Living in Anaheim, California with beautiful beaches and numerous exciting attractions at our finger tips, it’s a wonder that we travel anywhere else! Although we do love to travel the world, sometimes it is nice to enjoy what’s in our own backyard, like a luxurious weekend in one of Orange County vacation rentals. I am a big proponent of traveling locally, as you can see HERE. Whenever we have the sudden itch to travel, we often scratch it by living it up at the many beaches near Anaheim like Laguna, Newport Beach and Huntington.
In fact, one of my favorite childhood vacations was the time my family rented a beach house in Newport Beach and made it our home for the week. It was so much fun hanging out with my parents, aunt, uncle, siblings and cousins where no one was rushing off to school or work. We had various family friends stop by for days in the sun and dinner under the stars. What I love about renting a beach house is that locals can turn their home into a vacation and visitors can make vacation into a home. Many people flock to Anaheim for Disney, but they don’t realize that there are such great beaches near Disneyland. After spending a lifetime exploring these beaches, I want to show you what’s hot in the OC.
At a Glance...
The beach is my happy place and Newport Beach is like home to me. It is where I first tried my favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream while renting a beach house at the age of five. As teenagers, it is where HotDaddy and I spent many lazy days of summer, before becoming parents ourselves. Newport Beach is where my baby girl was born. Two kids later, it is where I get to watch my children play and explore. These are the kind of beach memories that truly last a lifetime. Newport Coast offers something for everyone from the chic to the family-friendly.
Things to do in Newport Beach:
- Venture over to Balboa Fun Zone (more details here)
- Enjoy OC’s longest happy hour at Harborside
- Take the ferry over to Balboa Island
- Dine at the Crab Cooker (more details here)
- Visit Newport Dunes (more details here)
- Visit Corona Del Mar for a bonfire
Laguna Beach is a little piece of paradise in Orange County, California. The setting for many popular movies and television shows, Laguna Beach has definitely earned its extraordinary reputation. There are endless options for fantastic dining, miles of untouched coastline, hiking trails and tide pools to explore, and a thriving art culture. It is a beautiful mix of sophistication and simplicity. As adults, we love the variety of restaurants and rooftop cocktails. The kids love playing on the beachside playground and discovering sea life in the tide pools. In so many words, it is a great place to take the family and has a little something for everyone to love.
Things to do in Laguna Beach:
- Tour all of Laguna for free on the beach trolley during the weekends
- Try the global cuisine at one of Laguna’s many fabulous restaurants, like Mozambique and C’est La Vie
- Check out the tide pools and visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center
- Explore one of the five wilderness parks
- Catch one of the many art festivals, like Sawdust
- Have a cocktail and massage at the Ritz
Surf City USA, Huntington Beach is known for their active-lifestyle beach culture and superb surf. In fact it has been coined the “Surfing Capital of the World”. Mind you, this is not due to the massive size of the swells, but rather the consistency in excellence of the waves. A beach of juxtapositions, Huntington is laidback yet active, cool yet approachable. I always got excited to hangout in Huntington, especially when I was in my early twenties. There is always some kind of festivity or sporting event going on, making this a very lively beach town and where you go if you are looking for a good time.
Things to do in Huntington Beach:
- Visit the International Surf Museum
- Spend the day shopping and dining at the new Pacific City
- Dine at the infamous Ruby’s Diner on the Pier
- Catch the U.S. Open of Surfing
- Enjoy The Tuesday Surf City Nights that features a farmer’s market, entertainment, food, and a carnival atmosphere complete with kids’ rides.
- Hangout on Downtown Huntington’s Main Street for all the action.
That’s A Wrap!
Any one of these beaches near Anaheim makes for the perfect place to visit for a day or a week. However, with so much to do and see at just one of these beautiful beaches, it makes sense to come and stay awhile. Take it all in one day at time, living like a local. Make that, a fabulous local. Orange County is known for being a little bit glamorous, so why not have some fun and step it up by staying at one of Orange County vacation rentals? It is a great way to gather the family up to make some wonderful beach memories of your own.
*This post contains sponsored links from Luxury Retreats
- Guide to Anaheim (HERE)
- What to do in Newport (HERE)
- Guide to Balboa (HERE)
- Rving at Newport Dunes (HERE)
- Guide to Laguna (HERE)
Have you been to the OC? What is your favorite public beach?
Like it? Pin it!