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Best Beach in Dana Point?

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Palm Springs Area
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587 posts
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Best Beach in Dana Point?

We usually stay in Laguna every summer and always go to Cleo St. beach (Main Beach) As much as we enjoy that area, we decided to change it up a bit and stay at Dana Point this time. We're booked at Marriott Laguna Cliffs 7/6 to 7/8. What would be a comparable beach in Dana Point? TIA : )

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1. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

Doheny is a nice one! :)

So. Cal
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2. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

I WISH there was a comparable Main Beach in Dana Point. :)

You'll be within walking distance to Doheny State Park. There you'll find an undeveloped area with a large grassy park that has picnic tables, bbq pits, volleyball games, rental stand where you can rent bikes, surreys etc., a cement path that you can ride/walk along the beach, campground nearby etc. and of course the harbor is right below you with restaurants and shops.

For a very scenic beach surrounded by cliffs you can drive over to the Strands or Salt Creek Beach.

I see you'll be here during the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. Have you been to the Pageant of Masters yet? You might want to look into it if you haven't.

You might also consider driving over to the pier/downtown area of San Clemente. You could park by the pier and then walk up to downtown and shop, eat etc. or vice versa. The Fisherman's on the pier has a great happy hour and it's a great spot to take watch the sunset.

Right below the Cliffs is a favorite locals restaurant- RJ's Cafe. Great for a casual breakfast. We also enjoy breakfast at the Ritz Carlton. Two weeks ago we saw whales and dolphins! Not a bad way to start the day! And it's very reasonably priced.

With that said- if you want a Main Beach experience you'll need to go to Laguna Beach. :)

Have a great trip!

Palm Springs Area
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3. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

Thanks beachbum - you answered exactly what I was asking and then some!

Sounds like we may be beach-hopping from Doheny to Strands / Salt Creek. It'll be a different experience, but that's OK : ) I was hoping to circumvent driving to the beaches, but I guess no luck there. BTW - any tips on finding parking at Main Beach? We've always just walked from our hotel.

I haven't been to the Arts Festival in years; it's a thought. Thanks for the breakfast at the Ritz tip - sounds very nice, and I wouldn't have thought of that! Especially if we have your luck and spot whales - how cool is that?!

Palm Springs Area
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4. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

beachbum - may I ask which restaurant you had breakfast at the Ritz?

So. Cal
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5. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

***any tips on finding parking at Main Beach?****

ha ha ha ha- my tip? Take the first one you can find. lol

Maybe some others will come along with their secrets and if you discover one let me know!

You CAN easily walk to Doheny Beach.

Raya is the name of the restaurant at the Ritz- you will love it! Sure it's pricier than an average breakfast, but you can't beat the value for what you're getting in return

Enjoy!

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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6. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

Just park at Wells Fargo and pay whatever the fee is these days.... life is too short to drive around looking for parking.

Palm Springs Area
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7. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

LOL - It was worth a shot! haha I think I may take scotca075's advice and try to park at Wells Fargo - if there's anything open. Going around in circles is unfortunately always the bummer with driving to beach locales.

I googled the pics of Raya and 180blu - I'm sold! Absolutely worth the inflated prices. It'll be our splurge ; )

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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8. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

We stayed at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs last summer to earn some final Marriott points for a free 2 night stay in Rome. We liked the hotel in DP very much, and enjoyed their pools and water features with our family. Did you get the breakfast plan? The buffet is quite good. Although we like going to the Ritz other times.

One of the days we drove over to San Clemente for the afternoon and had lunch at Fisherman's. Highly recommend.

Palm Springs Area
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9. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

Glad to hear you enjoyed it, CAnative - good to know : ) I booked this hotel as an offered add-on to a Disney vacation package, and the breakfast option was not included. (upgrade maybe if i'm lucky?) After check out on the 8th, it's right over to Disney Paradise Pier to visit the Magic Mouse for 3 days : ) I think i'll have my fill of Disney for awhile! LOL

10. Re: Best Beach in Dana Point?

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