We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
66 posts
1 review
Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

we will be in the Anaheim area from August 13- 22 with 5 day park hopper tickets, staying at the Castle Inn. I was wondering if someone could recommend a swimmable beach that wasn't too crowded and also if it would be a better idea to do a Hollywood tour on a weekday or a weekend?

we are road tripping from Edmonton Alberta Canada, but i think i'll be happier with a tour as opposed to a self drive for the tour portion .

thanks, Dave

23 replies to this topic
Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
21,951 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

All beaches will probably be crowded. Just get an early start. Even if the sky looks overcast in the early morning, the sun will come out and you will have beaten the crowds.

I like Balboa Pier Beach because it's the most interesting. But it depends on what you mean by swimable.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
31,096 posts
94 reviews
2. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

Crystal Cove Historic District seems to be pretty sparse to us when we have visited at busier times of the year. You can park in the Los Trancos Parking lot and walk under the road to the beach. Nothing exciting about the area really, but it is less crowded at busy times.

Its going to be busy everywhere in the busy Summertime really as far as Hollywood goes. I would just pick whatever day suites you best. Keep in mind, on weekdays, you wont want to travel between the hours of 7-9am, and 3 to 7pm as their is heavy traffic.

Keep in mind, LA is about a 1 hour drive North of Anaheim in good traffic, they are not that close. Also, 10 days is a looong time to stay at the Castle Inn.. a basic Motel. You may want to consider something a little nicer and better for a longer term stay like the Residence Inn Maingate.. which will offer full kitchens and free full breakfast, free parking.

And you may really want to consider switching areas to stay especially if you are only doing 5 days at Disneyland, it would likely be better to switch to lodging closer to what you want to do for the other 5 days. What were your plans?

Edited: 5:33 pm, June 12, 2018
california
Level Contributor
986 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

In Orange County you can swim at most beaches. The issue is how big the waves are and whether or not there is a riptide. If the flag on the lifeguard tower is green, the water is safe. You can always ask the lifeguards about conditions. There are stretches along Newport where the shore break can be tough. Depending on whether or not you have kids with you and the swimmers’ experience, you want to find a place with a longer shore break. I can’t speak about all the beaches. But Huntington is generally a good place to go. Corona Del Mar is where my parents always took us as kids as that was the beach they spent. A lot of time at in high school in the 1950’s. If you can handle the hike from the parking lot, we like swimming at Crystal Cove. But you will pay a premium for parking here. I’m sure others will come along with their advice. Balboa is where my family always goes, my husband lived on the peninsula right out of college, so ots where we are most comfortable. And there is a lot to do down there that doesn’t even involve swimming.

Hope this helps.

Christchurch, New...
Level Contributor
119 posts
20 reviews
4. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

A few years ago we did a tour (maybe Grayline) from Anaheimto Hollywood and it included a couple of hours at either Venice Beach or Santa Monica. If you are a bit short of time this may be a way to kill two birds with one stone? Just a thought, we enjoyed it although both beaches were quite busy to be honest.

Laguna Beach, CA
Level Contributor
2,809 posts
25 reviews
5. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

I think you get far more by driving yourself than doing a tour. It's far less expensive and you decide how much time to spend at each spot.

Main Beach in Laguna is good, so is CDM beach and the beach at the HB Pier

Coloma, California
Level Contributor
1,913 posts
62 reviews
6. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

The beaches east of the Balboa Pier (some may say south) are not crowded. The further you go toward the wedge the less popular they become. Get there early to avoid traffic.

Note that the Balboa Peninsula goes west/east, not north/south

Edited: 6:44 pm, June 12, 2018
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
66 posts
1 review
7. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

Thank you all for the excellent advice,

We’re quite happy with budget motels, especially the budget part. ( it’s an expensive enough trip as it is and once you add exchange rates from CAD to US - ouch! ) We were thinking of doing a couple days at Disney then taking a quiet day, do that twice and it’ll almost be time to leave ☹️. Is there any point to saving a Hollywood tour for a Saturday or Sunday? I’m assuming that the parks will be busied on the weekend , and traffic less. ( I’m quite comfortable driving in traffic but would rather be able to do some sightseeing) ( mind you, I have no other comparison to southern traffic, I’m assuming it’s like a Vancouver rush hour, feel free to compare. No traffic to speak of around here)

Thanks again

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
31,096 posts
94 reviews
8. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

Well, weekends would not have the rush hour traffic times to avoid, so it may be better that way. But its the busy Summertime. Lots of people are on vacation.

Actually, I was also thinking there were better rated "budget" options for standard Motels out there that would be better also. But up to what you may want to do.

Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
871 posts
88 reviews
9. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

If you do go to crystal cove, look into the Beachcomber. Delicious food on the sand. Though come to think of it, I’ve only been for breakfast. It’s popular, though.

Regarding Hollywood, look at the Hollywood Bowl schedule to see if has something to interest you. It’s a fabulous venue with some excellent shows. HollywoodBowl.com. Bring or order a picnic.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
66 posts
1 review
10. Re: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip

Well, I can’t say I know much about the hotel/ motels in the area, I booked going off of proximity to Disney and overall price. Everything else I looked at was substantially more for the dates I’m stuck with.

Thanks though

Reply to: Anaheim advice for a Disney Trip
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted