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We’ve been loving visiting Southern California each month while going out for work. The boys and I started to research and visit a new beach each time instead of just going to our regular stand by’s. We’ve found some really great spots!

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

I first read about Crystal Cove when I was planning for our RV trip. They have campaign and RV spots but were already booked WAY in advance so if you have dreams of camping there definitely give yourself ample time to book through Reserve America.

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

The really charming and unique part about this beach is that there are preserved beach cottages that you can stay in! The area is really pretty and the cottages are restored/preserved to capture lifestyles between 1935 – 1955. (see tips below on renting a cottage) The restoration of the area and preservation is headed by the Crystal Cove Alliance.

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CACrystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

There is a cafe near the beach and you can walk up (quite a few) steps to a Shake Shack!

If you want to visit for the day you’ll have to park across PCH and walk down (we actually really enjoyed the walk).

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

You are able to drive down to drop passengers off but someone will need to park the car and walk down.

When you get down to the village the beach directly in front of you is great for body boarding and water play. You can walk down the beach to the right or the left and you’ll see tide pools, sandy coves, reefs and canyons. It really is a beautiful spot and worth the walk! This is also a great area for little adventurers to check out the tide pools because they’re easy to get to.

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

We visited on a cloudy day that never cleared up so we’ll have to go back to catch some sunny day photos!

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

Thinking you might want to visit? Here are some tips for checking out Crystal Cove State Park:

  • There is a park entrance/parking fee of $15
  • You can drive passengers down to drop them off if you don’t want them to walk all the way down, though the walk really isn’t that bad.
  • There are plenty of bathrooms up by the parking area.
  • To rent a cottage you’ll want to plan 7 months ahead. The cottage rentals open up at the 1st of the month 8am EST here and they will go FAST. Take some time to get to know which cottage you think you’d like by checking out this site. There are individual cottages and dorm style cottages so you’ll definitely want to know what you’re reserving.
  • You can also try to check for cancellations or you can create an availability notification at Reserve America by choosing a cottage, entering your dates and it will let you know if it’s not available and give you an option for making a notification (don’t trust the walk up notification there though).
  • You can try for a last minute rental if you’d like. You’ll have to wait until after 11am each day and walk up to the check in office to inquire.
  • There is a cafe down by the beach and cottages or a Shake Shack up a few flights of stairs.
  • Make sure to check the tide each day. A lifeguard should make you aware if you’re in a spot that might be gone once the tide comes in but you should always be prepared and know for yourself. Especially if you are walking down the beach or set up in a cove. You don’t want to get stuck!

Have more tips? Let me know and we can add them here!

Crystal Cove State Park - Laguna Beach, CA

Author

Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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