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Orange County

Best area to stay in OC for Disney and the beach?

Taking the family to Orange County for the first time this summer, flying into John Wayne, and need to decide what area(s) are best to stay. We'd like to be near the beach, but also plan to spend a few days at Disneyland. We're open to moving hotels, if you have specific recommendations. Thanks!

3 Answers

top answer by
Sally from Los Angeles

Hi Lori,

Echoing what John said...if you want to get the full Disney experience, then definitely splurging for one of the Disneyland / California adventure hotels is the way to go. I've never stayed in any myself as I'm local, but I've heard rave reviews about Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa - it's pricey but it opens right into the park! Super cool.

In terms of the beach, I recommend staying either at Huntington Beach or Newport Beach . Both are thriving beach cities, with Huntington being a lot more local and low-key with a bunch of surfers and shops, and Newport catering a little more to upscale tourists and locals. Since you'll be with your family, the Marriott's Newport Coast Villas are great since it's a collection of suites that are perfect for families - and right across from Crystal Cove State Park


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (hotel)
  2. Huntington Beach (attraction)
  3. Newport Beach (city)
  4. Marriott's Newport Coast Villas (hotel)
  5. Crystal Cove State Park (attraction)
3 thanks

answered first by
John from Carlsbad (California)


I would recommend you stay a couple nights at the beginning or end of your trip around Disneyland and the rest of the time in Laguna BeachThere are hundreds of hotels in every price range near Disneyland.  The most convenient are the three hotels associated with Disneyland itself.  I've stayed in all three, and they are all set up for families.  Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel is my least favorite.  It's a little more basic, but is usually less expensive.  The Disneyland Hotel is very convenient to Downtown Disney and the two parks and it has a great pool area.  The Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has an exit right onto Downtown Disney and is more upscale and more expensive.  It has a very good restaurant.  These hotels can be very expensive in the summer months.  There are a number of other hotels with far lower rates that are close to the park, and many have shuttles to the parks.  Check out TripAdvisor for them.

Laguna Beach is a beautiful beach community just isolated enough to keep it quieter.  There are all sorts of hotels from very expensive (Montage Laguna Beach and Surf and Sand Resort) to inexpensive, all within walking distance to the beach.  You might also check out airbnb rentals for a true beach house experience and you might save some money.

Have a great trip!

3 thanks

answered by
Frances from Newport Beach

Hi Lori!

I'm from Newport Beach and Disneyland is seriously a 25 minute drive away (without traffic). Newport is a great area for a family, there are plenty of family friendly restaurants, awesome beaches, and you're so close to the park. If you want to do something other than Disneyland for a day, Balboa Water Sports is a great family option. Great hotels to look into for a family would be Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa (beautiful hotel) and Newport Beach Hotel (the cutest beach hotel i've ever seen)!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Newport Beach (city)
  2. Disneyland (attraction)
  3. Balboa Water Sports (attraction)
  4. Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa (restaurant)
  5. Newport Beach Hotel (hotel)
2 thanks

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