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Orange County

Flanked by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Santa Ana Mountains to the east, the 40-mile Orange County coast is wonderfully complex, with wetlands, estuaries, sea cliffs, headlands, coves, and wide stretches of golden sand. You’ll find quiet nature preserves and busy beaches that attract people from across California—and around the world—to surf, swim, ride bicycles, play volleyball, or just gaze out to sea.

Near the county's northern border, Seal Beach has a mile-long stretch of sand, a pier, and restaurants and antique shops along the waterfront. South of Seal Beach the highway follows the shoreline past three contiguous public beaches: Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington City Beach, and Huntington State Beach. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is across the highway from the state beach.

At Newport Beach, a peninsula shelters the harbor and Balboa Island. Farther inland, the tides flow into the Upper Newport Ecological Reserve, a beautiful estuary carved into a coastal mesa. The blufftop trail and historic district at Crystal Cove State Beach are great for a day-long outing--or an overnight stay.

You can visit historic ships at Dana Point Harbor, then hop over to Doheny State Beach for a picnic under an accessible palapa. San Clemente City Beach, at the county's southernmost end, is a two-mile stretch of sand at the base of sea cliffs.

 

 

Seal Beach and Municipal Pier
Seal Beach and Municipal Pier (Dave Efferson)
Seal Beach and Municipal PierUpper Newport Bay Ecological ReserveHuntington City Beach & PierBolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

View Accessible Trails in Orange County in a larger map
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.   California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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