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 friendly 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 this family friendly beach. A wooden boardwalk meanders behind the beach and leads north to more walking paths in 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 family-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.