Orange County seems to have a never ending supply of gorgeous beaches. After living here for almost a year, I have seen quite a few but I am constantly finding more for us to explore. Recently, I took the kids to the Dana Point Marine Reserve for a hike along the coast. The reserve is located behind the Ocean Institute (a place I hope to visit soon) near the mouth of the Dana Point Harbor. There is a secluded beach at the beginning of the reserve with plenty of sand to run around on, rocks to climb, and large waves to watch crashing towards the shore. Tall cliffs rise high above the sand and rocks below.
Beyond the small beach, the shore is narrow and filled with rocks. A small trail hugs the bottom of the cliff and leads up the coast toward the Dana "point".
Along the way there are tide pools and sea caves. The lower the tide, the further you can follow the trail. The kids loved playing in the small cave we found and I look forward to coming back at a minus tide and venturing out to the larger sea cave.
This is a great family hike and perfect on hot days when it is too warm to hike inland. The cool ocean breezes and dramatic scenery are hard to beat. If you would like more information about this hike click here.