Corona Del Mar Beach is a bit of an oddity in the OC beach scene. It doesn’t fit into any of the regular categories. For instance, it appears to be one beach but there are 3 very distinctly separate areas with different names. I had to enlist the help of readers on my page on Facebook to figure it all out. Parking is also a stumper. It’s called Corona Del Mar STATE Beach, but state parks passes don’t work here. It’s not a regional beach, so no OCParks pass either. The City of Newport Beach acts as operator. The best free option is to park at the top of the hill, but with little kids it’s quite a hike. Hopefully, we can help you sort out all your options.
Location: Corona Del Mar Beach is off of Pacific Coast Highway(PCH) near Newport Beach. We usually take PCH from the Laguna Beach direction or go south from MacArthur Blvd. Coming from Laguna Beach you’ll turn left onto Marguerite before you reach Newport Beach. If you are coming from Newport, it will be a right onto Marguerite. Drive to the dead end and park along Ocean Blvd (if you can find a spot) – or the parking lot down at the beach is on your right and then left down the hill. (Address: 3001 Ocean Blvd, Newport Beach) MAP TO CORONA DEL MAR BEACH
Highlights of Corona Del Mar State Beach
The bluff with benches and a real Inspiration Point is perfect for watching the sunset over Catalina. Boats come and go from Newport Harbor.
Corona Del Mar – Pirate’s Cove
At the north end of the beach, actually in Newport Harbor.
The safest way to approach is from the bluff top and down the stairs. We scrambled up and over the rocks/trail from the parking lot. Be careful with little ones.
This beach can get super crowded in the afternoon. So go early (before 10am) if you can.
Corona Del Mar – Main Beach
Main beach visible from above. It’s a wide beach with fire pits, volleyball courts and a jetty separating it from Newport Beach Harbor.
There’s a scene in the movie Love Story filmed on the jetty by the fire pits.
There’s also a restaurant/snack bar (not sure if it’s open) and restrooms near the beach.
Little Corona Del Mar
At the south end of Ocean Blvd.
A steep hill and not much beach, but great for tidepooling and photographs.
Our Circle Walk around Corona del Mar State Beach
We usually park on the bluff top and walk down the main driveway to get to the beach and play around before sunset.
Then we head south towards the paved ramp and up the steep concrete path to the lookout point.
Look down onto the rocks for a special surprise here (the kids will love it!).
The path ends at Inspiration Point and then we walk back to our car on Ocean Boulevard. (Not really stroller-friendly b/c you are walking on the beach).
- Remember, even though this is a State Park. Your annual CA State Parks pass won’t work here.
- Parking is tough. Solve that problem by purchasing a pass or getting there early/late and you’ll love it.
- Check Heal the Bay Beach Report Card for water quality.
- Read all about the fire pits and the wood/charcoal requirements.
- No barbecues allowed.
- PARKING: If you want to pay for parking you can drive down the hill and pay at the kiosk. Parking is $5.30/hour between 9am-6pm during the summer. Link to city parking info. The annual pass looks like a good deal if you are going to go regularly. It would only cost $44.50 if you wait to buy it after October 1st and it would get you in through December 31st. Details on the City of Newport website.
- Restrooms and outdoor showers
- Tackle Box is the most recent restaurant/snack bar to be on the beach, but according to Yelp and other sources it may not be open anymore.
- Volleyball courts
- Lifeguards during the summer
- Visit the official Corona Del Mar State Beach website
Originally published in June 2010.