The Best Beaches in Orange County California (2024)

The Best Beaches in Orange County California (1)

Picking the best beaches in Orange County isn’t easy, but many of the best beaches in all of Southern California are actually in between San Diego and Los Angeles. Orange County has both epic large sandy beaches and picturesque small cove beaches. They have piers, rock arches, and tide pools galore. Some well-known surf breaks are in OC too.

Our list of the best beaches in Orange County puts each beach into a category that it is associated with. Most of these beaches are good for many different things including sunbathing. Scroll to the bottom of the list to see our favorite beach in Orange County.

Best Surfing Beaches

Huntington City Beach
The Wedge
San Onofre Surfing Beach
Seal Beach

Best Beginner Surf Spot

Doheny Beach

Best Bodyboarding Beach

NorthBeach San Clemente

Best Pier

San ClementePier Beach
See all of the OC Piers

Best Tide Pools

Little Corona Del Mar Beach
See all of the OC Tide Pools

Best Unique Beach Discovery

Mysterious Tower at Victoria Beach

Best Hidden Beach

Table Rock Beach

Best Kid-Friendly Beaches

Dana Point Harbor Beach

Best for Beach Walking

Crystal Cove State Park

Best Rock Arch

The Keyhole at Pearl Street Beach
See all the California Rock Arches

Best Beach Camping

San Clemente State Beach

Best Sunbathing Beach

Newport Municipal Beach

Best Beach for Bonfires

Huntington State Beach
See all the OC Bonfire Beaches

Best Spot for Kayaking & SUP

North Star Beach on Newport Beach’s Back Bay

Best Dog-Friendly Beach

Huntington Dog Beach
See all the OC Dog-Friendly Beaches

Best Beach Bike Ride

San Clemente Coastal Trail

Best Bird-Watching

Ecological Reserve at Bolsa Chica State Beach

Best Overall Orange County Beach!

Laguna Beach Main Beach

Why is Laguna Beach MainBeach the best? Well it has so much to offer. It might not be the biggest or best at anything, but it has everything. Visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of restaurants nearby, plus lots of shopping options, and hotels if they are not from the area. Main Beach is a relatively safe place to play in the water as waves aren’t typically that big, but there are lifeguards on hand if someone needs help. Sports fanatics will find two courts behind the beach, volleyball courts on the sand, and room to toss a football or Frisbee at the water’s edge. Small kids have a playground to enjoy as well. Just to the north is Rockpile Beach where tidepools emerge when the water recedes. The wooden boardwalk behind Main Beach leads to Heisler Park, a well-landscaped bluff top park that is ideal for picnics. Want to enjoy a long walk on the beach? Just walk south and you have a mile of sand leading all the way to a rock arch known as The Keyhole at Pearl Street Beach.

The Best Beaches in Orange County California (2)Laguna Beach’s Main Beach

Below is our complete list of the best beaches in Orange County California.

Beaches in this article

Huntington City Beach

Huntington City Beach is the center of a long stretch of sandy waterfront for the city of Huntington Beach,...

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Trestles Beach

Trestles Beach is the northernmost part of San Onofre State Beach and of San Diego County, but access is...

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West Jetty View Beach - The Wedge

West Jetty View Park is located at the end of Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, CA. The park is...

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San Onofre State Beach – Surfing Beach (Old Man’s)

San Onofre Surfing Beach (the official state park name) is located between the city of San Clemente and Camp...

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Seal Beach

Seal Beach, and its picturesque pier, are located in the city of Seal Beach, a small beachside community wedged...

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Doheny State Beach – North Beach

Doheny State Beach has two separate beaches and day-use areas – north and south. This North Beach is located...

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San Clemente Pier City Beach

San Clemente Pier Beach is the main city beach of San Clemente, California and it’s a popular place. On...

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Little Corona Del Mar Beach

Little Corona Del Mar Beach is a popular small beach at the end of a ravine called Buck Gully...

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Victoria Beach

Victoria Beach is a long white sand beach south of Victoria Drive in Laguna Beach. The majority of this...

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Table Rock Beach

Table Rock Beach is a locally-known tucked away beach in south Laguna Beach, California. This is an excellent sandy...

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Dana Point Harbor Beach (Baby Beach)

Dana Point Harbor Beach, better-known as “Baby Beach,” is located on the protected waters of Dana Point Harbor. This...

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Pelican Point Beach at Crystal Cove State Park

Pelican Point Beach in Crystal Cove State Park has a broad beach between Pelican Point and the park’s Historic...

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Pearl Street Beach

Pearl Street Beach is located below a stairway that begins at the west end of Pearl Street in Laguna...

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San Clemente State Beach

San Clemente State Beach has a large campground and day-use parking area on a prime piece of San Clemente...

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Newport Municipal Beach

Newport Municipal Beach is located on both sides of the Newport Beach Pier. The beaches are continuous along the...

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Huntington State Beach

Huntington State Beach is a two mile long wide sandy beach that starts at Beach Boulevard and runs south...

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Huntington Dog Beach

Huntington Dog Beach is a dog-friendly strand at the northern end of Huntington Beach City Beach. In addition to...

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North Star Beach

North Star Beach is one of the best access points for Newport Beach’s Back Bay. This small sandy beach...

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Bolsa Chica State Beach

Bolsa Chica State Beach is a three mile long wide sandy beach in Huntington Beach, CA. Due to its...

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The Best Beaches in Orange County California (2024)
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