Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach

Crystal Cove State Park is one of Orange County’s largest natural parks remaining. You can hike, visit the beach, or camp on a bluff overlooking the beach. Within this expansive park sits a Historic District at the beach where the Los Trancos creek meets the ocean. This Historic District is a seaside colony with 46 rustic coastal cottages which were built in the 1930s & ’40s. They are one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California coastal developments.

Starting in 1999 the Crystal Cove Conservancy Alliance had to fight to preserve Crystal Cove State Park’s Historic District from becoming a luxury resort. After winning this battle in 2001 they began with fundraisers to plan the restoration of the 46 original rustic cottages. There are still 17 cottages left to restore (and a whopping 19 million dollars needed to fund this phase of the restoration). The rest of the cottages are available for rent! Its a fantastic place to spend a summer holiday beachside and in an original coastal cottage. Each cottage is unique, see selections this way.

Also part of the Historic District is the Beachcomber Cafe, which is a restored beachfront cottage turned into a restaurant (The Beachcomber) and bar (The Bootlegger). It sits at the entrance to the Historic District in the sand with fantastic views of the beach and ocean. We had brunch there before relaxing at the beach. The highlight on the menu were by far the Beachcomber Beignets! Don’t skip them!

The Tidepools at Crystal Cove are fun to experience as well. For more information on Tide Pool Exploration, this way!

For a map of the Historic District, this way!

There is no parking immediately at the Historic District, but cars are allowed to drive down to the beach to pick up and drop off visitors. The best place to park is across from Pacific Coast Highway at the Crystal Cove/Los Trancos Entrance. From there you can either take a shuttle to the Historic District or walk down the Park Trail (which took us only 5 minutes).

Crystal Cove State Park
8471 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA 93651


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