If you plan on hitting up the beautiful Orange County beaches with a little one, you’ll be pleased to know that some of the best beaches in Orange County are actually the baby beaches!
Since I live in the OC and have a toddler as well, I have a new-found love for the baby beaches in Orange County.
What’s a baby beach, you say?
Baby beaches are slightly smaller than the average state beach, have a no-wake zone and therefore don’t have large ocean waves, making it a safer beach area for young children. That said, it’s still the great outdoors, so it’s always good to exercise caution with curious little ones around. 😉
Here is a snapshot of each of the best beaches in Orange County for babies and toddlers. You’ll want to hit up at least one of them!
1| Little Corona Del Mar Baby Beach
A part of the spacious Corona Del Mar State Beach, this small baby beach is big on fun.
Tidepools! The tidepools are a must-see, must-experience part of Little Corona Del Mar. During your visit to this beach you may see crabs, sea anemones, an octopus, or even a sea lion! Seeing marine wildlife up close is hands-down the best part of this baby beach.
Be aware that this beach is a marine protected area. Take caution when exploring the tidepools, for the sake of the wildlife and your kids. I highly recommend wearing, or at least bringing, swim shoes.
2| Dana Point Mother’s Beach
Mother’s Beach in Dana Point is located in south Orange County, so it is a bit farther from say Disneyland (if that’s what brings you to the OC). It’s a huge harbor. Some 2,500 boats can be harbored in Dana Point!
However, Mother’s Beach has a no-wake zone so kids can play safely. It consists of a buoyed-off area creating a lagoon-like atmosphere for little ones to play in the sun and sand.
You can enjoy a picnic on the beach or at any one of the picnic benches surrounding the harbor. A lifeguard is on duty in the summertime, parking is free, and there are restrooms and showers available on site.
3| Newport Dunes Baby Beach
This Orange County baby beach is chock-full of family fun!
Located in Newport Beach Back Bay area, this waterfront marina houses a water park, playground, and plenty of recreational water activities.
At Newport Dunes, you can rent a sailboat, pedal boat, stand-up paddle board, or tour the Back Bay Nature Preserve by kayak. In fact, this is one of the best beaches in Orange County for beginner kayakers to get their feet wet, pun intended, since the water is so placid.
4| Moro Beach at Crystal Cove
Moro Beach is a great escape from the busier and more crowded beaches of Orange County since it’s located within Crystal Cove State Park.
The easiest way to get there is to park in the Moro Visitor Center off Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and walk through the tunnel underneath the PCH to access the beach. This is a fun experience as well!
Restrooms and showers are near the parking lot. Parking is $15.
During the summer months, there’s a lifeguard on duty at Moro Beach. There’s also a beautiful wheelchair-accessible Environmental Study Loop that’s only a half-mile long!
5| Treasure Island Beach
Treasure Island Beach truly is a treasure. It’s located in the city of Laguna Beach off Pacific Coast Highway and Wesley Drive.
Parking is available in a parking garage near the beach for $1.50 per hour or by the meter along the Pacific Coast Highway. The walk down to the beach is beautiful!
At the beach, you’ll find restrooms, showers, lifeguards on duty, and plenty of nice white sand. The tide pools are full of life and sometimes there are even docents nearby in case you have any questions about the marine life.
Be sure to bring swim shoes for the kiddos!
Bonus: The water is very clear, making this beach one of the best beaches in Orange County for snorkeling!