One place my family travels to each year is Southern California. We have no relatives there but we do have a few friends that we will occasionally visit. Our main purpose to get to Southern California, however, is the amazing temperatures with beaches all over the place. We used to stay in San Diego most of the time but in recent years have really enjoyed staying near Anaheim (and have not been to Disneyland) and traveling to a variety of beaches.
Last year our friend took us to Little Corona Beach. It is just down the road from Corona del Mar State Beach (which we have never actually been to) and you can easily get to it by walking down a ramp (no stairs) at the corner of Poppy Avenue and Ocean Boulevard in Newport Beach.
Arch Rock is located down off the beach and is absolutely beautiful.
We have been a few times now to this beach and the most shocking thing to me each time has been that it is not overly crowded. The most recent visit happened to be a Saturday afternoon. I’m not sure why it wasn’t more crowded but it was absolutely amazing to be on the beach in 80 degree weather with few crowds.
We head immediately for the tide pools to see what the tides brought in that morning. The best time to check the tide pools are early in the morning but as we’re on vacation and more than likely stayed up with the kids until at least midnight (and with the time change, that means we were up until 1 am), it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to make it to the tide pools before high tide. You can check the tides here and sunrises and sunsets. Our first night in California, we were hoping to make it early enough to visit the beach before dinner but as we went in late Fall, we totally missed the sunset and had to wait another day to see the ocean and beach.
This specific day we went, we saw many sea anemones, hermit crabs, star fish, and crabs. In the past, we’ve seen some more interesting things, including lots of fish, but we somehow missed all the neat stuff. I’d suggest walking farther down the rocks towards the arch to see more interesting creatures. Just make sure you don’t disturb the sea life.
And if you’re like my kids, they really just want a beach to be able to run around so we made sure that happened. If you’re not loving the small Little Corona Beach, Corona Del Mar is just up the beach a little ways. You can walk there or drive. But if you stay at Little Corona Beach, there is a little stream that runs down the beach from rain runoff. Apparently, at times it smells funny, although I’ve never smelled it.
I love this sequence of photos. My daughter was so sure her cartwheel was going to be amazing. At least she had a good time.
Tip: If you’re going to walk around the tide pools, I’d recommend bringing tennis shoes (do people still call them that?) of some sort. The times we’ve worn sandals and flip flops haven’t gone well. The rocks are sharp and at times slick so a good grip and a shoe that will give you a good barrier between you and everything you’re walking on is helpful to the bottom of the feet. My daughter wore flip flops and slipped a lot but we always caught her. When I slipped while wearing my sandals, well, there was no one to catch me.
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