You’ve probably heard that California has a lot of beaches. Recently Dave and I decided to visit a new one, or at least a new one for us.
The state of California is about to raise user fees and close some state parks, so we decided there was no time like the present to check out Crystal Cove State Park. Crystal Cove is just off Pacific Coast Highway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. We’ve passed the park many times while driving down to Laguna, which is one of our favorite beaches. Honestly, from PCH the park looks like a stretch of overgrown brush. I often wondered how much of a park could have been there because it looked like a pretty steep drop-off to the ocean.
What we found were several parking lots, paved biking trails and hiking trails with spectacular views of unspoiled coastline and the Pacific. Just a few steps from the parking lot, the noise from the highway was undetectable. Dave said it was strange to see the traffic and not be able to hear it.
Crystal Cove’s beach is the first I’ve visited in California that really felt like a natural beach. You could really smell the salt and sea air. It was high tide so there was plenty of kelp strewn all over the sand. There were even seashells. (Collecting shells is prohibited by state law.) Another surprise was that I didn’t see any trash anywhere on the beach.
The park was well worth the $10 day-use fee, especially since the park’s trails and facilities were so well maintained. It was the perfect place to walk on the beach with my sweetie!
Caption: Crystal Cove State Park has 3.2 miles of unspoiled Pacific coastline.