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Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

new jersey
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Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

We are going on a family trip, will be in LA in August and want to spend 3 nights at a beach before going back to SF via hway 1. I was looking at Laguna beach but not a lot left for four people within my price range (under $330 per night) as most places are booked. Best Western is available but we would prefer something a little nicer. I was able to find better options in Hermossa and Carlsbad, with Carlsbad places being the nicest out of the three locations.

Are Carlsbad and Hermossa good options for staying with teens or is Laguna a lot better?

One idea I have is staying in Carlsbad but driving to Laguna in the afternoon for a walk through the town, dinner and sunset. Is that doable and is there parking?

We can also stay in Hermossa and visit Manhattan beach which have also been recommended to me on these forums. Is there parking there if we did that?

Yucaipa, California
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1. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

Have you looked at Huntington Beach? That is known as being attractive to teens and there is a Hyatt there. It would probably be an easier drive from Huntington to Laguna than Carlsbad to Laguna. Carlsbad is closer to San Diego. You can also visit Newport Beach and Balboa Pier Beach from Huntington Beach, all three are attractive to teens.

Hermosa and Manhattan Beach are in Los Angeles County.

Parking at Main Beach in Laguna is difficult to find, but parking is easier at Heisler Park Beach of Laguna and it has cliffs above the shoreline. Heisler Park also has picnic tables and BBQ's, but often need to be reserved.

Lots of parking in Huntington Beach, Balboa Pier and pretty good parking at Newport Beach Pier (those two piers are relatively close).

Edited: 4:02 pm, May 24, 2014
Yucaipa, California
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2. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

Have you looked at Huntington Beach? That is known as being attractive to teens and there is a Hyatt there. It would probably be an easier drive from Huntington to Laguna than Carlsbad to Laguna. Carlsbad is closer to San Diego. You can also visit Newport Beach and Balboa Pier Beach from Huntington Beach, all three are attractive to teens.

Hermosa and Manhattan Beach are in Los Angeles County.

Parking at Main Beach in Laguna is difficult to find, but parking is easier at Heisler Park Beach of Laguna and it has cliffs above the shoreline. Heisler Park also has picnic tables and BBQ's, but often need to be reserved.

Lots of parking in Huntington Beach, Balboa Pier and pretty good parking at Newport Beach Pier (those two piers are relatively close).

Edited: 4:02 pm, May 24, 2014
Edmonton, Canada
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3. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

laguna is definitly worth seeing. use to drive up there all the time from san diego for the day - from carlsbad, it would be a shorter trip.. parking can be a pain sometimes. personally, if i was paying for a beach front hotel in another town...i'd go to laguna in the morning...be there by 10:00 a.m. when the shops / galleries open, enjoy those or lay on the beach which is in the centre of town and have a late lunch before heading back to your beach front accommodations for the sunset.

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4. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

Have you checked Hotel Laguna or Casa Del Camino in Laguna? :)

Corona del Mar, CA
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5. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

If you are talking the Best Western Plus Laguna Brisas Spa Hotel, it is a pretty nice place.

Did you look at the Laguna Cliffs?

I can't recommend the Hotel Laguna. I would love it if the hotel was as well maintained as some of its peers, but it just hasn't been.

Obviously August is peak season.

Did you look in Dana Point and Capistrano Beach?

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g32279-Dana_Point_Cal…

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g32167-Capistrano_Bea…

I think Carlsbad is too far south, especially if you plan on heading north after.

If you can't find anything by the beach in LA & OC, I'd look at the Mandalay Beach Embassy Suites in Oxnard, or something by the beach in Carpenteria or Santa Barbara.

But I'd decide soon as places book in a hurry.

Yucaipa, California
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6. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

I've been to the Embassy Suites that Scott wrote about, for a wedding. It is a lovely hotel with pretty grounds right on the beach. The beach is different than the OC beaches, more sandy, looked like thick dunes. We found it interesting. The design of the hotel's common areas is Spanish Californian. Day trips from there would be Channel Islands, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Harbor. Although those last two are north, so if driving to SF would be on the way. Tours to Channel Islands might leave from Ventura Harbor.

new jersey
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7. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

Thank you, no luck with Huntington beach hotels but I contacted some vacation rentals. Hyatt has rooms but is out of our price range. Hotel Laguna is booked, Casa Del Camino rooms are for 2 people only.

lttt, when you say "i'd go to laguna in the morning...be there by 10:00 a.m...", do you mean that the parking is easier in the morning? If we did that, we'd want to go to the beach before going to the shops and galleries. Do you happen to know if showers are available at the beach there?

Thank you Scott also, we may just stay in the Best Western. Many people commented that it gets very noisy and also the ACs are very loud. That concerns me because we are looking for a very relaxing place, but I made a reservation anyway which I can always cancel.

Embassy Suites are all booked for our dates but there are some places in Santa Barbara. Question, we are planning to swim in the ocean, especially my husband and kids are looking forward to it, how is the water temperature in Santa Barbara, would it be much colder?

Yucaipa, California
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8. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

The shops and galleries of Laguna are mostly near Main Beach. I thought I saw showers there - we were eating at the Greeter's Corner Cafe next to it. Most of the time showers at our beaches are just shower heads off of the sand. (I remember when I was a kid and we went back east there were full individual showers at one beach.)

The ocean temps should be about the same in Santa Barbara as in OC in August.

Corona del Mar, CA
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9. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

There are showers at Main Beach, but they are outdoor showers for people to wash off the sand and salt. You can wash off and then go change in the building, but not the most convenient solution.

In August, Santa Barbara and Orange County ought to have about the same water temperature, but every beach is different, some are warmer than others by a degree or two.

new jersey
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10. Re: Which of these beach locations for family with teens?

Thanks Scott, I think we can deal with that if needed, I just spoke with one hotel and the girl who I spoke with mentioned that our dates (8/4-8/7) are around the time of US Surf Open which explains why everything in and around Huntington Beach is booked :)

Perhaps I will post a new question, I am wondering if we should take the kids to see some of those events