What
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Where

If you’re looking for a unique place to spend a day or two on your California Vacation, you’ve come to the right place. Crystal Cove State Park is one of Californias largest remaining examples of natural seashore. It features 3.2 miles of beach, plenty of untouched tide pools, 2400 acres of backcountry wilderness, dramatic cliffs, snorkeling and fantastic wildlife.

Beaches

The beaches at Crystal Cove State Park are some of the best California Beaches I’ve been too. The sand is soft, and there’s TONS of space. These beaches are not combed and cleaned every morning like some of the more popular beaches down south, so you will see lots of seaweeds and sea life along the beach.

Hiking

The backcountry area of Crystal Cove state park boasts 18 miles of walking trails. The higher trails feature beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and California Mountains.

Tidepools

While tidepool conditions vary on a day to day basis, it’s a lot of fun to scavenge the pools with your kids looking for all the different creatures. You’ll likely find some small crabs, urchins, and anemones. But lucky visitors who know what to look for might also see some octopus or sea snails as well.

The Historic District

The Crystal Cove Historic District is part of Crystal Cove state park and is a collection of 46 vintage coastal homes built in the 1930’s and 40’s. The cottages were originally built as a part of a seaside colony nestled around the mouth of Los Trancos Creek and is one of the last remaining examples of early 20th Century Southern California Coastal Development.

Additional Highlights

  • Camping at Cyrstal Cove State Park: The Moro Campground looks over the beautiful waters of Crystal Cove State Park and is well maintained. There are additional more “primitive” campground sites farther back inland. You can find out more about the camping at Crystal Cove on their website here.
  • Guided Hikes, Tidepool Walks and Geology Talks are conducted year-round by park staff. Check out the Crystal Cove Events calendar to see if one is happening during your stay.

About the Beaches

There are four beaches at Crystal Cove:

  • Moro Beach: Moro beach is popular with day-use visitors, bodyboarders, stand-up paddle boarders, surf fisherman, and kayakers.
  • Reef Point: This beach some of the best Tide Pool areas in the park as well as some good diving spots.
  • Historic District Beach: This is the beach in front of the popular Historic District, one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California Coastal development.
  • Pelican Point: A one-mile multi-use trail parallels the coastline that offers a view of the coastal bluff vegetation and wildlife. There are some great tide pools along this beach as well.

Read About it in the Journal

● Ultimate Oceanside Bucket List – 101 Things to do in Oceanside California
● This Southern California Park will Make You Feel Like You Just Walked into A Dream

TRAVEL GUIDE TO CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK, CA | Raising Little Wild Ones | If you're looking for a unique place to spend a day or two on your California Vacation, you've come to the right place. Crystal Cove State Park is one of Californias largest remaining examples of natural seashore. It features 3.2 miles of beach, plenty of untouched tide pools, 2400 acres of backcountry wilderness, dramatic cliffs, snorkeling and fantastic wildlife. #crystalcove #california #travel #travelwithkids

Q Be Prepared

Recommended Pack List

☐ Water
☐ A Packed Lunch or Snacks
☐ Towels
☐ Swim Suits
☐ Change of Clothes
☐ Sunscreen
☐ Hat and/or Sunglasses
☐ Beach Toys
☐ Day Trip Essentials



Day Trip Essentials



Details Coming Soon!

Q Handicap & Stroller Access

Both the Moro Campground Entrance and the Reef Point Entrances have ramps, but I would recommend going to the Moro Campground Entrance over Reef Point. The ramp at Reef Point is exceptionally steep and long. I could not push the stroller up it on my own if my husband hadn’t been there. I was out of breath just carrying Bubba up it, let alone all our beach supplies!
The Moro Campground entrance is not steep but is mostly wet sand, and it was difficult to push a stroller through.

Q Bathroom Access

Q Parking

There are 4 parking lots in the park. 2 Along the bluffs at Pelican Point and Reef Point, and another two inland at Las Trancos (trolley access to the historic district) and one located next to El Morro Elementary School.

Parking Requires a Fee:


  • Day Use: $15

  • Annual Pass: $195
Q Educational Resources
Q Additional Resources

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