[Thanks to Noel for this amazing guest post. She’s as talented with words as she is with her photography.]
My son, CJ, grew up crawling around on the sand for hours while we “watched” his daddy surf. So any beach is home to him. Hours are lost skipping rocks, finding driftwood, and exploring tidepools. We bought season passes to Disneyland ONE year, and it was so much more fun hanging at the beach. I realized my pocket book wasn’t the only one benefiting from trading those in for a yearly parking pass the next year.
I would like to think I am a South County beach expert. Exploring with CJ combined with photographing families there for my job, I can tell you where to park, how to get to, what the surf is like, how the tide effects it, and if you can bring dogs to most beaches south of the river jetty’s in Newport. One of our favorites is Crescent Bay Beach in Laguna. I am typing with trembling hands for the fear that the secret beach revealed episode will now follow on local news stations. I don’t even know if it is a good idea to share this gem with too many people, so please don’t tell another soul. Agreed?
You will find this beach behind the homes north of downtown Laguna Beach. All the information and photos you need can be found here.
- free parking,
- small walk,
- and dogs are allowed on leashes in the winter months.
Now here is what it is from a mom perspective . . .
A classroom: so much sea life is found on the rocks of this beach. Anemone, urchins, small fish, crabs.
Sea stars won’t move even one bit, they are glued to those rocks. (Tide current lesson followed.)
We discovered anemone’s come in at least six colors around here, and that urchins look completely strange when they die and their poky spikes fall off.
A jungle gym: we climb the rocks around the corner to the north to find a small small cove filled with broken shells by the bucket, and a very dangerous rock to climb. A heart attack later and we were at the top sitting planning our next route back.
An obstacle course: There is so much life on the rocks, we were careful to disturb as little as possible. This became a fun game, keep off the life… hopping from one dry rock to the next.
A playground: Between avoiding the waves, finding sticks, and digging in the sand, there is not a park that could compare to the beauty found here.
CJ’s inner ninja came out once we found this headband and ninja stick.
Okay, that is it. Remember our promise? A secret is a secret, right?
*Noel is a huge supporter, often providing profile photos for our site. I love her work and her play outdoors spirit! Plus, she’s just awesome for sending this in to help me out – asking nothing in return.