Orange County has family-friendly beaches where kids can have fun and parents feel they are safe. These beaches all have lifeguards or have calm protected water. They also have amenities geared at families including playgrounds for kids, restrooms, and in many cases, grass parks for sand-free picnics. Here is our list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Orange County.
1. Aliso Beach, Laguna Beach
Aliso Beach is a top family beach in Laguna. It has all the items on the checklist that families are looking for. Bigger kids can walk the beach north toward Treasure Island Beach and more protected coves. Just don’t let the kids play in the creek water as it can be contaminated.
2. Baby Beach, Dana Point
Dana Point Harbor Beach has been nicknamed “Baby Beach” for a reason. It’s on the protected waters of the harbor where kids can splash about without worry that a rogue wave can come in and knock them down.
Right next to one of the most popular beaches on the OC coast is a hidden cove where kids can explore rock caves and play in the water where waves can’t get them. It’s Pirates Cove Beach in the Corona Del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach. Facilities are nearby at the state beach.
Main Beach in Downtown Laguna Beach is a wonderful park and beach for kids. The signature lifeguard tower stands tall over the beach. A wooden boardwalk meanders behind the beach and leads north to Heisler Park. At low tide one of the many tide pools in Laguna Beach is exposed.
Newport Municipal Beach is a large beach with room for many families even on sunny days when it gets real busy. The pier is fun to walk out on and the small park next to the pier is a great spot for picnic.
Tip: there are many restaurants nearby, but the kids will enjoy a cool treat from Il Gelato on the waterfront.
6. Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
Enjoy this large grass park and the gradually sloping beach at Salt Creek Beach where kids can boogie board when conditions are favorable. There is a lot of beach to walk here as this long beach connects with nearby Dana Strand Beach too.
Tip: It’s a long walk down to the beach so pack light or bring a wagon or stroller to roll your stuff to the hill. If you are lucky they will be running a shuttle up and down to hill so bring a few dollars to cover the ride.
7. Linda Lane Beach, San Clemente
Linda Lane Park is a great place to park and set up a base camp for a long day at the beach. San Clemente Pier Beach is a short walk away via the beach or the San Clemente Coastal Trail where kids can play on the beach in the presence of a lifeguard. Note that the beach right in front of the park can be all wet at high tide.
This is a large beach to say the least. The sandy Huntington Beach shoreline stretches for over two miles in both directions from the HB Pier. It’s a real hub of activity around the pier where beach-goers of all types congregate. Huntington City Beach is popular with surfers, beach volleyball players, teens, kids, adults and everyone else.
9. Seal Beach, Seal Beach
Seal Beach is the northernmost kid-friendly beach in Orange County. Take the rug rats out on the pier to show them the view of the region from Long Beach to Huntington Beach.
10. North Beach, San Clemente
North Beach is a favorite of local San Clemente Families. This narrow beach next to the railroad tracts at the north end of the San Clemente Coastal Trail is a hidden gem. Bring a picnic or simply get some snacks at the Laid Back Shack right on the beach.
Tide pools are also great fun for kids. See our list of the best tide pools in Orange County.
Beaches on this list
Aliso Beach County Park is a popular sandy beach in South Laguna Beach, CA. Unlike many of the nearby beaches, Aliso Beach has a large off-street parking area next to […]
Dana Point Harbor Beach, better-known as “Baby Beach,” is located on the protected waters of Dana Point Harbor. This is a small family-friendly beach with a roped off swimming area […]
Pirate’s Cove Beach is the small beach on the west side of the parking lot at Corona Del Mar State Beach in Newport Beach, CA. Due to its location inside […]
Main Beach is the simple name given to the main centrally-located city beach in Laguna Beach, California. Main Beach is a nice sandy beach in a broad cove that faces […]
Newport Municipal Beach is located on both sides of the Newport Beach Pier. The beaches are continuous here and the city beach stretches from Balboa Pier Beach to the south […]
Salt Creek Beach Park is a popular Orange County park located in Dana Point, CA. This wide sandy beach is directly below the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel beach resort, the Ritz […]
Linda Lane Park is a family-friendly park north of the San Clemente Pier and downtown area. A tunnel under the railroad tracks provides access to the beach from the parking […]
Huntington City Beach is the center of a long stretch of sandy waterfront for the city of Huntington Beach, CA. This huge asset and the fact that surf’s up regularly […]
Seal Beach (the beach) is located in the city of Seal Beach, a small beachside community wedged between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. It is the northernmost beach town and […]
North Beach in San Clemente is in front of the Ole Hanson Beach Club near the intersection of El Camino Real and Avenida Estacion. North Beach is wider than the […]