the most popular places in California for enjoying the surf and sand. But believe it or not, there are still a few spots in the area where you can enjoy a nice, quiet day, at least compared to the more bustling beaches.
Head off the beaten path and find these secluded beaches in Orange County.
Crescent Bay Beach is located in northern Laguna Beach, and it’s surprising how quiet it is given the fact that it’s so easily accessible. Park on the North Coast Highway and head down to Cliff Drive, where a long ramp that is signed for “authorized vehicles only” will serve as your path to the beach. Two scuba diving areas called Seal Rock and Dead Man’s Reef are both located offshore, but swimming isn’t recommended here due to rip tides.
You’ll find San Onofre State Beach between Oceanside and San Clemente, with Bluffs Beach being the state park’s main area. With 6 different trails descending from the parking lot, you’ll have your pick of which parts to enjoy. But just a heads up: The area south of Trail 6 Beach is a commonly accepted clothing-optional area, so don’t be surprised if you see nude people at this beach.
This quiet beach sits below the Cameo Shores community in Newport Beach. Getting there requires a walk along a rocky shoreline from Little Corona Del Mar Beach, which is why the area remains largely uncrowded. Try to time your visit for when the tide is out – the tide pools here are amazing.
Located below the high-crumbling cliffs of the headlands, Dana Point Headlands Beach is covered with rocks and boulders. You’ll notice that this beach seems very remote even though it’s not far off the beaten path at all. To reach the beach, go behind the Ocean Institute on Dana Point Harbor. Drive to the very end of the harbor road and park near the Dana Point Pier, then walk past the Institute and cross over the jetty rock pile on a short covered stairway. Walk on the rocks and explore the sea caves until you reach the sand.
Treasure Cove Beach is a true gem. Popular with surfers and scuba divers, the scenic paths that border the beach are perfect for enjoying the beauty and sometime spotting gray whales during their migration season from December and April. The park entrance is across from Newport Coast Drive on Pacific Coast Highway.
Related: Crystal Cove State Park Beaches
This locally-known stretch of sand sits tucked away in South Laguna Beach, and it can be tough to find if you don’t know the area well. Turn west onto Table Rock Drive from the highway (the road to the east is Eagle Rock Way) and go one block to Bluff Drive where it will be on your left. The quiet sunbathing you can do here will make it worth finding. Also consider nearby Woods Cove Beach, which is 2.3 miles north of here.
Located below a private beach club in the gated community of Monarch Beach in Dana Point, Monarch Bay Beach doesn’t seem secluded at first. But once you step onto the sand the people start to disperse, and before you know it you’re enjoying a peaceful stroll in solitude. In fact, more often than not this beach has more birds on it than people.
Lost Winds Beach sits high on the bluffs of southern San Clemente. To find the beach entrance, look between homes at 2004 Calle De Los Alamos just south of the intersection of Calle Lasuen. From there, the trail drops down and crosses over the railroad tracks to the sand. Popular with surfers and volleyball players, this is a wonderful place to take a relaxing walk.
Of course, there are plenty of other amazing beaches in Laguna Beach (37 to be exact) that are more popular, especially during weekends and the peak summer months. But even these can be uncrowded during the week and off-season weekends. If you are looking for a unique attraction, we highly recommend checking out the Tower of Laguna Beach which is located around the corner from the well-known Victoria Beach.
Beaches on this list
Crescent Bay Beach is a large popular beach in northern Laguna Beach, CA. The main public access is on Cliff Drive one block from where it begins at North Coast […]
San Onofre State Beach is located between Oceanside and San Clemente, CA. The main area of this state park, which is called “Bluffs Beach,” has a long continuous parking lot […]
Cameo Shores Beach is a sandy beach below the Cameo Shores community in Newport Beach, CA. Getting to this beach requires a walk along a rocky shoreline from Little Corona […]
Dana Point Headlands Beach is located below the high crumbling cliffs of the Dana Point Headlands. This is a sandy beach covered with rocks and boulders that has excellent tide […]
Treasure Cove Beach at Crystal Cove State Park is accessed from hiking trails that lead down the steep bluff from day-use parking lots inside the Pelican Point entrance. This entrance […]
Table Rock Beach is a locally-known tucked away beach in south Laguna Beach, CA. This is an excellent sandy beach in a deep cove with homes high above. Rocks of […]
Monarch Bay Beach is a public beach below a private beach club in the gated community of Monarch Beach in Dana Point, CA. The Monarch Bay Beach Club has a […]
Lost Winds Beach is situated below a housing development high on the bluff in southern San Clemente. The entrance is between homes at 2006 Calle De Los Alamos just south […]