The 5 Best Beaches in Orange County, CA

Palm trees on the coast at sunset, like you would see on one of the 5 best beaches in Orange County, CA.

What are the 5 best beaches in Orange County, CA? It’s an excellent question, but not an easy one to answer given the OC’s incredible stretch of coastline. Thankfully, in spite of the difficulty, we have taken it upon ourselves to answer this question on behalf of the great people living south of LA and north of San Diego. (And all the other people out there who love the OC.) So, grab your floaties, put on your goggles and get yourself ready for the preeminent list of the 5 best beaches in Orange County. In no particular order, of course.

Incredible Beach #1: The Wedge

For our first beach we’ve selected is a strip of coastline at the end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach that is known simply as ‘the Wedge’. The Wedge is famous for having the biggest waves in the area and draws thrill seekers from all over SoCal. (And the country, really.) When the conditions are just right, the Wedge is said to have waves reaching 30 feet high. (We’ll stay on the shore when that happens but you’re welcome to go in.) So, if you enjoy surfing, or watching surfers, this is definitely the place for you. Not only that, you can also sit back and watch all manner of incredible boats coming in and out of Newport Harbor. When you’ve had enough, you can enjoy the quaintness of Balboa Island or, for the Arrested Development fans out there, take a short drive to the original Frozen Banana stand which is nearby. Final note, the Wedge is where John Wayne injured himself while swimming, which led to his losing his football scholarship which led to his dropping out of school which led to his getting a job at a movie studio which led to his movie career. So be careful for goodness sake. And if you get hurt get a job at a movie studio for sure.

Be sure to check out the video below for some incredible footage of surfers enjoying the Wedge.

The Wedge is one of the best beaches in Orange County for sure. Just check out those incredible waves.

Incredible Beach #2: Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park is a special stretch of Laguna Beach which is far less crowded than most of the coastline. Boasting 3.2 miles of shoreline and over 2,000 acres of open space, the park can satisfy both your itch for the sand and your need for the quiet wilderness. The coastline itself is beautiful, and frequented by scuba divers, surfers, and swimmers. There are tide pools you can investigate in the morning, hiking trails for an afternoon jaunt, and stunning sunsets on the water come evening. There is also the Crystal Cove Historic District comprised of 46 vintage cottages originally built in the 30’s and 40’s providing a glimpse of California in days gone by. Sidebar: for those looking for a truly exciting experience you can rent cottages for overnight stays. As if that wasn’t enough, the park also offers guided hikes both in the interior and along the tide pools, and there is food available at the Beachcomber Café. This is not a beach to miss so get there as soon as you can. Check out the video below to learn more.

A great introduction to incredible Orange County beach #2: Crystal Cove.

Incredible Beach #3: Huntington Dog Beach

The Huntington Dog Beach is the only official dog beach in Orange County. There are a few other beaches that allow dogs during certain hours of the day during certain months of the year, but that doesn’t really count. Not only that, but the word on the street is that as long as everyone is well behaved, you can take your dog off of his or her leash. (You definitely can’t do that anywhere else.) I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of much of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than catching some rays with my good friend Rufus. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it’s Huntington so between the pier and all of the great restaurants and shops nearby there is never a shortage of things to do. Our advice is to grab your pooch and head down immediately. Don’t even finish the article, just go. Maybe bring the cat along too.

Bring your dogs to Huntington dog beach for a day of fun. This guy’s definitely having fun!

Incredible Beach #4: San Clemente Pier Beach

San Clemente Pier Beach is a lovely stretch of beach on the southern tip of Orange County. A bit off the beaten path, it is a bit quieter than some of the more northern beaches, but its popularity has really grown in recent years. It boasts a great pier with several restaurants where you can dine while looking out over the water, a cute commercial district walking distance from the waves, and a lovely stretch of shoreline great for long strolls and relaxation. It also boasts a stop on the Pacific Surfliner train line, making it particularly convenient if you don’t want to be bothered by Southern California’s well documented traffic. (There is also a large and very convenient parking lot just off of the beach, but expect a lot of competition for spots on weekend afternoons.) Overall, it’s a great place to relax and recharge, particularly if you are in South County. Oh yes, and be sure to grab some ice cream right across from the pier.

Want to learn more? Check out the video below.

Incredible Beach #5: Laguna Beach Main Beach

This is it ladies and gentlemen, our last beach. And for this we are heading back to Laguna, the only town with two beaches on our list, but it’s Laguna, what do you expect. The Main Beach is the beating heart of Laguna and has been an Orange County destination for as long as Orange County has been a destination. You’ve got everything from gelato, to coffee, to live music and fabulous art galleries at your fingertips, not to mention a vintage movie theatre and great stores for casual shopping. And of course, the beach itself is stunning, filled with beautiful rock formations, and awash with tide pooling opportunities. Oh yes, and Laguna has several restaurants with absolutely striking views – literally some of the best in the county. Perhaps a victim of its own success, Main Beach does get busy, particularly in the summer, so parking may take a minute. (Our favorite time to head down is in the off season, but to each his own.) If you’re looking for a great day (or weekend), you can’t go wrong with Laguna’s Main Beach – head down today! (And check out the video below for more.)

So, there you have it. Our list of the 5 best beaches in Orange County, CA. It wasn’t an easy task, but we did our best to do it justice. We’re sure we’ve enraged some of you with our choices, so feel free to let us know how you feel in the comments. Enjoy the beach everyone!

Want to learn some more great stuff about Orange County? Check out our post on the 5 biggest tourist destinations in Orange County or the 5 best hiking trails in Orange County. Or, if you are the entrepreneurial type and looking for something entirely different, be sure to check out our guide on starting a new business in the OC.

You might be wondering who we are. We’re My OC Bookkeeper – Orange County’s best bookkeeping and business advisory firm. We love everything about Orange County, from going to the beach to helping great Orange County businesses with their books. So if you’re looking for someone to help with your bookkeeping or accounting give us a call. And if you’re looking for more great articles on everything from life in Orange County to doing business here, check out our blog. Click on the surfers below to learn more!

5 Best Restaurants in Laguna Beach

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A vibrant and thriving culture and art scene, Laguna Beach is a popular spot for artists, art lovers, and, of course, anyone who needs a little sun, sand, and waves in their life. Even better, Laguna Beach is also home to a diverse and delicious food scene ready to excite and satisfy locals and tourists alike. Need to know what the best places to visit are? We’ve got you covered. Here are our picks for the best restaurants in Laguna Beach.

Nick’s Laguna Beach

Innovation is a common theme in the Laguna Beach food scene, and this local favorite is no exception. Nick’s Laguna Beach is a casual yet upscale spot for some fantastic comfort food and American classics. Some wonderful patio seating lets you enjoy the beautiful California weather, and a strong dedication to hospitality and service will have you feeling at home.

Being a favorite also means being popular, however, and being able to sit down and eat at Nick’s Laguna Beach isn’t always an easy feat. Lengthy waiting times await, and reservations aren’t easy to come by, but the iconic prime rib sandwich certainly makes all the hassle worth it.

Check out their site here for more information.

Thai Bros Restaurant

You can’t have food scene innovation without some fusion, and Thai Bros certainly doesn’t mess around. Mixing culinary traditions with modern interpretations, this will quickly become your go-to spot for some post-beach drunken noodles.

Friendly service, spicy noodles, and a happy regular crowd. What more can you need? More information on their website here.


Every great food scene needs some outstanding Italian, and Laguna Beach has Alessa. An impressive wine selection and pasta and charcuterie both made in-house, Certified Italian Chef Alessandro Pirozzi brings his childhood experiences helping his grandmother’s kitchen lessons front and center.

Locals love coming in for a glass of fantastic wine, some wonderful cooking, and a great conversation. Take one look at the pictures of the menu and you’ll see why Alessa’s is widely regarded to be the best Italian food in the area.

A dinner plate and wine glasses at a fancy restaurant like you can find at a restaurant in Laguna Beach, CA.

Selanne Steak Tavern

Some juicy, mouthwatering steak is always bound to make the list, and for our list, that steak comes from Selanne Steak Tavern. The steakhouse isn’t the only award winner, either, seeing as proprietor Teemu Selanne is a six-time Olympian and Hockey Hall of Famer.

Beautiful steak, poultry, and seafood go perfectly with house cocktails, beers, and a particularly Californian wine selection. Your dining experience can be different every time, too, since there are multiple dining settings available for seating: The Loft, the Wine Library, the Tavern, the Veranda, and the Sunset Terrace.

Make sure to check out their menu here before going.

Las Brisas

SoCal wouldn’t be SoCal without its strong Mexican influence and culture, and one manifestation of this influence in Laguna Beach is the incredible dining experience of Las Brisas. One of the best spots in Laguna Beach to sip on a cocktail and watch the sunset, the incredible Mexican seafood, and the dazzling views will be competing to be the best part of the night. Need to see a peek before heading over there? Head on over to their site here.

These are our favorite picks for food in the city, but there could be so many variations of this list that we’d agree with! Luckily for Laguna Beach residents and visitors, the food scene is more than vibrant, active, and alive.

Do you have a favorite spot you think should make the list? Let us know!

Want to see some more great things about the Laguna area? Check out this post on 3 great places to go sightseeing when you’re in Laguna Niguel.

Do you have a business in Laguna Beach, or, are you thinking of opening a business in Laguna Beach? If so, check out My OC Bookkeeper – Laguna Beach’s best bookkeeping service. At My OC Bookkeeper, we help businesses all over Orange County with everything from bookkeeping to financial modeling. Reach out to use today and let’s do great things together!

Interested in even more tips on dining in Laguna Beach? Check out the video below for the best restaurants in Laguna according to Modern Millennial Events. (Don’t get mad at them if there opinions differ from ours…)

Where is the Best Place to Live in Orange County?

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If you ask a handful of people for their ideal living conditions, you’re bound to get a handful of different answers. The truth is, there is no one perfect place to live that will live up to everybody’s expectations. Some people like a big and busy city, some people prefer quiet nature spots. Some people prefer to be near big and famous festivals, and some would rather keep the action at bay. Luckily, whatever your preferences might be, Orange County has a little bit of everything to offer.

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, countless outdoor activities, a great shopping scene, some world-class food culture, perfect weather, and big cities like LA and San Diego nearby. The most difficult part about deciding to live in Orange County is deciding where in Orange County you’ll feel most at home. Here are some suggestions of the best place to live in Orange County, for your consideration.

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Watching the sunset in Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach

It’s no wonder that Newport Beach is often cited as the best Orange County has to offer. If your dream city is a beachside paradise, Newport has more than plenty to offer. Newport Harbor, the Balboa Peninsula, and the two local piers offer some beautiful views and great afternoons in the ocean breeze.

The job market in Newport Beach is a strong one for people living in the city and nearby, with great opportunities for individuals in healthcare, accommodation and food services, and finance. The city is also home to many top-rated schools, which makes it an attractive prospect for families who love the beach life. The cost of living in Newport isn’t for everyone, however, and it’s certainly something to take into consideration. The median home value lies around $2 million, while the median rent is easily upwards of $2000. Paradise comes at a cost, after all.

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Aerial View of Downtown Irvine


Not to be outdone, Irvine is regularly considered one of the most popular and attractive places to live in Orange County for a variety of reasons. The exciting and bustling economy is one of the shining benefits of the city, with a strong presence from entertainment giants like Blizzard Entertainment, Google, and Amazon.

A top-notch school system is another great benefit as well as, of course, prestigious institutions like the University of California, Irvine, and the OC Center of the University of Southern California. Irvine has also been considered the safest big city in the country for nearly a decade which, all things considered, makes it a very popular location for single families.

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A view of the Main Beach Coastline in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

It might be easy to write off every Orange County city as a beachside paradise—which isn’t a bad thing, don’t get us wrong—but if you’re looking for a bit of a different vibe, Laguna Beach might be the right spot for you. The city has an undeniably artistic vibe, and is a bit less flashy when it comes to showing off net worth. Although you might consider it a seaside resort town, it somehow still manages to feel like a suburb, somewhat more unassuming than its coastal neighbors.

The small-town feel mixed with the artist and entrepreneur population tends to make for interesting and refreshing interactions and relationships that you might not find in other parts of Orange County. The unassuming vibe won’t mean that it doesn’t cost a pretty penny to become a resident, however. Cost of living rivals that of Newport Beach.

We consider these to be some of the best spots for settling down in Orange County that might meet a variety of standards and preferences. From the lifelong sailor to the modest successful artist, there’s a little something for everyone at Orange County. Wherever you end up, we’re happy to see you considering one of our favorite places in the world. Hope to see you here soon!

Want to learn some more cool stuff about Orange County? Check out this great post on the best beaches in the OC.

Ready to take the next step and start a business here? (We love talking about business, see below for why.) Check this post with 7 important steps to consider when starting a business – in Orange County or elsewhere.

Orange County is full of entrepreneurs that run small and large businesses – and we’re here to help them. Who are we? We’re My OC Bookkeeper. Southern California’s premier bookkeeping and business consulting firm. Check us out if you need help with bookkeeping, accounting, or general business support.

Want another opinion on where to live in the OC? Take a look at the video below to see what some of our best local realtors think.