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Where is the best beach near Irvine?

I am in Irvine for business, from the Midwest, so want to go to the beach... Which one should I go to and could you recommend a nice place to eat at near or on the beach?  Heard about Nick's on Laguna Beach...

6 Answers

top answer by
JR from Manhattan Beach

From Irvine, you really can't go wrong with any of the beaches down there. I would make your destination the Balboa Pier. There you can take in some of sites (Fun Zone Newport Beach and take the Balboa Island Ferry across from Balboa Island) all worth seeing if you're down that way. If you want something less populated, check out Crystal Cove Beach. Even though it's literally next to PCH, it's surprisingly beautiful and even feels kind of remote. Have fun!

Oh, the other answered mentioned The Wedge. If there is a big south swell, then you MUST go down and watch the insanity. There is no place like it in the world. Here's a taste:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Balboa Pier (attraction)
  2. Fun Zone Newport Beach (attraction)
  3. Balboa Island Ferry (attraction)
  4. Balboa Island (attraction)
  5. Crystal Cove Beach (attraction)
  6. The Wedge (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Lee from Dana Point

Laguna Beach has great restaurants but the art festival is on now and the beach is really crowded. Make sure you get reservations before you go. I'd stay away from Laguna and go to Dana Point. Try the Chart House with great views and good food reasonably priced. Jimmy's Famous American Tavern is fun and casual located across from the marina. Walking around the marina is nice and there are adjacent beaches if you want a swim.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Laguna Beach (city)
  2. Dana Point (city)
  3. Chart House (restaurant)
  4. Jimmy's Famous American Tavern (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

JR's answers about Balboa IslandCrystal Cove, etc. are great.  I love those places.  The cool thing about Newport and Balboa is the harbor and there are some good places to eat on and around the water, I like The Cannery and Billy's at the Beach.

Laguna Beach is interesting as well and an amazing place.  The main beach in town is a great wide sandy beach with lots of people watching.  Laguna also has some spectacular coves that are great for exploring, sitting, relaxing, swimming, etc.  One of my favorite's is Shaw's Cove which has a great beach and is very beautiful.  

If you want to be on the water to eat in Laguna, the restaurant at the Surf and Sand Resort is literally right on the sand.  Las Brisas has some of the best views in the area and is a great place for a Margarita and some decent Mexican food.  There is actually a walkway that hugs the cliffs and water and leads from Laguna's main beach in downtown to Las Brisas then to Fisherman's Cove Beach which is a nice walk (about 5 - 10 minutes walk past Fisherman's Cove is the aforementioned Shaw's Cove).

Another spectacular place in Laguna is the Montage Laguna Beach.  You can eat there, but it is not cheap.  For casual eats in Laguna La Sirena Grill - Laguna Beach is a great little shack of a place with fantastic Mexican food.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Balboa Island (attraction)
  2. Crystal Cove (attraction)
  3. The Cannery (restaurant)
  4. Billy's at the Beach (restaurant)
  5. Laguna Beach (city)
  6. Shaw's Cove (attraction)
  7. Surf and Sand Resort (hotel)
  8. Las Brisas (restaurant)
  9. Fisherman's Cove Beach (attraction)
  10. Montage Laguna Beach (hotel)
  11. La Sirena Grill - Laguna Beach (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Susana from Hawaii

Laguna Beach has a nice vibe and easy access. It has a lot of little streets filled with art galleries, cafés, shops and restaurants and the beach is right across the street from all of this. Traffic through the canyon can sometimes get heavy on the weekends or you can take the scenic route and drive down Pacific Coast Hwy starting where McArthur Blvd. intersects it and enjoy the view of the coast. There is public parking right behind the gas station on the corner of PCH and Laguna Canyon Road and also metered street parking on every street. I like to eat at Zinc Café on 350 Ocean Ave. It's a little off the beaten path but they have fresh, seasonal soups, salads and sandwiches and a nice outdoor patio area. Also Brussels Bistro has wonderful moules frites if you like seafood.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Laguna Beach (city)
  2. Pacific Coast Hwy (attraction)
  3. Zinc Café (attraction)
  4. Brussels Bistro (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by
Donna from Irvine

  I would suggest you go to Corona del Mar State Beach  There are several State beaches along PCH that are beautiful!  You could also try beaches near the The Wedge  Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Corona del Mar State Beach (attraction)
  2. The Wedge (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Gene from Irvine

We love Laguna Beach and Big Corona Beach. The latter doesn't have much eating right in that area so I'd head to Laguna. Plus, there's a lovely "downtown" area to walk around in.

The Cliff has incredible views. Food is good, but I remember the view/atmosphere more. If you're there for breakfast/brunch, I'd recommend Zinc Cafe. Enjoy!

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