Destination DC continues to advise tourists and visitors to sample all the flavor the nation’s capital has to offer; and further urges city residents to branch out of the District of Columbia and see more of the nation.
One spot that should become a destination for DC residents is the awe-inspiring Crystal Cove State Park. The rolling surf, tidepools, sandy beaches, gently sloping hills, and deeply wooded canyons and ridges are a vast difference from the monuments, federal buildings, and concrete that runs throughout the city. Crystal Cove State Park is nestled between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, along a busy strip of the Pacific Coast Highway. Crystal Cove (as it’s often called) is easily one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore, and truly sends your eyes and heart on a seaside nature trip of splendor.
There are several direct flights from BWI, DCA, and Dulles to Los Angeles. Crystal Cove State Park is about an hour and 10 minutes (depending on traffic) from LAX. It’s a nice drive through Southern California traffic, and seemed much quicker than Google maps said.
Once I arrived I was greeted by a park ranger with the California State Parks. As I walked along one the walking trails with a California State Park Ranger, I was told the mornings I generally foggy and damp in the summers, but by mid morning the fog has burned off and gave way to another warm sunny day. On my visit it had just rained a couple of hours prior, and there was still a bit of fog that could be seen in the distance. The sun was out in full force, but there was still s coolness of the day remaining.
The ranger reminded me the park is made up of 3.2 miles of beach, 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness [for the outdoor enthusiasts] and an offshore underwater area. I saw bicyclists, hikers, surfers, and beachcombers alike at the park, as the ranger told me she estimates the park has several hundred visitors a day at its peak-time. The park is also made up of something larger: the Crystal Cove Historic District, a 12.3-acre coastal portion of the 2,791-acre Crystal Cove State Park. It’s federally listed Historic District made up of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built in the 1930’s & ‘40’s around the mouth of Los Trancos Creek. It is one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California coastal development.
“We get visitors year round due to the Mediterranean climate we have,” she said. “Hikers come, and we even have locations for mountain bikers, equestrians, and those looking to camp primitively.”
The house from the Bette Midler movie “Beaches” is located in Crystal Cove. Studio units, one- and two-bedroom houses, and hostel-style cottages in the Historic District can be rented for overnight-stays, but reservations have to be made up to seven months in advance. It truly gives the overnight guests a great California beach experience. You can check HERE to learn more about cottage availability.
Seeing the Pacific Ocean and water for as far as the eye can see is a life-defining moment. Be sure to check out Crystal Cove State Park soon.